Deepam 2009 – The Night of the Silver Chariots

by

The night before the day when the big chariots go in procession through Tiruvannamalai there is a special procession of silver chariots that starts about midnight. A friend, Jim Clark, took these photos and kindly let me share them with you.

This is a big event. Just look at the crowd. Many people stayed up for this procession!

The chariots are well lit.

First I think should be Ganesh. It is hard to make him out in the glare. Other chariots follow behind.

_DSC5248

_DSC5250

In the night, this all seems magical.

_DSC5278

_DSC5289

These chariots are beautiful.

_DSC5292 crop2

What a crowd!

_DSC5293

Robin is shooting video of all this.

_DSC5280

Next should come Murugan.

_DSC5255

Drums and horns lead  the way.

_DSC5270

Murugan’s chariot is pulled by horses. (Just ignore the tractor in front.)

_DSC5273

_DSC5341

_DSC5342

The figures are wonderful, life size and life like. Ceramic? Wood? 

_DSC5366

Murugan passes the west gopuram.

_DSC5336

_DSC5335

_DSC5260

_DSC5264

Pulled behind each chariot is a generator, to light the lights. It can be seen in the photo below, painted blue. .

_DSC5265

There are men carrying lamps to light the way.

_DSC5287

Now comes Annamalai and Unnamalai, the Lord and Lady of Arunachaleswara Temple.

_DSC5298

Golden horses for the Lord and Lady.

_DSC5301

The crush of the crowd is greatest for them, too.

_DSC5305

Boys watch raptly (except for those looking at the camera).

_DSC5312

There they are, Annamalai on the left and Unnamalai to the right.

_DSC5314

Amazing workmanship on the chariot!

_DSC5317

_DSC5319

After the Lord and Lady comes Meenakshi (I think).

_DSC5327

Past the west gopuram.

_DSC5329

_DSC5331

_DSC5335

 

_DSC5325

 

_DSC5372

One more god follows. Since the order of the gods looks to be that of the first day’s procession, this must be Chandikeswara. He is the record keeper of devotees who visit a Siva temple, and is considered part of Siva’s family, hence is included in the procession.

_DSC5338

_DSC5339

Chandikeswara goes by. This is the end of the procession.

_DSC5387

This is a night of magic. This is the kind of procession you would remember for the rest of your life. But it is just one aspect of Deepam. Such a rich celebration!

thanks again to Jim Clark for the photos.

Related Posts

Deepam 2009

First Day Chariots
Second Day Procession
Day of the Big Chariots
Getting ready for the Big Day
Getting the Torch to the top of Arunachala
Deepam Night in Tiruvannamalai

Deepam 2008

Deepam Scenes
Deepam Scenes – Part Two
Deepam – Preparing the Flame

Advertisements

Tags:

One Response to “Deepam 2009 – The Night of the Silver Chariots”

  1. sriraml Says:

    Great photos! Especially the one of Annamalai and unnamulai amman.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: