Trial run of the newly constructed car of the Sri Mahalingaswamy temple at Thiruvidaimaruthur near Kumbakonam was held on Thursday. The run is a prelude to the car festival to be conducted on January 19th, which was last held on 1933.
Hundreds of people, braving the heavy rain, pulled the beautifully sculptured new car. With umbrellas up in their hands, devotees watched the movement of the car chanting "Mahalinga." Abishekam was done to the new car and an aarthi was performed before it was pulled. Fitted with iron wheels manufactured at the Bharath Heavy Electricals Ltd, the car was taken around the four sprawling main streets- east, west, north and south before being brought back to the stand. Dozers pushed the car from behind.
Ko.Si.Mani, Minister for Co-operation, Sri Sivaprakasa Desika Paramacharya swamigal of Thiruvavaduthurai adheenam, which owns the temple, Dayananda Saraswathi, managing trustee of the Mahalingaswamy Seva Trust, which took up the construction of the new car, members of the trust: Pollachi N.Mahalingam, Sri Onkarananda Swamigal of Sidhbavananda Ashramam, Bababji Rajah Bhonsle, Raya R.Govindarajan, R.Ramasubbu, R.Kannan and K.Rajagopal participated in the function.
According to Babaji Rajah Bhonsle, the temple had five cars in the past . Mr.Dayananda Saraswathi, wanted to revive the car festival, which was stopped long time ago for unknown reasons. A trust was formed to take up the construction of the big car of the temple first. G.Radhakrishna Sthapathi, government recognised sthapathi and Ramesh, another sculptor were entrusted with the work of construction of the car which was going on for the past two years.
"Another major work done along with the construction of the car was the renovation of five car stands at the temple premises . Renovation of the five mandapams was completed and Kumbabishekam was performed to them on April 4, 2010. The five mandapams were constructed during the period of Maratta king Pratap Singh who ruled Thanjavur . A sthapathi called Sithanna Aiyyan constructed them" Mr.Bhonsle said.
Four more cars will also be newly constructed for the temple by the trust, he added.
Called as Booloka Kailasam, Mahalingaswamy temple has four Raja gopurams and three small gopurams inside.