Temple Umbrella

Ceremonial parasol

Kovil kudai (கோவில் குடை) is a ceremonial umbrella or parasol and is one of the ‘aacharas’ or service offered to the deity in certain Hindu temples. It is made of a particular type of silk cloth. The colour of the umbrella for the Perumal temple is different from that of other temples. Ceremonial parasol making is an ancient art confined to certain Saurashtrian families in Chindathiripet.

The above scene is from the Manavala Maamunigal utsavam at The Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane. The procession had 18 umbrellas representing the 18 works of the Saint-Scholar.

The annual procession of Tirupathi Kodai is also famous in Chennai. Every year, devotees from Chennai send 11 ceremonial umbrellas to Tirupati Sri Balaji. These are taken in a procession with a lot of devotion around areas in Chennai and Andhra before presenting to the temple at Tirupathi. These ‘ Thirupathi Kudais’ are treated with great reverence by devotees along the whole route.


Three Generations

Three generations of devotees

Taken at the Manavala Maamunivar Utsavam of Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Thiruvallikkeni, Chennai.

Three generations of Vaishnavites await the Lord returning from the Peyalwar Sannidhi accompanied by 18 ceremonial umbrellas.

From The Chennai Photowalk #151


Diwali fireworks

In spite of high prices, governmental restrictions, and pollution shaming, Chennai kept its appointment with fireworks on Diwali night.

This is a view from my terrace.


Peacock Dance

Pongal Vizha

Delightful dance with the peacock for this girl at Pongal Vizha 3 years ago.

Greeting Well

Well with greeting messages
Well with greeting messages

A well neatly painted with New year greetings as well as Pongal icons.

AT Nemam Village Walk #140 The Chennai Photowalk.

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.

New design and colours

Picture from last year is below.

Wheels of the chariot 2018
Wheels of the chariot 2018


Faces from Thiruvallikkeni

Many faces from Triplicane
Many faces from Triplicane

Thiruvallikkeni or Triplicane is one of the ancient localities of the city of Madras (that is, Chennai). Among other things, it is well known for the Sree Parthasarathy Temple, the streets surrounding that and the festivals associated with it.

These street portraits were taken during the Temple thiruther when the deity is taken around the area in a chariot.

Sugar Candy

How can a thiruvizha be complete without the sugar candy man?

This sugar candy (javvu mittai ஜவ்வு மிட்டாய் or Bombay mithai)  doll on a pole was spotted at the Mylapore Festival.

The candymen are known to make attractive shapes like elephants, swan, flowers etc with the candy to entice children (and adults!)

Those sensitive about hygiene will shudder at the way in which this is made and dispensed.


Saraswathi for golu
Saraswathi for golu

Saraswathi is the Goddess of learning, knowledge, music, and arts. This bommai is part of the endless display of golu dolls for sale in Mylapore.

For more golu doll pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/5AieNZSaoMV5Gv9u6

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?