Famous Hindu temple chariots of India - 03

The reason why Hinduism gives importance to temple chariot and its run as part of temple ritual is  a fully decorated chariot with a  wooden baas is more or less a replica of a temple with its inner sanctuary (sanctum).   Incorporated in the  chariot are some parts of the temple, the place where the deities  are mounted is the sanctum. The gods and sub-gods on the gopuram (towers) and  in the shrines are represented by nice carving of  them  on the wooden base. The presence of various gods and goddesses on the chariot makes it vibrant and add divinity and sanctity to it  during the rath yatra.  A moving temple implies that the gods' grace is touching upon  the devotees of all kinds and stature all along the path. 
Hindu temple ratha S.India commons.wikimedia.org


The following are some of the popular temple chariots of Tamil Nadu: 

Patteeswara Swamy temple Karamadai, Coimbatore, TN:

Patteeswara Swamy temple karamadai en.wikipedia.org

Karamadai temple, Coimbatore, carved wooden base  and wheel 

Karamadai temple, Coimbatore, facebook.com

 wooden chariot Patteeswara Swamy temple karamadai Coimbatore, Alamy.com

 Perur Patteeswara Swamy temple karamadai Coimbatore  alamy.com

 Above image: Karamadai Patteswara swamy Temple, Coimbatore - car/ratha; intricate  wooden cavings of  gods and goddesses,  etc in the Hindu pantheon. Colorful canopy, decorations will be added on the wooden chariot later and the themes vary from temple to temple......... 

Also called Karamadai Temple in Karamadai, 23  km from  Coimbatore city, here God Vishnu is known as  Ranganathaswamy; his consort is  Ranganayaki.  The early builder of this temple was the Cholas in the 11 CE and  later Nayak rulers expanded it. Then Mysore ruler   Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar (1940–1950) built a few halls on the temple premises.  Following Thenkalai Samprathayamtradition (Pancharathra aagama), here the yearly festivals are   15-day long  Brahmotsavam  in the the Tamil month of Maasi (February - March), Vaikunta Ekadasi and Sri Ramanuja Jayanti, the last being the most prominent. This temple with 7-tier Rajagopuram gateway and other shrines are enclosed in a boundary wall mad of granite. Peculiarity of this temple is in the sanctum - garbagriha only the face of the Lord is enshrined on the square seat. As per Hindu legend, the face of Ranganatha was found under an anthill in the  land where the Kattariyar tribes were living.   Further. utchavamurthi (processional deity) that is supposed to be inside the sanctum  is placed outside as the moolavar image is small.  During the Brahmotsavam, the decorated temple car is drawn  along the streets  around temple with the festival idols.
Parthasarathy Temple, Chennai: 

Triplicane Chennai Parthasarathy temple. en.wikipedia.org

Parthasarathy temple, Chennai, Ratha.magikindia.com

Chennai Parthasarathi temple car.trekearth.com

This  6th century Hindu Vaishnavite temple in  Triplicane, Chennai,  dedicated to Lord Krishna (Parthasarathy) is  a popular one in this city and is also one of the 108  divyadesams of Lord Vishnu. The earliest builders were Pallavas, later Cholas and Vijayanagara rulers expanded some parts of the temple.  Here, the name 'Parthasarathy' (in Sanskri)  means the 'Charioteer of Arjuna' (during the Kurushetra war) and Lord Krishna is worshipped as ''Partha''in this temple. Paiazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar and Thirumesai Azhwar saints sang in praise of the lord of this temple  which  adheres to  Vaikhanasa agama and follows Thenkalai tradition

The Brahmotsavam (February-March), one of the most important and auspicious events  in all temples, traces its  origin  to  Brahma, the creator God.  This year the chariot festival took place in February-March with joy as the devotees missed the great event in the past two years due to covid-19 pandemic.

Kapaleeshwarar temple, Mylapore, Chennai: 


Kapaleeshwarar temple car festival,Chennai.  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Above image: Thousands of devotees attend the Kapaleeshwarar temple annual car festival - Panguni Peruvizha  at Mylapore in Chennai...........

At the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, Chennai  car festival is part of  10-day long annual festival - Panguni Peruvizha and the therattam takes place all along the  four Maada Veethys
(Maada Streets). After temple rituals,  the processional idols of Kapaleeshwarar and Karpagambal, beautifully adorned with clothes and jewels  are  mounted on the decorated  chariot (ther)  and then taken around the temple. The Arupathimoovar  festival-63 Nyayanmars  (Tamil Savite saints) is one of the most important processions at the Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple and this  year the therottam took place with certain restrictions. 
Madurai Meenakshi temple, TN:

Madurai Meenakshi Temple Car Festival 2016en.wikipedia.org

Madurai Meenakshi Temple Car Festivaletvbharat.com

Wooden base of Madurai Meenakshi temple, TN.tamil.news18.com

Above images:  This year  in March  a sea of humanity turned up to see the divine festival event.- a grand spectacle car festival of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai. The temple cars were carrying the utchavar idols  Lord Sundareswarar, Goddess Piriyavidai, and Goddess Meenakshi and  taken round the Masi streets to bless the devotees.........  

This year Meenakshi Amman temple Therottam took place in the 3rd week of March after a gap of 2 years and it was part of the famous Chithirai festival.  Earlier preparations were underway to get the rathas  ready - one for Sundereswarar (Chokkanathar priyavedai ther) and the smaller for goddess Meenakshi parked in the  Thermutti (ratha shed) on East Masi street. Both raths are normally protected from dust, etc year round by keeping them in huge and tall sheds covered with glasses. Since the cars were not used for more than two consecutive years, they were cleaned up thoroughly by  air-blowing. After that they were given a few coats of varnish before the beginning of decoration that included  decorative embroidered patches with colorful motifs

The temple cars presently being used are 400 years old  and were made by the ruler of  Madurai Nayak king  Thirumalai Nayakar.
Koniamman temple in Coimbatore, TN

Konniamman car festival, Coimbatore in.worldorgs.com

Above image: Koniamman temple in Coimbatore: Several lakh devotees participated in the car festival of Koniamman temple recently......

The annual festival of the famous Koniamman  Amman temple  which starts in the Tamil month of ‘Maasi’ will  culminate with the car festival. The entire city will wear a festive look with active participation of thousands of  local devotees  and people  from adjacent places. The ratha will be taken round the four streets with intermittent stops.

Tradition here  has been   that devotees offer a large quantity of crystal salt and  pepper to the goddess Koniamman to propitiate her andto bless them  for the welfare and prosperity of the family. As part of temple ritual protocol,  special ‘pujas’ and ‘abishekam’ will be  performed to the deity before the start of the car festival. After it the idol will be  mounted reverentially on the  ratha at an auspicious time. The procession that starts from Raja street will proceed through   Oppanakara street, Vysial street, and Karuppanna Gounder street and finally returned to the temple.