For a safe and colourful Holi

HOLI HOLI: Children smeared in colours

The exuberant colours of Holi exude the vitality of spring, the vibrancy of life and a celebration of the richness of harvest. The festival arrives when the placid winter fades away and the effervescence of spring adds fresh colours in nature. With nature blooming in all its hues, the time is perfect to colour the atmosphere with the fun filled colours of Holi.

This is the time when everyone drowns in the mirthful revelry of the festival of colours. While it stands for “party time” for the city slickers, celebrating the onset of springtime is the real essence of the festival of colours. Soaked in the joyful spirit, the faces go beyond recognition with sprayed colours, clothes looking like drenched unacceptable rags, hair in disarray – but the spirit soaked in the joyful essence of the festival with laughing eyes, gyrations to music and utter glee on the faces. This is Holi.

Essentially a North Indian festival, it has been a while since the festival’s presence has been felt in South India. Today, Gujaratis, Marwaris, Sindhis, Punjabis and Bengalis in every city of the South have still retained their customs and bring in the festival in their own colourful way.

Traditional colours

Amid growing awareness about the dangers of using Holi colours due to presence of chemicals, most people prefer to use dry colours made of flower petals or other herbals. The colours used in the past had therapeutic values. Traditionally the colours known as gulal were made at home from the flowers of ‘tesu’ or ‘palash’ (flame of the forest). Turmeric, ‘mehendi’, banana leaves, ‘majishtha’ were also used to extract beautiful hues.

The colours used now have many chemical ingredients that are hazardous to health. Dry colours are made with asbestos and chalk powder, and silica. Alkaline-base is used in watercolours, which can cause serious eye diseases. Paste colours are mixed in a base of engine oil that can result in skin disorders. As these colours seep into the earth they pollute the soil and water as well. The eco-friendly colours of the past can be prepared with simple preparations at home too.

Tips

While gulals or dry powder colours are a safe choice, there is a range of herbal colours also available in the market. Made from flower petals and other herbs, they are available in vibrant colours. Screaming pink, marigold yellow or grasshopper green – these herbal colours are relatively safe and don’t burn the skin. However, dermatologists and beauticians warn that extra care has to be taken for sensitive skins. They suggest the use of an antiseptic cream or lacto-calamine ointment for hypersensitive skins before venturing out. While a coat of oil is a must, sunscreen lotions help against burns if there is prolonged exposure to the sun. Stay away from the silver liquid colour as that can play havocs to your skin.

While removing the colours, soap may not be a good option, as it tends to cause dryness. Instead, a cleanser is a better option. Follow this up with lots of moisturiser, specially one that is meant for sensitive skin. Use lots of water as it retains the PH balance of the skin, skin experts suggest. The colours can damage hair to a large extent. Use of hair oil will prevent the chemicals from penetrating in the hair. A mild shampoo with a good conditioner should be used to remove the colours.

No ‘sparsa darshan’ at Srisailam temple

 

Sivaratri arrangements reviewed

KURNOOL: Collector Mukesh Kumar Meena asked the temple staff and government officials to complete the arrangements at Srisailam by February 8.

The temple will suspend ‘sparsa darshan’ (worship by touching the Siva lingam) between February 8 and 13 to clear the pilgrim rush without causing inconvenience to others. The darshan which is unique at Srisailam would resume on February 14.

Mr. Meena said the officials should ensure vehicles were parked only at five slots designated at the temple town. Also, mobile police units would be deployed to avoid traffic jams on the ghat section.

The APSRTC planned to deploy 800 buses. The Road and Buildings officials were asked to complete road repairs soon.

‘Laddu’ tickets

The temple authorities made arrangements for issuing of ‘laddu’ tickets at the queue itself so that pilgrims could easily collect the ‘prasadam’ from the special counters. Five medical teams would function in shifts. A contingent of 650 sanitation staff would work for one week. The Collector asked the RDO to inspect conditions in eateries and the prices.

‘Laksha Kunkumarchana’ performed

Annual Brahmotsavam at Goddess Padmavathi temple at Tiruchanur from today

 priests

ANNUAL RITUAL: Priests performing the ‘Laksha Kunkumarchana’ to Goddess Padmavathi at Tiruchanur on Thursday.

TIRUPATI: The premises of Goddess Padmavathi’s shrine at Tiruchanur reverberated with recitation of the names of the deity by a battery of priests as part of the ‘Laksha Kunkumarchana’ performed on Thursday ahead of the start of the annual Brahmotsavam in the temple from Friday.

As the priests chanted the 108 names of the Goddess, ritviks lined up on either side in front of the deity kept offering vermillion even as a large number of pilgrims witnessed the ritual with a religious fervour.

Meanwhile, at another ceremony priests performed ‘Ankurarpanam’ a preparatory function before the start of the annual fete.

Tiruppavada

A new seva — ‘Tiruppavada’ was introduced from today in the TTD-run Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple located at Srinivasa Mangapuram, 10 km from here. The paid seva would be performed every Thursday on the lines of the one performed at the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala.

 

‘Kartheeka Brahmotsavam’ from Nov. 13

Nine-day festival to be held at the Tiruchanur temple

Auspicious fare

Auspicious fare: TTD priests proceeding to perform ‘Mahasamprokshanam’ at Sri Lakshminarayana temple (Padala Mandapam) at Alipiri in Tirupati on Wednesday. Joint Executive Officer N.Yuvaraj is also in the picture.

TIRUPATI: All roads appear to lead to Tiruchanur, the holy abode of Goddess Padmavathi on the city outskirts, which is gearing up to celebrate the annual ‘Kartheeka Brahmotsavam’ starting Friday.

The initiatory ritual ‘Ankurarpanam’ will be performed on Thursday evening.

The nine-day Brahmotsavams will be celebrated as the birthday of the goddess at the Tiruchanur temple, which is the second largest crowd-puller and revenue-netter among the TTD temples after the Tirumala shrine.

The festival will begin with the traditional hoisting of the flag carrying the image of an elephant atop the temple flagpost on Friday, while the important events are ‘Gaja Vahanam’ (November 17), ‘Garuda Vahanam’ (November 18), ‘Rathotsavam’ (November 20) and ‘Panchami Theertham’ (November 21).

‘Panchami Theertham’ is one occasion that draws from far and wide around one lakh devotees, who take a dip in the temple tank ‘Padma Sarovaram’.

According to mythology, Padmavathi was born in a lotus in this very tank situated behind the temple.

Cultural programmes

The TTD’s propagation arm ‘Hindu Dharma Prachara Parishad’ is conducting a series of cultural programmes at Tiruchanur Asthana Mandapam starting Thursday, which will be a blend of Vedic sermons, group rendition (Parayanam), spiritual discourse, devotional sankirtans, Harikatha and classical music/dance.

The Carnatic musicians, vocalists and dancers are set to satiate the thirst of the music lovers.

Celebrations

In a related development, the TTD conducted a purificatory ritual ‘Maha Samprokshanam’ at its Lakshmi Narayana temple (Padala Mandapam) at Alipiri here on Wednesday.

The event was held in Purva Phalguni star when ‘Dhanurlagnam’ was in vogue.

Chief priest N.A.K. Srinivasacharyulu was at the helm of affairs, who acted as the ‘Kankana Bhattacharyulu’, while local temples advisor Vedantam Vishnu Bhattacharyulu coordinated.

Joint Executive Officer N.Yuvaraj took part in the celebrations.

‘Kaisika Dwadasi’ celebrated

Ugra srinivasa

Special appearance: The processional deity of Ugra Srinivasa with consorts in Tirumala on Friday.

TIRUMALA: The auspicious ‘Kaisika Dwadasi’ festival was observed on Friday at lord Venkateswara temple here with great religious fervour by one and all. On the occasion of this annual festival, the processional deity of lord Ugra Srinivasa flanked by two divine consorts was mounted on the golden Tiruchi and was taken around the Mada streets encircling the temple in the wee hours of Friday morning. A lot of religious significance and sanctity is attributed to the festival within the Sri Vaishnava sect. Later, Dwadasi Asthanamwas conducted inside the sanctum sanctorum. The pre-dawn ritual – Suprabhatam (awakening) regularly scheduled for 3.00 a.m. daily, was conducted in the midnight followed by th weekly ‘abhishekam’ to the main deity.

Five-day ‘Ekadasa Rudra Yagam’ begins

It is being held at the Siva temple in Srikalahasti

EKADASA RUDRA YAGAM

HOLY RITUAL: Priests performing the ‘Ekadasa Rudra Yagam’ at the Siva temple in Srikalahasti on Thursday.

TIRUPATI: The five-day ‘Ekadasa Rudra Yagam’ got underway at the famous Siva temple at Srikalahasti near here.

Temple sources said the special ritual was being performed to mark the holy ‘Rudra Ekadasi’ observed on Thursday in all the famous Saiva Kshethras in the country. Apart from the priests belonging to the temple, another two dozen pundits specially brought from Tamil Nadu also participated in the six-hour ritual performed amid the chanting of the ‘Eleven Rudras’. Similar ‘homams’ would be performed both morning and the evening all the five days before elaborate ritual concludes on Monday with ‘Poornahuthi’.

The priests also performed simultaneously ‘Shatha Chandi Yagam’ along with ‘Rudra Yagam’.

Sri Padmavathi Ammavari fete from November 13

 

 

 

TTD Chairman releases a poster for the event

The festival will begin with Dhwajarohanam and deity will be taken around in a procession

Lakhs of devotees are expected for the nine-day festival at the hill shrine


 

 

TIRUPATI: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has announced to conduct nine day festival of Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Kartheeka Brahmotsavams in a colourful manner at the Tiruchanur temple here from November 13 to 21.

 

Sri padmavathi ammavaru

Heralding the fete, TTD Chairman D.K. Audikesavulu on Sunday released a poster containing information on the major events observed as part of the annual festival.

TTD Executive Officer I.Y.R. Krishna Rao and Deputy Executive Officer Saraswathi were present on the occasion.

Events

The festival will start with Dhwajarohanam on November 13, while the deity will be taken in colourful processions on various celestial carriers around the temple.

The major events are Gaja Vahanam (November 17), Rathothsavam (November 20) and Panchami Theerotham (November 21).

‘Pushpa Yagam’ will be conducted at the hill temple on November 22.

Civic works

Meanwhile, widening and concrete laying work on the road leading to the hill temple is moving at a snail’s pace. Though the ambitious project was launched quite a long time back, the progress achieved by the authorities concerned to date appears far from satisfactory.

War-footing basis

The TTD’s Engineering Department will have to finish the road widening and concrete laying project on a war-footing basis.

Lakhs of devotees from across the country mainly, from south India will converge at the temple for the nine-day fete.