Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Kapali Koil Brahmotsavam

Mylapore, the oldest neighbourhood of Chennai sees many cultural and religious festivals every year and the month of Panguni is especially particular as this is the month the brahmotsavam is conducted in Kapaleeswarar Temple.

This is the first time i will miss watching the Adhikara Nandi of Mylapore Kapali Koil as i am in London now. I usally make it a point to go to Mylapore for viewing the Adhikara Nandi during the Kapali koil Brahmotsavam in Mylapore for the past 10 years. I reach there at about 6:30a.m before crowds throng the place. The brahmotsavam is conducted for 10 days during the tamil month of Panguni and follows the schedule below.

Day 1 - Flag hoisting
Day 2 - Adhikara Nandhi
Day 3 - Chavudal Vimanam at 8.30 am and Rishabha Vahanam from midnight onwards
Day 4 - Pallakku in the morning and Yanai vahanam
Day 5 - Ther
Day 6 - Arupathu moovar
Day 7 - Ainthirumenigal festival in the morning and evening
Day 8 - Thirukkalyanam
Day 9 - Uma maheswarar Darshanam after Thirukkalyanam in the morning
Day 10 - 13 Vidayatri festival

During Adhikara Nandi day, the idols of the temple are taken in procession on all the four mada streets. Different points in the Mada street have a toy of garuda bhagawan tied in a rope hanging with a pot full of flowers in his hand. When the deity comes near the Garudan, the Garudan is made to swing as if he is in a oonjal and when he comes close to the deity as a result of the swing, the pot of flowers is showered on the deity by the Garudan amidst the chants of namah sivaya. As Papanasam Sivam wrote, "Kaana kan kodi vendum".

You can also spot a lot of prominent personalities during this festival who were either born in Mylapore or reside in Mylapore. I have seen writer Balakumaran, Umpire Venkatraghavan and a lot of NRI's shooting the event on their camcorders. The old houses on the mada street, the javvu mittai that is sold, the gypsies selling pasi malai etc, thavil/nadaswara ghoshti and the old maamas in full white veshti and a kadhar white sattai sipping coffee and having pongal in Karpagambal mess opposite to Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan are a delight to watch.

1 comment:

Gokul said...


An appropriate gopulu painting would be the icing in your fine baked cake!