Tuesday, May 16, 2006


April 22nd, Ulsoor, Bangalore, 23:00 to 0:45 of April 23d.

Pallakki - a Rathyathra - a chariot of Gods & Godesses. An Annual event in most old parts of south-India. On a particular night, each temple or a sponsorer would come up with a pallakki, and a diety is seated in the rath, and with all devotion, gaiety and josh, the chariot is taken all around the village. Its a matter of great prestige, honour and faith. People from the surrounding parts throng in thousands. Its mostly associated with the village fair.

Halasooru (Ulsoor), an old part of Bangalore, this year hosted close to 80 pallaki's.

It also turned out to be a meeting up of old boyz. Vasudev, Vasu, Thulsi & me, met up after ages. And, soon it was the old laughter and leg pulling.

Preperations start a lot earlier, that night as you walk along...you will see the franatic making of the pallaki's. Busy workers. Its more a chariot of flowers. So flowers: mostly Jasmine & Kanakambara.

Temples usually have a 'Utsava moorthi'. A metal idol for such occassions. For normal prayers & darshan in the temple, we have the dieties made of some stone, fixed permanently. I have noticed idols in south India made of darker stones (granite ?), while those from North India are whitish (marble ?) . The inner temple, normally is quite dark (without Electricity), and thus the aarathi (camphor light taken close to the idols) become very important.

Usually, during a Pallakki night, the Electric power in that area is shutdown, due to fears of the overhead cables coming in contact with the tall chariots. And, so its typically a dark night, generators run and supply the much needed spotlight.

Each Pallakki has it associated music. This gang was playing some carnatic stuff. Not a common sight I wud say.

Mmmm...definitely needs a closer look.

Pallaki's create a sense of competiton in the neighbourhood. Quite a lot of people associate themselves with a certain chariot, and would like to believe theirs is the BEST. Again, the architecture is interesting. Normally bigger the temple, better their funds, and grand their pallakki.

The above is from the Kempamma temple. Pallakki's are not only from the rich. Here, every temple, however small, raises money & makes one. Not surprisingly, even children, collect money, build small pallakki's....toy pallakki's......and take them around. Taking them around....thats interesting....the chariot may be physically pulled......it may be housed on a matador or pulled by a tractor.

Lord Aiyappa, I somehow find his sitting (squatting) pose very different from the other gods. Any funda's ??

Yes, what are these chaps doing ?? This ladies & gentlemen is THE music. 'Thamatte' music....high decibel stuff.....fast beats......with lots of energy....and we guyz simply love it. Its a music, you can't just listen too, but simply start dancing along.

Pallakki's happen during the summer in almost all old-parts of Bangalore. An old tradition that continues strongly. Drop in, I bet....you will love it.

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