College student enjoys the experience of being part of all-night procession of Panguni utsavam

Mylapore resident S. Aparna, a first year student at MOP Vaishnav College, has been a devotee of Sri Kapaleeswarar all her life. She says that from the time she was a three year old, she has been a regular at the annual Panguni Utsavam and it is the one utsavam that she does not want to miss.

Rishabham has always been very close to her heart. “I cherish the Rishabham a lot and have a special bonding with him. He is pleasing to the eye and when you look at him the first time when he nears the Raja Gopuram entrance, you are suddenly struck with a ‘calm devotion’” says Aparna.

She says when she saw Sri Kapaleeswarar atop the Naga Vahanam on Saturday (March 12) evening, she was inspired to join the all-night procession as part of the fifth day celebrations.  This time the procession lasted for 8 hours because of the early 10pm start.

She was there just after 9pm on Sunday for the Pancha Moorthi procession inside the temple ahead of the Vahana procession and spent the entire Sunday night at the Rishabha Vahana procession around the Mada Streets.

This enabled Aparna to soak in all that took place – Kapaleeswarar’s movements on the palaquin, the gala atmosphere with a packed crowd at the start of the procession, the nagaswaram and the beating of musical instruments of the Shiva Adiyars, the Vedic recital and the recitation of sacred verses by the Othuvars.

She says that it was a very different and exciting experience for her and that she could feel a lot of positive energy within her after the procession. “Right from my childhood, it had been a dream to be part of an entire procession at the Panguni Utsavam. I never knew that I could pull it off. No one in the family has been at a procession all through the night. It feels fulfilling that I could do it this early in my life. ”

She credits her parents for her bonding with Kapaleeswarar. “Instead of taking me to movies, they created a devotional interest by making a temple visit as my daily destination.”

Next on her list – the  Aruthra Utsavam.

  • Report, photo by S. Prabhu

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