Having seen the Goddess as PadmasiniGoddess as Padmasini on the 4th night of Navaratri, I decided to go to the Kapaliswarar temple yesterday too. This being Panchami, the Goddess was decked as Maheshwari.

Karpagambal as Maheshwari – 3/10/2019


The mount was the Rishabham, and the Goddess had jaTa for her coif. On two arms were the deer and the axe while the other two were in abhaya and vara mudras. By the way, I am simply loving, to quote a current expression, the Naga in the Goddess’ plait.

A close up of Karpagambal as Maheshwari 3/10/2019


I managed a shot of the rear of the idol as well. If my memory serves we correctly, they did a better job of this in the past.

Karpagambal – rear view, 3/10/2019


The temple was less crowded as compared to the previous day and I even managed to have darshan at the sanctums. Just as I was leaving, and it was 9.00 pm by then, by which time we of the Edward Elliots Road variety ought to be in bed, the bells began to ring and what do I see but deepa aradhanai for the Navaratri Amman. So I sat down and watched. In all these events it is obligatory to have one bad-tempered man who imagines he came to the temple to pray in solitude. Unfortunately that happened to be the man seated next to me who kept yelling out to everyone in front to move as he could not see the Goddess. That led to a matron with a babe-in-arms asking him to shut the hell up, which of course he did not. As I left I notice the action was becoming general.

By the way, my discovery of the day – it is not the utsava murthy of Karpagambal that is decorated each night. That lovely and graceful two-armed icon was still in the sanctum when I went there. I also noticed that some devotee has added a pair of lovely round anklets to the Goddess’ feet. The Amman who usually is taken out in the golden chariot was on the other hand not in her usual place. So my guess is that she is the Navaratri Amman.

Join me on my heritage tour of Tirunelveli between November 22&24, 2019. Details are here

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