Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Thaipusam – When South India turns divine

Posted on November 11, 2011 | FestivalsNo Comment

Yes India the land of Festivals is always replete with a lot of colour, vibrance and joy. The festivals in India give every Indian a reason to be happy and a cause to celebrate. In the month of January when everyone is just getting over the winter blues comes the festival of thaipusam in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a Hindu festival and is a major occasion for the Tamil community. It is not only celebrated in countries where the Tamil community is there but also in countries where there is a minor community based Tamil population. Singapore is a place which celebrates this festival with a minimal Tamil community population.

Thaipusam festival

Also known as Thaipusam it gets its name from the name of the month Thai and Pusam is the name of star. This star is at its highest point during the festival. It is celebrated in memory of the time when goddess Parvati gave her son Murugan or Subramaniam or Karthik a “vel” or a spear so that he could kill the demon Soorapadam. Thaipusam as is held by many is not the birthday of this God Kartikeya. It is the Vaikashi Vishakam falling in the month of May and June that is his birthday.

Murugan is a creation during one of the great battles fought between the Devas and the Asuras. The Devas were at a point of defeat by the Asuras. They were unable to bear the strength of the Asura forces. They went to Lord Shiva and requested him to give them an able leader. They wanted this leader to lead them to kill the Asuras. Shiva created the warrior Skanda who took on the leadership of the Devas. He killed the Asuras and the ASura Surapadman. Thaipusam is celebrated to mark the day of this defeat.

Thaipusam festival

On this day, Tamil Nadu sees a lot of Kavadi Attam which is a ceremony that is observed by the devotees of Lord Murugan. He is the Tamil God of War. This dance is performed by carrying the huge “Kavadi” a kind of palanquin on the shoulders. It is a physical burden the devotees endure to take help from God Murugan. Most of the Hindus take a vow to climb up to the temple of Lord Murugan with the Kavadi if they want to avert a great disaster. Normally this Kavadi worship is done by people who wish to get a disease cured or if they are in great distress.

Thaipusam festival

For this Kavadi Attam there is a lot of preparation. The devotee cleans himself and fasts for around 48 hours. Thaipusam Kavadi bearers observe this ceremony and they observe celibacy during the festivals. They take food only once a day and avoid taking non vegetarian food and alcohol. On Thaipusam, they shave their heads and then set upon their pilgrimage of carrying the Kavadi and if necessary a pot of milk. The fanatic devotees are seen to pierce their skin, cheeks etc and also put vel skewers.

Thaipusam festival

Thaipusam in Palani, the abode of Sri Murugan is a great festival and many kavadi devotees are seen during this time.

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