22 March 2011

Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple Brahmotsavam

Sri Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore

The 10 day Panguni Thiruvizha of the Karpagambal Kapaaleeswarar temple in Mylapore, Chennai was celebrated from March 10th this year[2011], marking the start of the annual festival in Mylapore, which attracts people from all parts of the world.  

Kapaleeshwarar Temple Gopuram,  Mylapore

On all 10 days, Vinayakar, Kapaleeswarar-Karpagambal, Murugar with Valli Deivayaanai and Chandikeswarar [Ainthirumenigal - 5 deities] are taken in procession around the 4 Maada veedhis on different vahanams on pallakkus, palanquins, chariots.  As an opportunity for the asuras and demons to redeem themselves from their sins and bad actions, they are also used by the Lord as His vahanams during this 10 day festival.  

The flag on the Dwajastambam marks the commencement of the festival
The Flag with the sacred symbols and inscriptions to ward off all evil during the Festival
1.  10th March 2011 - Thursday Kodiyaetram The flag was hoisted on Panguni Uthiram, on 10th March 2011  marking the commencement of the festival. 
The Lord gives darshan in the mandapam at 6.30 am. The flag hoisting  took place around 7.00 am to 7.30 am with the Lord on Pavazha kaal vimaanam.

Lord Ganesha after Kodiyetram

Sri Karpagambal as peacock-hen worshiping Lord Shiva
10th March,2011 at around 9.30pm Karpagambal is in the form of a peacock-hen with trees as  vahanams:  In the evening at 10.00 pm, the deities were taken in procession on trees as vahanams - Punnai maram, Karpaga maram and vengai maram] Karpagambal can be seen here, in the form of a peacock, worshipping the Lord.

Punai Vruksh
Vengai Vruksh
Karpaga Vruksh
Sooriya Prabhai
Chandra Prabhai
Killi[Parrot] Vihanam
2.  11th March 2011 - Friday - Sooriya Prabhai [Morning] Chandra Prabhai [Evening]: On this day, there is the procession of the Lord - the Surya vattam at 8.30 am and Chandra vattam at 9.00 pm.  In the night, the procession of Karpagambal on kili vahanam [parrot] and Murugar with Valli and Dievayaanai on Annapakshi vahanam [swan] was a delight to watch.  

Murugar with his consorts
3.  12th March 2011 - Saturday Adhikara Nandhi, Gandharva, Gandharvi, Mooshika, Rishaba vaahanams  
Adhikaara Nandhi, an important procession is celebrated on this day.  Kapaleeswarar is seated on a huge silver [kavasam] Adhikaara Nandhi,   Karpagambal on a Gandharvi, Murugar with Valli Deivayaanai on a Gandharvan, Vinayagar on a Mooshikam and Chandikeswarar on a silver rishabam.  At 9.30 am is the celebration of Ambal feeding Thirugnana Sambandar with Gnaana Paal 

Lord Ganesha
Adhikara Nandhi
12th March 2011-  9pm -  Boodhan, Boodhaki, Tharagaasura vaahanams. 

Boodha Vahanam

Boodhagi Vahanam
Tharugasura Vahanam
4.  13th March 2011 - Sunday - Purusha mirugam [partial man, partial animal- a gargoyle], Lion, Tiger vaahanams 

Simha Vahanam
Vyaagra Vahanam
13th March 2011 - 9.00 pm - Snake, Kamadhenu, Ram vaahanams 
Sesha Vahanam
Mesha Vahanam
Kamadhenu Vahanam
5.  14th March 2011 - Monday9.30 am - Sowdel Vimanam  
14th March 2011 - Monday -11.00 pm - Velli [silver and Thanga[gold] Rishaba vahanam 

Sowdel Vimanam
Lord Murugar on Peacock Vimanam
Velli Rishaba Vahanam
Thanga Rishaba Vahanam
Mayil Vahanam
6. 15 March  2011  - Tuesday Pallakku procession 
15 March 2011- Tuesday10.30 pm - Elephant vaahanam for all five deities  

Pillayaar Pallakku
Murugar Pallakku
Karpagambal Pallakku
Kapali Pallakku
Thanga Yaanai
Vallai Yaanai
7. 16 March 2011 - WednesdayTherottam [Chariot, Car Festival]

This is an important event of the 10 day festival.  The Lord is seated in a huge chariot which is richly decorated with thoranams and  floral garlands present a kaleidoscope of colors and adornments which pleases both the eyes and the mind.  There are wonderful carvings and sculptures of yazhis, horses, guards on the chariot. It is considered a great pious act to draw this chariot.  Devotees voluntarily draw the chariot. In the evening the idols from the thers are taken back to the temple.  All the Gods and Goddesses are taken round the four Mada streets in a chariot drawn by thousands of people.  

Pillayaar Ther
Kapali Ther

Karpagambal Ther
Murugar Ther

Chadeeswarar Ther

Beautiful ornamentation of the Ther
Sri Karpagambal with beautiful Jadai Alangaram
8.  17 March 2011 - Thursday11.00 am - Thirugnana Sambandar giving life to Poombavai 

This day marks  the Saivaite Nayanar, Tirugnanasambandar. Once, Sambandar who was on a pilgrimage to the various Siva temples, visited Mylapore on his way. Prior to his visit, a young girl called Arum Poompavai, the daughter of a trader, Sivanesa chettiar, died of a poisonous snake bite. The chettiar, a stanch devotee of Lord Siva, was hopefully waiting for the arrival of Sambandar to Mylapore to revive his dead daughter. The Nayanar coming to know of the untimely death of the girl, prayed to the Lord and  invoked her from the ashes preserved in a pot, by singing a verse, asking her why she had gone away without seeing the festivals of Sri Kapaleeswarar:

This famous verse of Sambandar is this:
மட்டிட்ட புன்னை அம்கானல் மடமயிலைக்
கட்டிட்டங் கொண்டான் கபாலீச்சரம் அமர்ந்தான்
ஒட்டிட்ட பண்பின் உருத்திரபல்கணத்தார்க்கு
அட்டிட்டல் காணாதே போதியோ பூம்பாவாய் – சம்பந்தர்

It is said, at the end of this verse, the girl rose from the ashes like getting up from sleep. There is a shrine within the temple near the Dwajasthambam for Tirugnana Sambandar and Angampoompavai
Lord Kapali
Ambal Pinalangaram
17 March 2011 - 3.30 pm - The Aruvathumoover festival: A procession of the 63 Naayanmaars and the Ainthirumenigal.  This day is  considered to be the most important event of this series, is a huge crowd puller in several thousands from in and around Mylapore coming to witness and participate in this grand festival.  On this day, some of the other deities in Mylapore like Arulmighu  Kolavizhi Amman, Mundaka Kanni Amman, Draupathi Amman and others joine the procession of the 63 Nayanmars, who had immortalized themselves by their devotion or bhakthi to the Lord.

Nayanmaars taken in procession

63 Nayanmars before Lord Shiva

63 Naayanmars taken in Procession

Velli Vimanam

Karpagambal in Silver Vimanam

Murugar, Valli and Deivanai


ThirugnanaSambandar on 63var Day

Angam Poombhavai

Arulmighu Angaala Parameshwari Amman
Mundaka Kanni Amman taken in procession
9.  18 March 2011 - Friday - Pichadanar -  3.30 pm - Iravalar Kolavizha
Pichandar-Lord Shiva known for his playful deeds, takes this form and goes round the mada
streets for collecting money for his marriage!
The Ainthirumenigal are taken in procession both morning and in the evening.  At 6.30 pm, during the evening procession, Kapaleeswarar as Bikshaadanar has a begging bowl in his hand.  He is supposed to have spent all his wealth for the festival preparations ; hence has no money to wed Karpagaambaal.  He collects money from his devotees for the wedding celebrations.  

10.  19 March 2011 - Saturday 3.30 pm - Thiru Kalyaanam [Panguni Uthiram]  
On the final day, Ainthirumenigal are taken in procession in the morning [Thiru Kootha Perumaan - Natarajar] and theerthavaari is performed getting the idols ready for the evening celebrations.


 Karpagambal with Thaali after She weds Kapaleeswarar
At 7.30 pm, Karpagaambaal in the form of a mayil [peacock], offers worship to Lord Siva under the punnai maram.  At 10.45 pm, the divine wedding takes place.  
Karpagambal worshiping  Lord Shiva in Peacock form
Kailasa Vahanam
Lord Shiva taken by Ravana to Kailaayam
The couple are then taken to their abode Kailaayam, lifted by Raavana, an ardent devotee of Shiva. 

One may be wondering why Ravana is with only nine heads in this picture. The  story behind this is:

The legend has it that Ravana, the mighty emperor of the Rakshasas and an ardent devotee of Lord Siva started lifting Kailash to take it to his mother’s abode  to enable her to worship the Lord, as she was disabled to move on account of her old age. The mountain Kailash started shaking a little and on seeing this, the Lord Siva stamped on Ravana and he was caught crushed beneath the mighty mountains. Later, as a measure of redemption to what he had done, Ravana, who was also a talented celestial  musician, started singing with an improvised Veena as an accompaniment to please the Lord. This veena, in his hands, was made of by clipping one of his heads and other parts of his body.  

Kailasa sevai is  beautiful and inspiring to watch, with the huge idols of the demon Ravana carrying Lord Siva, measuring some fifteen to sixteen feet tall and about eight feet wide. It fills the entire doorway of the temple tower. The seva, with lots of beautifully decorated big, colorful, flowing flower garlands is a fitting finale to the Panguni Uthiram festivals at the Kapaleeshwarar Temple.  

The festival came to a close on 20-03-2011.  

The flag is brought down as an indication of the completion of the 10 day festival.  The festivities come to an end with Chandeswarar vizha. 

The next day, the divine couple give darshan as Uma Maheswarar. 

It is believed that the Lord comes out in procession to give darshan even to those devotees who are unable to visit his temple for various reasons.  He comes out of his abode to meet and bless his devotees.

Festive Air in the Mada Streets of Mylapore
During the 10 day festival, Mylapore turns into a place of intense activity and there is a festive look to the entire place with all the people enjoying the festival with their families.  

Sri Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore
To get to know more on Punguni Uthiram Festival, you may also see my posting:


To learn more on the aspects and significance of this Panguni Festival, you may click on the below link:


1 comment:

Jyothisharatna Raman said...

viewed all pics.Had Darsan of Deities Wonderful !

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