As is customary every year, a troupe of devotees from Chennai trekked to the temple city of Tirupati earlier this week carrying a set of ten beautifully embroidered temple umbrellas. The tall and wide umbrellas with white clothing are to join the procession of Lord Venkateswara, when Perumal purappadu takes place in Garuda Vahanam.
The contingent of devotees from Chennai physically carried the umbrellas on their arms and shoulders and walked all the way to Tirupati via Uthukota, Narayanavanam, Puttur, Pudi and Tiruchanur and handed them over with all reverence to the Tirumala temple authorities. Earlier as the umbrellas were carried through the main streets of Tirupati for the benefit of the local devotees, traditional harathi were offered to them by the residents and coconuts broken in a display of devotion towards the umbrellas, ready to be inducted into the Tirumala temple paraphernalia comprising caparisoned elephants, horses and oxen.
The paraphernalia would lead the purappadu from the front during the daily processions giving a royal touch to the fete.