The sun is up in Chennai by 6.30am. ( the city temperature is now at about 35 degrees) – we arrive at the Sannidhi Street outside the temple and are amazed.
Over 5000 have gathered here this workday morning to take part in the adhikara nandi event of the Panguni festival.
The square is packed and we need to elbow ourselves to the 16-pillar mantap where the vahanams stand.
Deeparadhanai and archanai follow.
We just have time to glance at the lovely, large. kolams which were drawn on the wet floor by volunteers here – many of the kolams are now wiped off by countless feet of the surging crowd.
Once the rituals at the mantapam have been completed, the procession slowly moves out on to East Mada Street, led by the nadaswaram artistes and the temple band.
Some 40 volunteers, all youth carry the gods on their shoulders, using the massive, well-oiled logs arranged for the processions.
The procession reaches the Mylapore Fund Office point on South Mada Street by 9.15 a.m.
It has Lord Vinayaka in the lead, followed.byAmbal, Lord Muruga and his consort and then, Chandikeswarar.
The procession moves slowly, making stops every few metres for people and residents of the mada veedhis to pray and make offerings.
It will be well after noon when the gods go inside the temple again.