Karthigai Deepam in Tiruvannamalai would be nothing without the torch at the top of the mountain. We are fortunate to have photos of this, taken by Jim Clark whom you may have seen taking videos in other Deepam postings. (Here is a video he did for Sri Ramanasramam that shows their Deepam ceremonies.)
the torch goes up the mountain the day before Deepam. It is done the day before Deepam, since on that day there are way too many people climbing Arunachala with ghee to keep the lamp burning for the next ten nights.
There are only a few people at the top of the hill. This is still pretty early in the morning.
The crew that is carrying the torch nears the top. Above the torch, they are pulling a rope tied to the top of the lamp, I think to help stabilize the load as it makes its way up the hill.
Here comes the torch suspended from poles. By the time they are here, they have been carrying it for more than one hour.
It looks like four men have the poles in front.
Just a bit more to go to get to the top. Each meter climbed is a big job.
Up the hill. More people are helping now.
I count five people on the poles at the bottom.
There is a steep bit to go up. This takes the effort of everybody to life it up and over.
Up we go!
Keep it moving, only a little more.
They made it! They made it!
Now the easy part is setting it up.
Standing back to see a job well done.
Painted on the torch is Lord Arunachala, rising in the flame.
They are done for now. In about 12 days they will have to carry the torch back down the mountain. For the next ten nights, it will burn.
Tags: Karthigai Deepam