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  • Thumbnail for Nandi-banner raised on secondary flagpole
    Nandi-banner raised on secondary flagpole

    Priest raises Nandi-banner on a secondary flagpole in Nandi-mandapa, during flag-raising ceremony.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: flag-raising

  • Thumbnail for Blessing of drum
    Blessing of drum

    Chief priest blesses drum, during site-pacification ceremony; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: priests, personnel, musicians

  • Thumbnail for Golden horse vahana
    Golden horse vahana

    Golden horse (kutirai) vahana; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; Used as vehicle during 5th day procession; Keywords: vehicles, vahana

  • Thumbnail for Sirpathis
    Sirpathis

    Sirpathis (image-carriers) pose during rest, during flag-raising procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: flag-raising, personnel

  • Thumbnail for Ganesa, decorated
    Ganesa, decorated

    Decorated Ganesa image, ready for evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: ganesa, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Camels
    Camels

    Temple camels waiting for procession to begin.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: animals, processions

  • Thumbnail for Two swordsmen
    Two swordsmen

    Two swordsmen, mock fight in Kalyana mandapa. These are men from an agricultural caste in nearby village, who have inherited the privilege of playing these roles during the 6th day lila.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Fighters are farmers, from Pandya-Vellalar jati, who have hereditary right to participate in 6th morning lila; Keywords: personnel, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Sceptre and other regalia
    Sceptre and other regalia

    Sceptre, crown, and other items of sovereignty, before crowning of Sundaresvara; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; taken in front of Sundaresvara sannithi: objects are cenkol, vettram, makuta, and eruttani (writing implement); Keywords: priests, regalia, crowning

  • Thumbnail for Looking under the green saree
    Looking under the green saree

    Devotees look under green saree, as priests decorate deities for 8th evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Kalyana-mandapa, on raised platform on west side; Keywords: deities, decoration, priests

  • Thumbnail for Crowning ceremony
    Crowning ceremony

    Scene inside Sundaresvara shrine, during crowning ceremony. Most of the ceremony cannot be seen by most onlookers, as this photograph reflects.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; view from just inside entryway to shrine; Keywords: sundaresvara, crowning

  • Thumbnail for Jnanasambandar
    Jnanasambandar

    Jnanasambandar image, before 6th evening procession. On the 6th evening, the great Tamil devotees (nayanmar) of Siva are recognized.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; East Adi Street, near elephant stables; Keywords: nayanmars

  • Thumbnail for Siva's gold purse
    Siva's gold purse

    Siva's gold purse, carried in palanquin around the temple. The gold purse is part of the 3rd day lila.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; gold-purse, in palanquin, in small procession on Chittrai Street.; Keywords: processions, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Kailasa Vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Kailasa Vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara on Kailasa vehicle, 3th evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Sundaresvara on Kailasa (Ravananugraha) vehicle, 3rd evening procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, processions

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi digvijaya
    Minaksi digvijaya

    Wall painting of Minaksi's Conquest of the Directions, inside temple; Minaksi temple; Uncompleted wall-painting, in corridor north of Golden Lotus Tank, inside temple complex; Keywords: deities, minaksi, paintings

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi coming out of temple gate
    Minaksi coming out of temple gate

    Minaksi comes out from temple gate, 6th evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: minaksi, priests, processions

  • Thumbnail for Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood, small shrine on the side of a street
    Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood, small shrine on the side of a street

    The torii gate on the left in this image marks the presence of a shrine and its kami. Such shrines by the side of a street or a road (or in the middle of a field, or elsewhere) are common in Japan. This particular one is on a quiet back street in the Yamagishi neighborhood of Morioka. Throughout the day, passing residents stop at the shrine, bowing twice and clapping their hands twice, to summon the attention of the kami, then standing quietly with clasped hands and head bowed in prayer or in thanksgiving. -- The stone torii on the right marks the path that leads up the stone stairs to a shrine at the top of the hill, overlooking the Yamagishi district.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 023, five-story pagoda,  sorin, detail
    Muroji, 023, five-story pagoda, sorin, detail

    The rising form of a pagoda is seen as a symbolic statement of human aspiration, a path, a joining of this world and the world of the absolute. The metal spire that rises from the top roof of the pagoda is called the sorin. The shaft of the sorin is surrounded by nine rings and at the very top is the hoshu, representing the sacred jewel of Buddhist wisdom. The pagoda, often a memorial to a saintly person, is a Chinese adaptation of the Indian stupa.

  • Thumbnail for Siva's gold purse
    Siva's gold purse

    Siva's gold purse, displayed by Ramani, carried in palanquin around temple. The Executive Officer of the temple, B. Raja, stands to the left.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Ramani (priest) holds up Siva's gold purse (polkiri), E.O. Mr. Raja to left; taken outside west gopuram as purse made procession on Chittrai Street. Tiruvilaiyatal no. 52.; Keywords: processions, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Manikkavacakar of Tiruvathavur decorated
    Manikkavacakar of Tiruvathavur decorated

    Manikkavacakar of Tiruvathavur, decorated for 8th evening procession. The image of Manikkavacakar travels from his temple ten miles away to participate in the festival events.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Kalyana-mandapa, waiting for procession to begin; Keywords: nayanmars, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram
    Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram

    Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram, decorated for 8th evening procession. The Subrahmanyam image has also come from its home temple, on the outskirts of greater Madurai, to take part in the festival.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: subrahmanya, decoration, tirupparankundram

  • Thumbnail for Priests afix Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle
    Priests afix Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle

    Priests place prabha (ornamental arch) over Siva Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle, completing decorations for processio; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, priests, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Deities in Seven-color vehicle, in Kalyanamandapa
    Deities in Seven-color vehicle, in Kalyanamandapa

    Deities in Seven-color Vehicle, in Kalyana Mandapa, prior to start of 11th evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; prior to 11th evening procession; Keywords: deities, vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Temple Shops
    Temple Shops

    Shops in Minaksi temple complex, along Viravasantaraya Mandapa passageway on east side of temple complex.; Minaksi temple; Keywords: temple

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 034, Hall for Memorial Tablets, interior
    Muroji, 034, Hall for Memorial Tablets, interior

    This image shows the interior of the Hall for Memorial Tablets, the Hall of Eternal Light, at Muroji, built in the early 20th century. A monthly memorial service for Kukai is held here and memorial services for residents of the local village are celebrated here. -- The different traditions of Buddhism, such as esoteric Buddhism or Pure Land, as well as different schools, such as Tendai and Shingon, sometimes employ differing ritual objects in their ceremonies, objects that have grown out of differing historic traditions, some based in very ancient Indian rituals, some in Tibetan Buddhism, etc. Nonetheless, in this image we can see ritual objects that are common across various schools. These include, most basically, before the altar, an incense burner, candlesticks, and flower vases, objects found before any Buddhist altar, including home altars. Other objects seen here and common across traditions include the "bell" on the right, struck to announce the opening of services, the square area for the celebrants defined by the low railing, the canopies (often stylized lotus blossoms constructed of wood or metal) or banners over altars and images, small square tables flanking the cushion of the celebrant, tables used to hold ritual objects or offerings, a low table directly in front of the celebrant that may hold offerings and serve as sutra lectern. To the right here we see part of the rim of a taiko, a large, powerful drum, one of a variety of musical instruments often employed in ceremonies.