In Thiruvallikkeni, festivities in the temple never stops……. After the grand Theppothsavam [float festival]; it is Thavana Uthsavam now. It would amaze one to understand the significance of each Uthsavam and the care with which our elders have designed them. There are palatial buildings [bungalows] specially built for providing rest to Perumal on different occasions ~ at Thiruvallikkeni, there is Thavana Uthsava Bungalow situated in Thulasinga Perumal Koil Street which hosts this Uthsavam and thus bears the name.
Viewing it now, one may not be overawed but yet bowled by the raised platform of the structure - called bungalow, this one has undergone some structural changes over the years………. earlier it had two ‘goris’ [minars] ~ one can reach the top of the minars through the steps provided one was not afraid of bats which would flutter and fly. Cricket was played in the sands before the moat. When it was the time of Perumal’s visit, enthusiastic residents would draw water from the well, sprinkle on the sands that surround the raised structure, colourful kolams will be drawn adding to the religious atmosphere.
There were some ‘Arali’ plants – the red ones – and an old woman (one could easily think of her to be a nonagenarian) would pluck them to make lovely garlands for Perumal. Arali (Nerium Oleander) is an evergreen shrub in the family Apocynaceae, toxic in its parts. It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested. It would look ornamental and fragrant too – the tender bud (mottu) can be plucked, put in water and next morning one would happily see a beautiful flower. A couple of decades ago, one of those gories fell down, the other one remains – the building structure stands reconstructed - the enthusiasm remains.
During this Thavanothsavam, Perumal comes to the place in the morning, has Thirumanjanam and takes rest under the roof made of thavanam – an aromatic herb. Dhavanam (Tamil: தவனம்) [Artemisia pallens], is an aromatic herb, in genus of small herbs or shrubs, xerophytic in nature. This herb pervades great aroma and provides coolness. During the Uthsavam, a kooralam [roof] made of Dhavanam is set up over the resting place of the Lord. In the evening, there would be purappadu inside the bungalow, thence – periya mada veethi purappadu to the temple.
Here are some photos taken during today’s purappadu – day 2 of the five day Uthsavam.
Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.
5th Mar 2017