A walk around the Kapaleeswarar Temple Tank in Mylapore revealed rows and rows of colourful and bright dolls being sold with vigour and enthusiasm to the ever increasing number of curious buyers. Yes, the Navarathri celebrations were in full swing in Mylapore during the past month.
The famed Kapaleeswarar Temple too, had its own kolu, the traditional display of dolls inside the temple premises.
Apart from this a separate area of the temple was devoted to decorations and designs done using flowers.
The man behind this was Mr. Srikant, a resident of Mylapore. He is the person who has created a ‘Nandavanam’ around three corners of the temple tank. Mylaporeans find it a pleasure to walk on the road along the western end of the temple tank because of these plants.
Srikant says that the flowers from these plants are the ones which form the ‘maalai’ (garland) offered to Sri Karpagambal everyday in the temple. He adds that around 20 people volunteer for the maintenance of the ‘Nandavanam’ by watering the plants and collecting the blooms every evening.
Asked if he would create a similar ‘Nandavanam’ in another place if given the space, Srikant replied that it would be difficult as manpower is needed, but said he would be glad to give ideas for the same.
The floral arrangement at the temple was accompanied by the idols of 18 siddhas which are images that were found a long time ago inside the temple premises. A large mirror overhead enhanced the effect of viewing the floral design.
In yet another part of the temple the 5 avatharams of Lord Shiva were depicted in a huge drawing done entirely with grains.
In another end of the temple a temporary stage had been constructed where regular dance and music performances were given as part of the temple’s Navarathri celebrations.
This is the time people visit the kolus put up at their friends and relatives place. Also is the time to visit the kolu at God’s home too!