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An annual journey around a lake

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Jam-packed: Devotees surround the chariot carrying the idols of Lord Someshwara and Goddess Kamakshi in Bangalore on Sunday. —
Jam-packed: Devotees surround the chariot carrying the idols of Lord Someshwara and Goddess Kamakshi in Bangalore on Sunday. —

Staff Reporter

Idols of Lord Someshwara and Goddess Kamakshi were taken out in a procession

Someshwara temple is steeped in

Vijayanagara splendour

Poo Pallakki Ustava marks the marriage

of the Goddess and Lord Someshwara

BANGALORE: Gliding through the teeming masses, the “hamsapakshi” (swan) carried the idols of Lord Someshwara and Goddess Kamakshi, on its annual journey around the Ulsoor Lake.

And all along its course, devotees knelt and rose as they prayed before the deities.

Ulsoor Pallakki or Poo Pallakki (palanquin of flowers), as is popularly known locally, did not disappoint the devotees, who had thronged Ulsoor to have a glimpse of this palanquin exclusively dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi.

The Poo Pallakki Ustava celebrates the wooing of the Goddess by Lord Someshwara, and their marriage.

Preparations

Preparations for the Ulsoor Pallakki had begun on Saturday evening, with volunteers from various walks of life coming forward to make their contributions to the labours involved.

On entering the temple, one could see rows of local people and volunteers busily readying the alankara (garlands) that would later be nailed to the swan-shaped pallaki, destined to carry the temple’s deities. At the stroke of 3 a.m. on Sunday, the pallaki left the temple to embark on its annual pilgrimage in and around Ulsoor.

The utsava commenced with the chanting of hymns even as devotees prostrated before the idols seeking blessings. People from as far away as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had gathered on the streets to watch and worship, as the Poo Pallakki made it’s way from Someshwara temple through the Old Madras Road, Bazaar Street and Car Street before finally re-entering the temple at 4 p.m. Alongside these preparations, the pallaki itself was being built by the efforts of devoted volunteers.

“For me it is an action of devotion and faith. This work for me is spiritually uplifting and cleansing,” says D. Narayanappa, an employee of the Wheel and Axle plant, Yelahanka. The procession commenced from Someshwara Temple, the ancient, but still revered relic of Vijayanagara splendour.

As accepted a part of Bangalore’s history as the Kempe Gowdas, the temple of Someshwara is dedicated to Lord Shiva, a principal deity in the Hindu pantheon.

“The spiritual attraction of the temple is such that people come from far away places like the U.S., Switzerland and United Arab Emirates to visit the temple,” says Bhojaraja, a temple worker.

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