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Friday, October 21, 2011

My Grand Daughter Mira

My daughter Bhavana & her daughter Mira are on an annual vacation to India: I present below some of the images captured of Mira in various moods :

Chandi Homam at Sri Saradambal Temple

Chandi Homam is a religious ritual performed by Hindus to invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga or Goddess Chandi. It begins with the Karta (devotee) invoking Agni (God of fire) and inviting him to carry the dravya (offerings into the fire) to the deity. The Goddess, pleased with the offerings grants the wishes of the devotees in the form of benefits like longevity, success in business,removal of obstacles, good health, prosperity, progeny etc.The core of the ceremony involves chanting of Durga Sapthashati. These are 700 secret & powerful mantras in praise of Goddess Durga in which she defeats various demons. With the recitation of each verse offerings are made in the sacrificial fire invoking the the goddess. In Chandi Homa Goddess Durga is considered to be a young Kanya girl, so while performing this homam girl children are worshipped and offered gifts.
During the recently concluded Navaratri Celebrations at Coimbatore I happened to participate in the Chandi Homam at the Sri Saradambal Temple - both as a devotee as well as a cameraman. I present below the series of pics of the homam:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Laksharchanai at Sri Saradambal Temple Coimbatore

Laksharchani was performed at the Shri Sharadambal Temple at Coimbatore during the first three days of the Navaratri. This was chanted by the temple priests as well as students of the Veda Patashala. The Laksharchanai or 100,000 times chanting of the name of Goddess Saradambal was completed over a period of three days. Generous quantities of Kumkumam (Vermilliom) was used during the ceremony. Some pics are given below:
1-3: Laksharchanai chanting
4: Sanctum of Shri Saradamabl
5:Young students of the Veda Parasala

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Madisar or Nine Yards Saree

The nine yard sari or "madisar" is traditional dress for South Indian women. A few decades ago this was a standard wear for all married women. Now a days nine yards saree is worn only on special occasions like weddings, death ceremonies, religious functions and festivals like Diwali.
A Tamil Brahmin girl customarily wears Red Koorai (9 yards silk saree) for the first time during her marriage -with the help of her sister in law just before the Kanya Dhanam( or the father giving away the bride.)
The madisar is complex to tie and even more complex to maintain due to its length.These factors have contributed to the madisar's steep decline in recent times. See below a recent picture of ladies wearing madisars at a religious function.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rameswaram - Ramanathaswamy temple

18-9-2011: After bathing at the 22 Teertams we went back to the hotel for bath and a change to dry clothes. We returned again to the Temple for darsan of the presiding deity and other important Sannathis. This a very significant Thevara Sthalam (considered 8th of the Thevara Sthalams in the Pandyanadu) where the holy saints Appar and Sambandhar have sung praises of the Lord. While the presiding deity is Ramanathaswamy the Ambal or consort is known as Malaivalarkaadali ot Parvathavardini. There is another shrine for Viswanathar-the Shivalingam brought by Hanuman from Kasi - also known as Kasilingam and Hanumanlingam.This temple spread over an area of 15 acres has lofty gopurams,massive walls and a colossal Nandi.It also boasts of a 4000 feet long pillared corridor presumably the longest in the world.What is unique is that the rock is not indigenous to the island and has been brought from elsewhere in Tamilnadu. Some spectacular pics of the famed corridors are presented below:




Rameswaram Teertha Yatra - 22 Holy Teerthams

18-9-2011: After the holy dip in the sea we proceeded towards the Eastern Vimanam of the Temple. It is customary for devotees to visit all the 22 Holy teerthams located within the temple precincts and bathe in the water. Accordingly we bought tickets for the Teertam Yatra and we garnered a young student to accompany us with a rope & bucket to draw the water from the Teerthams (wells) and pour water over our heads. The names of the 22 Teerthams where we bathed are: Mahalakshimi,Savithiri, Gayatri,Saraswathi,Sethumadhava, Gandhamadana, Kavatcha,Gavaya,Nala,Neela,Sanku,Sakkara,Brahmahathi Vimochana,Soorya, Chandra, Ganga, Yamuna,Gaya,Siva,Sadyamirtha,Sarva & Kodi Teertams. These waters are said to possess medicinal qualities.
Pics below tell their own story: