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Thursday, March 3, 2022

what is unique in Thiruvallikkeni theppam 2022 ?

                     Many of you know, how a Car is driven – the vehicle gets power as in the engine, petrol / diesel is burnt with oxygen in metal cylinders, there is gear box and more! – in boats there would be propeller.  May have seen in Movie chasing scenes – boat would be steered by simply tilting the motor casing of motor, the propeller would push the water away from it at an angle !

Descartes is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France,  on the banks of the Creuse River.  Gustave Pierre Trouvé  was born here in 1839 ! – what is the relevance of this, as also the above photo !!

A ship or a boat is a contraption  that can float and move on the ocean, a river, or any waterbody, either through its own power or using power from the elements (wind, waves, or Sun). Plain steel would sink in water immediately, as would a wrecked steel ship !

The reason that a ship floats is that it displaces a lot of water. The displaced water keeps pushing  the ship upwards – this force is called the buoyancy force. The more water that is displaced, the stronger the buoyancy force is which pushes the object up. Any object dipped  into water experiences two forces: the gravity force which pulls it down due to its weight, and the buoyancy force which pushes it up. If these forces are equal, then the object floats. This is about the divine float – the Theppam for Lord Sriman Narayana

ஸ்ரீராமனின் காதை  "இராமாயணம்" ஒரு அற்புத காவியம்.  கம்ப நாட்டாழ்வான் - கங்கைகாண் படலத்திலே - ஸ்ரீராமனுக்காக, குகன் கொணர்ந்த நாவாய்களின் அழகை  இவ்வாறு  விவரிக்கிறார்.:  

நங்கையர் நடையின் அன்னம் நாண் உறு செலவின் நாவாய்,

கங்கையும் இடம் இலாமை மிடைந்தன-கலந்த எங்கும்,-

அங்கொடு, இங்கு, இழித்தி ஏற்றும் அமைதியின், அமரர் வையத்து

இங்கொடு அங்கு இழித்தி ஏற்றும் இருவினை என்னல் ஆன.. .....

பெண்கள் நடைபோன்ற நடையையும்;  அன்னப் பறவைகள்  நாணப்படும்படியான நீரிற் செல்லுதலும் உடைய, நாவாய்;  அக்கரையில் உள்ளாரை   இக்கரையில்  ஏற்றி இறக்கும்தன்மையினால்; தேவருலகமாகிய அவ்வுலகத்தோடு; இவ்வுலகில் உள்ளாரை ஏற்றிச்செல்லும் புண்ணியம் பெற்றவையாக, பெருங்கடல் போன்ற புண்ணிய கங்கை நதியிலும் கூட இடமில்லையோ எனும்படி எல்லா இடங்களிலும் நிறைந்து இருந்தனவாம். 

 In the divyadesam of Thiruvallikkeni, the tamil month of Masi has special significance.  On the Full moon [Pournami day and Magam Nakshathiram] Sri Parthasarathi Swami visits the shores of Marina, famously known as Masi Magam   On Masi New moon [Amavasyai] starts the float festival at Thiruvallikkeni.   The tank of Sri Parthasarathi Swami is famous ~ it is  ‘Kairavini Pushkarini’… the pond of Lily – ‘allikkeni’ from which the place itself derives its name (~ and my blog is titled Kairavini Karaiyinile  literally meaning on the banks of holy Kairavini, the temple  tank).    

Every year there is  ‘theppam’ – the float festival. A floating structure gets spruced up, made of drums, timber and ornated beautifully. Perumal comes  to the temple tank in purappadu and is placed majestically inside the float. The beautifully lit theppam is dragged around in water, pulled by devotees by ropes ! . .. ..  Devotees in hundreds converge, sit everywhere on the steps of the temple tank to have darshan of the Lord on theppam. In olden days, the shops springing up for the occasion were of added attraction.  (the underlined one about ropes and pulling had been happening year after year – not this year !)  

The annual float festival of the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple starts every year on Masi Ammavasai day and is a 7 day affair.   This year the Theppa Utsavam began on 3.3.2022 and today is day 2 of the Theppothsavam.  Ydya, today and tomorrow are for  Sri Parthasarathi Perumal – then a day each for Sri Azhagiya Singar, Sri Ranganathar, Sri Ramapiran & Sri Gajendra Varadhar.  

Have been enjoying theppam for at least 4 decades .. .. this year, copious water presented a newer challenge.  With water remaining over the sand portion, structures and some trees, the depth is uneven and theppam cannot be properly operated and cannot be pulled as the steps on which devotees would walk pulling the theppam are under water.  This year uniquely and for the first time, theppam is run by powerful outboard engine ! – there were floating buoys too  doubling as markers !

Until engines were invented, the only way to power a small boat was with oars or sails. It took ages to move way from wind or muscle power. Outboard motors changed all that. Invented in the early years of the 20th century, outboards brought the same freedom to small boats that gasoline engines brought to cars.

Marine propulsion is the mechanism or system used to generate thrust to move a ship or boat across water. While paddles and sails are still used on some smaller boats, most modern ships are propelled by mechanical systems consisting of an electric motor or engine turning a propeller, or less frequently, in pump-jets, an impeller.  The first advanced mechanical means of marine propulsion was the marine steam engine, introduced in the early 19th century. During the 20th century it was replaced by two-stroke or four-stroke diesel engines, outboard motors, and gas turbine engines on faster ships. Marine nuclear reactors, which appeared in the 1950s, produce steam to propel warships and icebreakers; commercial application, attempted late that decade, failed to catch on. Electric motors using electric battery storage have been used for propulsion on submarines and electric boats and have been proposed for energy-efficient propulsion.

The first known outboard motor was a small 5 kilogram electric unit designed around 1870 by Gustave Trouvé, and patented in May 1880.  The one seen here is Yamaha brand Outboard motor.  Outboard motors are propulsion systems that have  a self-contained unit that includes engine, gearbox and propeller or jet drive, designed to be affixed to the outside of the transom.   As well as providing propulsion, outboards provide steering control, as they are designed to pivot over their mountings and thus control the direction of thrust. The skeg also acts as a rudder when the engine is not running. Unlike inboard motors, outboard motors can be easily removed for storage or repairs. In order to eliminate the chances of hitting bottom with an outboard motor, the motor can be tilted up to an elevated position either electronically or manually.   

Interesting .. ..  Here are some photos of theppam on  day 2 &  purappadu.     


adiyen Srinivasadhasan.
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar
3rd Mar 2022.


  1. Amazing ❤️ Thanks for the wonderful article and mesmerizing photographs. Science and spirituality!!!