The deity is mounted in chapparam, ivory palanquin, Kamadhenu, golden peacock, goat, silver elephant, silver chariot, golden horse and other vahanas (carriers) at street level and on the fifth day in the golden car atop the hill. The seventh day, the Panguni Uttiram is the day of days. The deity is taken to the waters for a dip at dawn. A pair of wooden sandals, kavadi and Idumban Thadi is also anointed.
Maha Abhishekam follows this before noon. In the evening, the large chariot is drawn by thousands of people, the high and the low with great devotion and humility. The temple car or chariot of the deity is a popular feature of the religious scene in Tamil Nadu. No one dares to think it derogatory to pull the chariot.
The ancient rulers themselves led the pulling. People flock in strength to help the chariot move and it is the tradition to compare large crowds to 'those, which throng to draw temple-cars'.
Built of wood by skilled artisans, with intricate carved designs, the temple car is a picture of symmetry. The canopy is ornamental and has an imposing appearance, as it rises tier by tier. The car is mounted on heavy wooden wheels. Its movement is slow. The procession halts at stops known as "mandapams" constructed specially for this purpose. At these places, customary offerings are made.
On the eighth day, near the Vaiyapuni tank, all eyes are turned towards the sky to watch the illumination of crackers.The deity is richly dressed and bedecked with jewels, in different styles throughout the festival period. Electrical illumination is done on a lavish scale. A team of eminent scholars gives religious discourses.
The festival season is a music season as well, with well-known artistes giving vocal and instrumental concerts. Nayyandi Melam, Villup Pattu (Bow Song), Harikatha Kalkshepam (extempore telling of epic stories), Pommalattam (Shadow Play), Karakam dance (dancing with a pot over the head), etc. are the other attractions providing feast to the senses.
Several institutions that have endowments for this noble purpose arrange poor feeding. During the course of the festival, the deity's spirit is believed to enter some devotees who will thereupon act as though they are in a state of delirium and prophecies coming events. A hundred thousand people in some year's even larger numbers shave off their heads, as penance and offer their fondly cultivated scalp to the deity, during this festival.
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