Today, Vijaya Thai Punarpoosam, 12.2.2014 was the day of Thai Ther. NamPerumal left with Ubhaya Nachimars early in the morning at 3.30a.m. to reach Thai Ther mandapam at 4.00a.m. Then between 5.15 and 5.45 a.m. Ratharohanam that is the start of Rathotsavam happened in Makara lagnam. Devotees had gathered in huge numbers and awaited the opening of the curtain to have darshan of NamPerumal with Ubhaya Nachimars. At 6.30 a.m. the pulling of the Ther known as vadam piddithal started to the gosham of Govinda! Govinda! Devotees pulled the thick ropes together happily participating in the act feeling blessed to get this golden opportunity. The chariot shaped like a temple with thombais hanging all around, banana plants tied at the entrance and Bhattar swami and araiyar swami were seated and a bhaktha had the privilege of waving a white cloth in the fashion of a railway guard.
At the turnings the rope pullers would enter the side lane and move according to the instructions . Once the turning was done they would carry the ropes and come to the main road. The four huge wheels moved slowly and steadily and above the wheels were beautiful Dasavatharan carvings, then was sighted Garudazhwar with folded hands. At the top of the tent was an umbrella and a flag. The motif for kolam was ofcourse ther and those who could not accompany the Ther did pradakshinam of Uthira veedhi afterwards. At Thayar Sannidhi hot sambar rice was served to all devotees and at Ranga Ranga Gopuram side sakkarai pongal distribution was on. By the time Ther came back to the Ther Mandapam it was almost 11.00 a.m. Everyone cheered and the great chariot run was over. After this NamPerumal goes to Thayar sannidhi with Nachimars where Tirumanjanam takes place.
Writeup and Photography : Vyjayanthi and Sundararajan