Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Closing our Panguni season coverage. Share your feedback.

And now, we at Mylapore Times close our coverage here of the 2017 Panguni festival. It was an intense at our end, despite the rising summer temperature.
But it was worth our effort for we have had followers from around the world.
Thanks is due to our team of Madhan Kumar, Parmeshwaran, Preeti Srivatsan, Bama Ranganathan and a few contributors.

Your suggestions on improving the coverage is always welcome - do mail us at - mytimesedit@gmail.com

Music floats all around, as the gods unwind

The gods and their folks are resting. This has been a tough panguni season. And temperatures rose to about 32 degrees.
So it is time for music, and some dance.
The music has been floating all around Sri Kapali Temple. Vocalist Vijay Siva launched the concerts with his trademark recital and the first evening attendance was large; a LED screen positioned alongside the stage, outside the Navaratri mantap relays the images for rasikas who prefer to sit on the ground or around  the lord Murugan sannidhi.
Sunday's concert of Sanjay Subrahamanyan was packed; and in that audience Sanjay's devoted fans who trail him to all his concerts in the city and around ( he has one in Bengaluru on 20th, at the Chowdiah hall).
T M Krishna was on stage on Monday evening; on Sunday evening, he had sung at the Big Tent in Chamarajpet in Bengaluru for the Sri Ramanavami fest season. That concert had some 4000 plus people in the audience. Tuesday's attendance here was big. In the front row, a VIP fan - Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Bodies sweat, the evening temperature climbs down slowly from the daytime 34 degrees. But rasikas do not want to trade their seats in the mantap - for the concert series features all the top artistes of the day. 
The music-dance fest ends on April 24 with Radhe Jaggi's dance concert.
That is the Panguni tradition.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pandam Parivizha; the last event of the festival

Today, during the Pandam Parivizha event to be held in the evening, a Thiruvoodal ceremony will be held.

 After the Thirukalyanam, it is believed that a celestial argument takes place between Swami and Ambal. Sundaramurthy Swamigal interferes to solve the problem. The Thiruvoodal ceremony signifies this event. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A video of Thirukalyanam held today evening

Seen above is a video of the Thirukalyanam ceremony held today evening. Video by Prema Mani, a resident of Bangalore. 

Goddess Karpagambal dancing, a short video

Seen above is a short video of Goddess Karpagambal dancing during the Bikshanadar ceremony. 

The video has been taken by Prema Mani, a resident of Bangalore. 

More than a thousand devotees attend thirukalyanam ceremony today

More than a thousand people attended the celestial wedding of Sri Kapaleeswarar and Goddess Karpagambal today evening. 

Devotees, who had brought different kinds of offerings ranging from pieces of cloth to fruits, flowers and coconuts, watched with rapt attention as the thali was tied around the neck of Goddess Karpagambal. 

Colourful garlands and ornaments were used to adorn both the deities. 

Theerthavari and pancha murthi purappadu held today morning

Seen above are some pictures taken during the pancha murthi purappadu and theerthavari celebrations held today morning.

Pictures have been taken by Prema Mani, a resident of Bangalore. 

Uma Maheswarar darshanam and veedi purappadu tomorrow morning

Tomorrow morning, there will be a veedi purappadu of the deities who will take the form of Uma Maheswarar. 

This is done to enable those who missed the festivities, the sick and disabled, to have a darshan of the deities. 

Thirukalyanam today evening; Flag to be brought down after that

The much awaited Thirukalyanam of Lord Kapaleeshwarar and Goddess Karpagambal will be held today evening.

Thousands are expected to visit the temple in the evening to seek the blessings of the deities. 

The flag will be brought down after the festivities. 

Bhikshadanar ceremony held yesterday evening

Here are some pictures of the Bikshadanar ceremony held yesterday evening. 

A classical dance programme was also held at the 16 kal mandapam, outside the eastern entrance of the temple. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bhikshadanar ceremony; Important for women devotees

The bhikshadanar ceremony to be held today is an important ritual for many devotees and women in particular. 

Women who want to have children, often take a vow on this day to beg for alms (biksha) and donate the same to the deity. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Look out for the Bhikshadanar ceremony tomorrow

Look out for the Bhikshadanar ceremony tomorrow. This ritual signifies Lord Shiva's attempt to collect donations before the marriage. 

This is the only ritual in which Lord Shiva will come alone. He will not be accompanied by the other deities. 

Arubathimoovar procession on at Mada Streets

The Arubathimoovar procession, which started a little past 3 p.m. in the afternoon, is expected to get over at around 9 p.m. today.

More than two lakh devotees have gathered at the four Mada Streets. Seen above are some pictures taken at the procession. Pictures by Madhan Kumar. 

Tents set up to distribute food in many areas

Food and drink stalls have been set up everywhere to cater to the needs of the thousands of devotees expected to gather for the Arubathimoovar procession, expected to begin at 3 p.m. today.

At Madha Church Road (near Aavin Parlour), Mandavelipakkam, rose milk was distributed today morning. 

At Kutchery Road, a small tent has been set up near the Jain Temple to distribute food. Volunteers were seen peeling potatoes and cutting onions today morning and dumping them into huge vessels. An area was earmarked for food distribution near the Mandaveli bus depot too. 

Re-enactment of Angampoompavai incident; held at temple tank today morning

Seen above are pictures taken during the re-enactment of the Angampoompavai incident held at the temple tank today morning.

Mada Streets at night

Picture by Jayashree Nagarajan

Picture by Jayashree Nagarajan
Its way past 10 p.m. today (April 8) and the Mada Streets are still as busy as they were during the ther festivities in the morning. East Mada Street has been closed to all vehicles, except for the occasional bikes or cycles that slowly drive past. Barricades have been set up at the intersection of East and North Mada Street. Police personnel are everywhere, watching and managing the crowd.

Hawkers have set up their wares all along North, South and East Mada Street. Children are seen playing on the merry-go-round, parents seen bargaining for balloons and vendors are seen selling everything from sweet white pedas to balloons, jewellery, kitchen items and toys for children. 

Children are seen sitting on the big ther, tugging on the huge garlands. The big ther is now inside the open shed. Outside the shed, three small thers have been parked one behind the other.   

The temple gopuram has been decorated with beautiful lights, changing colours occasionally. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Yaanai Vahanam; a short video

Seen here is a video of the Yaanai Vahanam procession held yesterday evening. Taken by Prema Mani, a resident of Bangalore. 

Look out for Vaira Swami from Chindatripet, decked in diamond ornaments

Vaira Swami from Chindatripet will join the Arubathimoovar procession from Luz towards the end. 

He will first make his entrance decked in red coloured jewels and will be taken to the mandapam near the sannadhi of Sri Shaneswarar at Sri Kapali Temple where he will adorn diamond jewels and then join the procession. 

He will be accompanied by several police and security personnel. 

Goddess Kolavizhi Amman to lead the Arubathimoovar procession tomorrow

Goddess Kolavizhi Amman, the grama devathai, who comes straight from the temple is the first deity to lead the Arubathimoovar procession. 

She will be followed by Sri Vinayakar and then Thevaram Moovar -  Thirugnana Sambandar, Tirunavukkarasar and Sundara who will be taken in a big pallaku. Angam Poompavai and Sivanesa Chettinar will follow Thirugnana Sambandar. 

Deities Mundagakanni Amman, Angalaparameswari, Draupadi Amman and Thiruvalluvar will join the procession from Mathala Narayanan Street but will not enter Sannidhi Street or the temple. They will go back to their temples after the procession. 

Distributing sugar during the Angampoompavai ritual

An important ritual is followed by devotees during the re-enactment of the Angampoompavai incident, scheduled to happen at the temple tank on Sunday morning. 

Devotees who are sick will distribute sugar from mud pots to those gathered there. It is believed that doing so will cure them of their ailments. 

Did you know why the idol of Angampoompavai faces Lord Shiva at Sri Kapali Temple

Look out for the re-enactment of the Angampoompavai incident on Sunday morning before the Arubathimoovar procession.

After Angampoompavai was revived by Sri Thiruganansambandar, her father Sivanesa Chettiar built Sri Virupaksheeswarar Temple so that she could worship Lord Shiva. The Temple was originally called Poompavai Nayanar Temple but was later changed to its present name by the rulers of the Vijayanagar Kingdom.

There is an idol of Angampoompavai at Sri Kapali Temple which faces Lord Shiva. The reason - she was a direct recipient of the Lord's grace. Sri Gnanasambandar was the conduit, and so his idol has been placed at the side. 

Scenes at Mada Streets as the ther moves forward

The pictures above describe the scene at the Mada Streets right now. 

The Police are constantly announcing devotees to be safe and to secure their belongings. Some of them were also handed pins to secure their chains. Police dogs have also been pressed into service. 

A group of young girls, dancing to religious songs and bhajans, will continue to follow the ther as it makes its rounds.  

Video of ther, taken today morning

Here is a video, taken just before the ther left the shed today morning. 

The video was taken by Kalyani Muralidharan, a resident of C. I. T. Colony, Mylapore

The Thiruther festival has begun

Picture by Kalyani Muralidharan

The beautifully decorated ther has started making its way around the Mada Streets. Here is a picture taken just when it was leaving the shed. 

It will take more than four hours for the ther to complete one round. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Medical camp to help devotees during Ther and Arubathimoovar

MTS Academy in association with Chennai Medical College is organising a medical camp on April 8 and 9 to benefit devotees during the Ther and Arubathimoovar celebrations. 

At Vanniyar Mandapam, East Mada Street, Mylapore. Ph: 9444991415.

Police permission needed to distribute food during Arubathimoovar procession

Kapaleecharam,a Mylapore-based NGO says that the police have asked people who wish to undertake annadhanam at the arubathumoovar celebration of Sri Kapali Temple's Panguni festival will need to get police permission.

The Arubathumoovar celebration falls on Sunday.

Quoting the ACP, the NGO in a note said 'those who wish to distribute food and drink, should get the prior permission from the local police. …such distribution in and around the Mada Streets of Mylapore without prior permission is prohibited. 

The note said that people carrying food items for distribution without prior permission, will not be allowed to enter the Mada Streets that day.

Those who wish to perform annadhanam may do so in areas outside Mada Streets with proper arrangements for waste collection and disposal. 

The NGO is making an effort to ensure food is not wasted and wastage does not dirty the mada streets.

Yaanai Vahanam today evening

Today evening, Lord Kapaleeswarar will make an entrance on the Yaanai vahanam (elephant). 

The rishaba vahanam, pallaku and yaanai vahanam symbolize the arrival of Lord Shiva for the celestial wedding. 

After a night long procession Rishaba Vahanam enters the temple early today morning

The Rishaba vahanam procession which started yesterday night (Apr. 6) took more than five hours to complete one round around the Mada Streets. 

The pancha murthis decorated with colourful garlands and ornaments made their way around the temple surrounded by thousands of devotees, some of whom stayed all night long to accompany the procession back into the temple. 

Seen above are some pictures of the scene at the streets and at the temple yesterday night. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Savudal Vimanam; Small figurines shower flowers

Here are some pictures taken during the Savudal vimanam procession held today morning. Small figurines were used to shower flowers on the deities. 

Look out for Silver Rishaba Vahanam today evening

Today evening look out for the Silver Rishaba vahanam procession. 

Lord Somaskandar will be seated on a silver Rishabam (bull), Goddess Karpagambal on a gold Rishabam, Lord Subramaniyar on a peacock, Lord Chandikeshwarar on a small Rishabam (the one used during the pradosham) and Lord Vinayagar on the Mooshikam. 

It is considered to be one of the most important rituals along with Adikara Nandi, Ther and Arubathimoovar. 

Savudal Vimanam procession today morning

Look out for the Savudal Vimanam today morning. Very similar to a pallaku, the deity will be seated inside a wooden structure, with a vimanam on the top. 

Like every other day, the pancha murthis, Sri Somaskandar, Goddess Karpagambal, Lord Subramaniyar, Chandikeshwarar and Lord Vinayagar will be taken out for a procession around the four Mada Streets today. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ladies group to donate gold plated lotus flowers on April 10

On Monday, April 10, during the Bhikshadanar ceremony to be held in the evening, more than 80 members of the Karpagambal Narayaneeyam group will donate 108 lotus flowers made in silver (and plated with gold) to the temple. 

The group attends Narayaneeyam and Sundara Kandam classes, taken once a month at the temple. The sessions are conducted by Indira Srinivasan, a 70 year old senior resident of First Main Road, R. A. Puram. 

Huge garlands catch the eye of the devotees

Picture by K. L. Bala
Several hundred devotees had gathered today morning to witness the Purusha Mirugam vahanam being taken on a procession around the Mada Streets.

The flower garlands in particular caught the eye of several devotees. Several of them gasped as the vahanam, wrapped in the huge garland (as seen in the picture) made its way out of the temple. I am pretty sure it weighs atleast 30 kgs, said a devotee. 

Purushamirugam does the rounds today, Apr 5

Lord Kapaleeswarar and his consort were taken out on the purushamirugam vahanam today, along with Ambal on the simham and Murugan and his consorts on the puli vahanam. Here is a picture of the deities:

10 dhavils and nagaswarams perform for Purusha Mirugam vahanam

A group of bhaktas had organised the music performance of 10 dhavils and nagaswarams this year, for the purusha mirugam vahanam. This is the same group that had donated the silver kavacham for this vahanam last year.

Purusha Mirugam will be taken out today

The purusha mirugam vahanam which symbolizes the Shaivaite and Vaishnavite unity, will be taken out in a procession today morning. As the name suggests, he is half man and half animal and is one of the biggest devotees of Lord Shiva. 

Last year, a silver kavacham for the deity was donated by about 20 members of the Thiruvasaga Thirusabhai, a religious organisation who have been active in the Mylapore area since 1996. 

Seen in the picture is the vahanam at the Eastern entrance of Sri Kapali Temple. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lord Kapaleeswarar; Being decorated before the procession

Picture by K. L. Bala
Devotees and temple officials decorate Lord Kapaleeswarar before he is placed on the Boothan vahanam today evening (Apr. 4). 

The flowers that are used during this festival are usually supplied by one contractor. A tender for the same is issued during the month of January, nearly three months before the festival. 

Bhodan vahanam is getting ready to be taken out - Apr 4 night.

The Bhoodan vahanam is getting ready to be taken out on procession now.
The Lord has come out after being readied with garlands and jewels and is ready to be placed on the vahanam now. The Bhoodan vahanam has a new silver kavacham this year.

Oduvar Sivagurunathan and his team are singing in the Navarathiri mandapam inside the temple.

A colourful display of wares by vendors on East Mada Street

East Mada Street, Mylapore has turned into a busy street today evening, occupied by vendors selling everything from jewellery and toys to balloons and beads. Vehicles entering East Mada Street from Sundareswarar Street are being routed to South Mada Street. 

Right outside Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Saroja from Avadi has set up her bangle shop. She says she comes every year and will be here till the end of the festival. 

Next to her, Ramesh from Besant Nagar has set up a merry-go- round for children. "This is only for toddlers", he says, "but sometimes we make an exception and allow children aged 6 and above to ride this. This usually happens when both siblings want to ride together, he adds. 

Further down, the shutters of the ther have been opened, the kalasam clearly visible on the top. On both sides of Sannidhi Street, you can see the statues of the bhuta ganas which will be placed on the four corners of the big ther. 

Day 4; Animals associated with the deities

Day 4 of the festival is dedicated to the animals associated with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. 

While the lion and tiger denote the vehicles of the Goddess, the naga vahanam denotes Lord Shiva's snake Vasuki and the Aadu (goat) vahanam represents Lord Shiva's father-in-law Dakshan. 

Look out for the Bhoodan, Bhutaki and Tarakasura vahanams

Look out for the Bhoodan and Bhutaki vahanams today evening. Believed to be Bhuta Ganas, these inhabitants of Bhuta Loka have strange figures, some with long teeth while others with big bellies and big faces. 

They will present themselves as companions or attendants of Lord Shiva, representing his side of the alliance. 

It is believed that though these creatures are harmless, they present themselves in that form just to test one's strength and courage. 

Tarakasura vahanam will also make rounds of the four Mada streets today evening. Legends have it that Tarakasura, a demon, attained a boon that he could be defeated only by the son of Lord Shiva. He was eventually killed by Lord Karthikeya, who also kills his brothers Simhamukhan and Soorapadman.  

Kalasam Pooja held for the ther today afternoon

A kalasam pooja for the big ther was performed today afternoon after the Adikara Nandi procession. 

Just before Adikara Nandi returns to the temple after making rounds of the four Mada Streets, a pooja is done for the kalasam after which it is placed on top of the big ther in preparation for the Thiruther festival. This is known as Ratha Kalasa Prathisthai. 

The Thiruther is expected to take place on Saturday, Apr. 8, early in the morning this time. 

Silver kavacham on Adikara Nandi is a 100 years old

Picture by Kalyani Muralidharan
The silver kavacham on Adikara Nandi is a 100 years old. It was first donated in Oct 1917 by T. K. Kumaraswami Bhattar, a resident of Mylapore. 

It took about five years to make this kavacham and cost Rs. 48000, says Murali. P, the caretaker of this kavacham now. It has been in our family for three generations, he adds. 

On Apr. 3 night, a special pooja was done by Murali and his extended family. 100 plates of fruits, coconuts, sugar, dates, dry fruits and other items were presented as naivedyam to Lord Nandi. 

To honour Murali and his extended family, the first deepa aradhanai done inside the temple after Lord Kapaleeshwarar is mounted on Adikara Nandi, is done in their name. 

Adikara Nandi makes his way around the Mada Streets

Picture by K. L. Bala

Picture by K. L. Bala

Lord Kapaleeshwarar and Goddess Karpagambal, on their commander in chief Adikara Nandi left Sri Kapali Temple, Mylapore for a procession today morning around the Mada Streets. 

They were accompanied by priests chanting hymns, young boys beating drums and scores of devotees moving around hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite deity.