Blue Enamel Board

West Mambalam

The blue enamel street name boards were very common in Madras once. They have been replaced by modern signages but some remain. The steps lead to the chariot of the Kothanda Rama Swamy temple.

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Changing Colours

Wheels of the chariot
Wheels of the chariot 2019

Change is inevitable. Even the wheels of the Parthasarathi swami ther have undergone a transformation in colour and design.

Here, a devotee places granular salt under the wheels before the thaer with the deity is taken out.

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New design and colours

Picture from last year is below.

Wheels of the chariot 2018
Wheels of the chariot 2018

 

Salt under the Wheels

Triplicane temple ther
Triplicane temple ther

During the Thiruvallikkeni Sree Parthasarathy Temple ‘ther’ festival I observed that rough granular salt was poured in front of the wheels. Is this a religious ritual or is there any scientific reason for this?

The Cortege

A funeral complete with decorated can and drummers
A funeral complete with decorated van and drummers

As we entered Mylapore maada veedhi, a procession with drummers, dancers, firecrackers and a van decorated like a ratham, greeted us. It was no festival but a funeral. While we took this in our stride, a group of curious tourists started clicking away.

A funeral complete with decorated van and drummers
A funeral complete with decorated van and drummers

At the Rath Yatra

Curious eyes at Rath yatra

The Hare Krishna Movement or The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON, for short)  conducted a Rath yatra on Saturday, starting from the Elliott’s Beach Besant Nagar. This Young devotee was spotted at the start of the yatra.

Chariot for the Gods

Sri Kodanda Ramar temple ther
Sri Kodanda Ramar temple ther

Almost every Hindu temple has a wooden chariot or “ther” to take out the idols on procession on designated occasions. Though they are used only occasionally, great attention is given to the chariots. Most have very elaborate wooden carvings matching or even surpassing the stone sculptures in beauty. They are also adorned with all ‘alankarams’ when needed: otherwise, they are confined to their sheds. Modern technology is nowadays used for wheels, axles, brakes etc to enhance the safety factor.

The above ‘ther’ is from the Kodanda Rama Temple, West Mambalam. It has recently been spruced up for a festival.

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Temple Chariot motif

Gajalakshmi motif from a temple chariot
Gajalakshmi motif from a temple chariot

Marundeeswarar temple, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

Crowd effect

Figures on the temple chariot
Figures on the temple chariot

In a city like Madras, there is no dearth of temple festivals. Attending a temple festival gives one spiritual upliftment and social enlightenment. For a photographer, it provides also varied photo-ops.

However, physically, one may feel drained out like the figures in the temple ‘ther’ (chariot) above.

From The Chennai Photowalk #98 – Triplicane