Spectacular Street Parade of a Sparkling Silver Cart

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

You are invited to the festival of this world and your life is blessed” ~ Rabindranath Tagore, (1861-1941), (Indian Poet, Playwright and Essaiyist.Won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1913)

The Silver Vel cart decorated with fresh flower garlands, lines of electrical bulbs in Yellow and traditional cloth hanging paraded through the main streets of Colombo.

The 136th Annual Aadi Vel festival was held in Colombo with colour and glamour. Beautifully decorated Silver cart left the the Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Sea Street left in the morning on July 24th 2010 and reached the Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy in Bambalapitty at night, and stayed there for three nights.

The same cart left the Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Bambalapitty on 27th July 2010 in the morning and reached the Colombo Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Sea Street on July 28th 2010 early morning.

The colourful procession paraded through the main streets in Colombo. Traditional musicians playing the Thavil and Naathaswaram led the procession. The festival wended through many main streets in Colombo after a lapse of 16 years.

The colourful procession started from Pettah and travel through York Street, Echelon Square and Galle Road to Bambalapitty, which has been the route for the annual Vel festival for more the 100 years.

The idols of Lord Murugan and his two wives Goddess Valli Ammai and Goddess Theivayaanai paraded in the cart and blessed the devotees on the way. Special Poojas were offered during their comfortable stay at Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Bambalapitty.

The whole temple was decorated beautifully with Yellow colour lights, Banana leaves and fresh flower ganrlands. Devotees thronged the temple in large numbers to welcome and worship the visiting deities and enjoy the traditional musical concerts.

And traditional musicians played throughout the colourful procession filled the streets of Colombo. Many devotees worshipped the visiting deities, fulfilled their vows and made new vows.

A view of Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Bambalapitty

The Chendai is used as an accompaniment for Kathakail,Koodiyaattam and among many forms of dances and rituals in Kerala

Visiting Indian musicians are seen performing

Torch bearer of the festival

Shower time at dawn

Religious texts confirm how diificult it is to be ndowed with the human form

Performance at every junction in the night

A scene at Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Bambalapitty at dawn

Chariot parades in the night

Music lovers stop by to enjoy

Decorated Bull in Bambalapitty

Devotees throng to worship and watch the Vel cart

The Bulls have been pulling the Silver cart for 136 years

Deities are being taken on a parade inside the temple

Panchchaararththi is being offered to the deities

The true supreme spirit resides within the body and mind the always

Naagai Kalaichudarmani Sakalakala Thavil Maamurasu Thavil Chakkaravarthy Sikkal P.Srinivasan and group at a stage performance in the night

Many gather to fulfill their vows

Performance continues amidst the hot weather

Beautifully decorated deities are on the move

Carvings on the Chariot

Horns are decorated with wool bands and ribbons

Prayer must be the very core of the life of man

Chendai is used in some parts of Karnatak where it is called Chande

The festival reaches it highest spirit at night

Chendai musicians are on mobile at night

Decorated for the festival

The festival reaches its highest spirit in the night

A section of festive goers

Kerala’s Chenkanoor Sivankutty and group-Panchcha Vaaththiyam-Chendai are being performed at night during the Vel fetival

Lines of electric bulbs are lit to decorate the whole temple

Silver dress for Lord Vinayagar at the main sanctum

Ardent devotees listening to a spiritual speech delivered by Muthamizh Viththagi Vasuki Manokaran at Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple

The visiting deities at Aanantha Sayanam (Beautiful Sleep) at Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple

Beautiful view of…..from Nattukkottai Nagaraththaar ri Kathirvelaayuthaswmay temple

The Chendai is mainly played as an accompaniment in the Hindu religious art forms of Kerala

Hindu believe divinity moves clockwise

Traditional music Kachcheri is performed by visiting Naagai Kalaichudarmani Sakalakala Thavil Maamurasu Thavil Chakkaravarthy Sikkal P.Srinivasan

Devotees are seen buying trays of offerings

Goddess is dressed in Red for Aadi Sevvaai at Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Bambalapitty

Chendai drummer keeps beating without break

Flag bearers of the festival

Heavy Chariot moves slowly on the streets

Devotees singing Lord Murugan devotional songs

Continuous strikes by an Indian drummer

Chariot moves through a heavy morning traffic in Colombo

Kerosene cart in Bambalapitty

Chendai musician from Kerala blows an iron Trumpet

Karakkam dancers are taking part in the procession

Beautiful wooden horses hang on Chariot

Velupillai Arichchandran is dressed up and pretended to be the Idumban

Many gathered to witness the colourful fetival

Traditional musicians are seen playing devotional songs

Theevatti or torch is usually carried in front of the procession

A cupid on the Chariot

The Chief Priest of Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy temple in Bambalapitty Nagarajah Kurukkal is taking a ride in the chariot

Row of musicians on the road

At the bottom of the Chariot

Decorated bulls pull the Chariot

The deities are seated in the moving Chariot

God is present as the soul in every living hing

Competing with the heavy morning traffic

Sivasri Kamalanatha Kurukkal of Naattukkottai Nagaraththaar Sri Kathirvelaayuthaswamy in Sea Street accompanying the deities

The pinnacle is decorated with flower garland,Silk and Umbrella

The path of faith and devotion brings happiness and protects one from grief

Wooden Dolls fixed to the Chariot

Colourful Chariot takes the lead on Galle Road

Men are seen breaking coconuts to fulfill their vows

After offering to the God

Bajan singers follow the Chariot
____________________________________________
HumanityAshore.org ~ Email: dushi.pillai@gmail.com

7 Comments

  1. Anbu says:

    simply divine

  2. Anton Norbert says:

    Absolutely brilliant photo journalism. Brought back many fond memories. Remember every moment of the Vel festival and the many vendors with their goodies around the temple.

    Cheers.

  3. Rajinder Adikaritileke says:

    Great, finally like the good old days – God bless Sri Lanka

  4. Tony says:

    How beutiful to look at it like my memories brought back to my young old days.And i wish all the best to Tamils ,Muslims,sinhalese and christians on future.

  5. Anonymous says:

    god bless Sri lanka……………Ram.S

  6. meranchi says:

    pleasure to see again festival season with out fear

  7. GANESH says:

    Hi Dushi
    I viewed the photos today. Its really really amazing Dushi. Superb work. Very difficult to comment on words. I am happy at least i am able to view your photos and memories of kovil visits.

    Take care
    Ganesh