Huge colorful umrbrellas for Tirupati temple's annual Brahmotsavam

Chennai, temple umbrella for brahmotsavam,Tirupati

4th Oct.2019  Tirumala Garda sevai.

Above image: The makers of temple umbrellas  claim hereditary rights in making the colorful and elegant umbrellas (in Tamil: ''kudaigal'') to dazzle at the Garuda Seva ceremony during the annual Brahmotsavam of the world famous hill  temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati. The hand-made umbrellas  are made ahead of the auspicious Tamil month of Purattasi (September-October). Normally 11 or 13  umbrellas of varying sizes will be sent to Tirupati in a grand religious  procession. The handle, ranging from 7 to 12 feet is made of teak wood, the collapsible parts with cane and the silk-lace work lends charm to the umbrella cover. The umbrellas  are normally  meant for the ''Garudotsavam'' (the fifth day of the Brahmotsavam beginning from September 30, 2019) in Tirupati. Two of them are offered to Goddess Padmavathy. Though the cost is prohibitive, devotees go for such wonderful umbrellas that need special skill. The cost of a small umbrella of 3.5 feet is Rs 3,500 while the price of the bigger one would range anywhere between Rs.30,000 and `Rs.35,000.  There are about  ten to twelve families of artisans at Chintadripet, Chennai,  making temple umbrellas and have been keeping alive this old tradition with great difficulty...........................................................

Chennai, Umbrella procession to Tirupati

The annual ''Brahmotsavam'' festival - a 9-day festival is an important event at Tirumala Sri Venkateswara temple in Andhra state. It is one of the richest temples in the world and is being visited by millions of devotees from different parts of India annually. This popular temple conducts  many religious festivals   with bhakti. Before the start of this annual event, it has been a tradition to send huge colorful umbrellas to the Tirumala temple from Chennai. Only recently they were sent in a religious procession to the hill temple for the ensuing Brahmotsavam festival that starts on 30th September. ''Garuda Seva'' will be on the 4th of October, 2019.

4th Oct.2019  Tirumala Garda sevai.

Above image: Tirupati Sri Balaji temple, Darda Sevai (the fifth day evening).  Lord Sri Venkateswara, sitting on his vahana - Garuda (Garukmantha) is taken out in procession.  A great event being watched by  thousands of devotees led by political heavy weights.  It is mukthi pradham (salvation) to have darshan of the Lord seated on Garuda, the mount of lord Vishnu. The lord is decorated with  garlands specially  sent from Srivilliputhur Andal temple, Tamil Nadu. These were adorned  by goddess Andal before reverentially sending  them to Tirupati. These traditional garlands are made of tulsi, sevanthi and sampangi flowers. A long-cherished tradition, every year Tirupati Venkateswara's garland is sent to Srivilliputtur Andal Temple for marriage festival of Sri Andal Nachiyyar with Sri Vishnu...........................................

Garuda Vahanam, Tirupati, AP.
Before the beginning of the annual Brahmotsavam festival of the Lord Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, it has been a practice every year  that a group of devotees from Chennai  to bring a special set of umbrellas to Tirumala  to be presented to the hill temple for use during the annual festival. There are many such troupes that offer umbrellas to the temple on various auspicious occasions.

A group of several hundred devotees  will take  a set of 11 umbrellas in a procession to Tirupati, 50 km away from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  The 11 beautifully decorated umbrellas are  made of pure silk with a red border, while the laces and ‘Zari’ add to their grandeur,  and they will be be donated to the Lord Balaji temple at Tirumala for the annual Brahmotsavam.  As in the past. the ''Hindu Dharmatha Samithi Trust'', Chennai   on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu does this kainkarya - a humble donation to the lord of the hills. They will be used during the main festival event, in particular, Garuda Seva. The dazzling and colorful umbrellas are physically carried by a group  of devotees from Chennai to Tirumala in a holy, but grand  procession charged with religious passion and devotion. The devotees walk the entire distance barefoot, unmindful of hot weather condition   After handing over two umbrellas to Sri Padmavathi Ammavari temple at Tiruchanur near Tirupati in the morning, the devotees  will take  the remaining nine to Tirumala. Normally it will take three days for them to reach the hill temple and on the way, the procession will stop for a while for darshan by the people who line up along the route. 

The  strong belief has been that those who have a darshan of these sacred umbrellas meant for the deities in Tirumala and Tiruchanur will be freed from  mental agony and physical  sufferings, in addition, they will be blessed with prosperity and peace of mind in their lives.
The procession from Chennai, upon reaching  Tirumala with umbrellas along with silk vastras and other auspicious items, will take them  around the four Maada Veedhis (streets close to the temple), before they are reverentially  handed over to the authorities of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD) in the presence of Jeeyars (Vaishnava mutt heads),  a tradition that remains unbroken for centuries.
It is great sight see the lord under the  milky-white double-canopy during the  procession