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The below photographs are of the culmination of the 2013 Deepam Festival celebrated at Tiruvannamalai by the lighting of the Deepam Cauldron at the top of Arunachala and also inside the Arunachaleswarar Temple.
The first photograph is of the blessing of the Cauldron inside the Arunachaleswarar Temple before it starts its long trip to the top of Arunachala.
|Rukku's blessing of the Cauldron|
|Cauldron leaving the Temple on its way to top of Arunachala|
The next series of photographs show the fisherman (who are traditionally in charge of the Cauldron, including its lighting) filling the Cauldron with ghee and wick. The small bottles of ghee have been donated by devotees, who often climb the hill during the period the Cauldron is alight to personally deliver their ghee offerings. Large containers of ghee from the Temple are also carried up the Hill to fill the Cauldron.
|Individual ghee pot offerings for the Cauldron|
|Fishermen devotees preparing the Cauldron|
|Wick previously waiting inside the Temple waiting to be carried up the Hill|
|Filling the Cauldron with the wick|
|Arunachaleswarar Temple from Hilltop, notice the crowds in compound|
The next two photographs are of devotees climbing Arunachala to be as close as possible to the Deepam Cauldron to view the lighting. From early morning one can see a column of devotees climbing the Hill from the Temple side. From a distance the column looks like a line of ants.
|Some devotees marking their spot for the Mahadeepam Function|
|Other Devotees eager to climb higher to the top of the Hill|
The next two photos are of the lighting of the 2013 Arunachala Karthigai Deepam Cauldron
|Lighting of 2013 Arunachala Karthigai Deepam|
While the lighting is occurring at the top of Arunachala, so too a smaller cauldron is being lit inside Arunachaleswarar Temple outside the Siva Sannidhi, near the flagstaff. At the culmination of the Deepam function inside Arunachaleswarar Temple, the statue of Ardhanarishvara is carried into the crowds. This is the only time in the year that this statue leaves its permanent place inside the Temple.
|Arunachaleswarar Temple with 2013 Deepam Lights|
|The statue of Ardhanarishvara (Shiva-Parvati)|
The Deepam Flame was burning on the Hill this year for 11 days. In olden times the Deepam pot remained on the top of the Hill and was only taken down the Hill when it was being repaired or replaced. Nowadays the Cauldron is taken up just before Mahadeepam and after its completion is brought back down to Arunachaleswarar Temple to its permanent home in the 1,000 Pillared Hall. Where it will remain until next Deepam at which time it will be repaired (if necessary) and repainted.
|Koparai Puja for the Deepam pots (from top of Hill and Temple)|
I have a full collection of photographs of each day of the 2013 Arunachala Karthigai Deepam Festival which will be soon uploaded with full narratives onto Arunachala Samudra.
In this respect Arunachala Samudra website welcomes contributions be they financial, submission of narratives, articles or photographs, in support and development of what will be the definitive Arunachala Website. There is a PayPal function located at the left column of this Blog. For information regarding alternative methods of sending donations please email via the address located at the top left of Arunachala Grace. Thank you.