Arunachala Karthigai Festival: Day 8. Day - Lord Chandrasekhara on Horse

The morning of the 8th day of the 10 Day Karthigai Deepam Festival belongs to Lord Chandrasekhara on horse vahana accompanied by Vinayaka on rat vahana.

After giving darshan in front of the Alankaram Mandapam Lord Chandrasekhara visits the Maharadham (His wooden chariot vahana of the previous day). During His visit puja is performed in the front of the Maharadham by Brahmin Priests. After completion, paste is taken from the puja residue, and a priest thereupon climbs onto the horse vahana platform and applies it to the forehead of Lord Chandrasekhara. After which a transfer of Darba Grass is made from the Maharadham to Lord Chandrasekhara on horse vahana.

Significance of this ritual is that power accumulated in the vast Maharadham the previous day is transferred back to its originator - Lord Chandrasekhara.

Lord Chandrasekhara Alankaram Mandapam

Lord Chandrasekhara on Horse Vahana

The Lord on Horse Vahana visiting Maharadham

Lord Chandrasekhara on Horse at Maharadham

Priest at Lord Chandrasekhara on Horse performs puja facilitating return of power from Maharadham

Puja at Maharadham

Aarti at Horse vahana

After residual power in Maharadham gathered back by the Lord, He proceeds on procession of mada veedhis

Lord Vinayaka on rat vahana foreground, Lord Chandrasekhara horse vahana back

2016 Arunachala Karthigai Festival: Day 8. Night - Lord Arunachaleswarar on Big Horse
In Hindu iconography, positive aspects of the vahana (vehicle) are emblematic of the Deity that it carries. In this procession as well as the Lord having the horse as his vahana, each of the panchmoorthies also carry a whip in their hand.

The main characteristic of the horse is its loyalty, industriousness and swiftness. It is symbolic of energy and effort and also symbolises the air or prana which runs through the channels of the body and is the vehicle of the mind. That means, with God as driver, there is the possibility of controlling the mind and wind and guide it towards any direction and at any speed wished. The neigh of a horse is also symbolic of the power to awaken the tamasic mind for the practice of sadhana and righteousness.

Alangaram Lord Vinayaka

Alangaram Lord Murugan (with both wives)

Alangaram Lord Arunachaleswarar with whip in hand

Alangaram Goddess Parakshakti

Alangaram Chandikeswarar

Panchamoorthies darshan Alankaram Mandapam

Lord on Big Horse vahana

Procession of panchamoorthies of mada veedhi