tamaso maa jyotir gamaya – 5

Sometime after 8 a.m, Sunday 7th Dec…

We enter through the southern portal of the great temple… Spreading  over 25 acres, this , I think, is one of the largest temples in our country…

View, as we step in…

arunachala-temple1

The low wall on the right of the picture above, is the enclosure of one of the many ponds in the temple.

Here is a picture taken, facing this pond-wall…

 

arunachala-temple2

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We first have darshan of Annamalai Swami – the Arunchaleshwara deity…. and then Unnamulai Amman – the Goddess Apitakuchamba…

Coming out of the Goddess’s sanctum, we walk in the southern direction, and come to a small shrine, where several Vedic scholars are chanting the Sama Veda.

A view, looking North from this shrine… The most holy Arunachala Hill is seen in the backdrop…

hill-backdrop

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On the right of the picture above, you would see a row of ‘garage’ like structures. One of them is open…

So what are is housed here? Lets see…

gaja-vahana1

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A group of people are straining to pull out a big mount…An elephant! A silver elephant! Must be weighing tonnes! The pachyderm is aloft two stout wooden poles that are carried by some twenty people…

gaja-vahana2

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Later today is the Aruvathimoovar festival… The festival of the sixty three great Siva devotee saints – the Nayanmaars… Sixty three idols will be carried by young school children, on a procession outside the temple. And in that procession, Lord Arunachaleshwara will be riding this silver elephant…

Here’s another pic…

gaja-vahana3

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We are looking for the place where the place where Yajur Veda Parayana is on… We ask the Sama Veda group… We come to know that Yajur Veda parayana is on at the Navaratri Mandapa….

Next stop : Navaratri Mandapa…

                                      – To be contd –

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