Coimbatore, 13 july'2008: Visited Kamakshiamman koil situated on T.V.Swamy Road, R.S.Puram Coimbatore. The Kumbhabhishekam ceremoney was to be performed the next day ie.14th. This temple managed by the Kanch Kamakoti Peetham, has been undergoing major renovation/restructuring works over the past 18 months or so, hence Kumbabhishekam was necessary. This is termed as Jeerno-dharana Kumbaabhishekam & is different from the Punar uddharaana kumbabhishekam which is traditionally carried out every twelve years in every Hindu Temple.
The Kumbhabhishekam ceremony consists of the erection of Balaalayam, japas, chants of Vedas, sanctifying Kalasaas (pots of water), Homas and Yagnas. The finale is the pouring of the sanctified water from the kalasas over the stupis (steeple) on the top of the central Vimaana or the sanctum sanctorum, the gopurams and the main and other deities, by the priests.
We witnessed the elaborate Homas & Yagnas that were taking place prior to the finale to follow the next day. The purpose of the homas and yagnas was part of the process to restore the full potency of the infused powers to the idols at the appropriate muhurtham on the auspicious day. There was a large gathering men,women & children. The atmosphere was bright, festive and colorful. The renovated temple shrines were looking magnificent. The gopuram was glittering in its new coat of paint. An elephant "Ganapati" had been brought in from Kerala to add excitement to the proceedings. A separate shrine had been created and a large idol of Adi Sankara had been placed there along with the four original Sankaracharyas. All shrines & sub-shrines had been shifted to the left side and a new Mahaswamigal Mandapam constructed with murals of current and past Sankaracharyas on the backdrop. Probably this mandapam will be used for religious discourses and live dance & music performances on festival days. Shobha & Meenakshi participated in the preparation of the Asthabandhanam, which required pounding of a wooden "Olakkai" into an "Oral" containing the ingredients of the Asthabandanam.( Meenakshi happened to be in Coimbatore for a few days in connection with Siddhu's admission to Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetham)
After this we walked across to the Annapoorneswai temple next door. This is a private temple built and maintained by the Lakshmi Mills family.The Main deities are Annapoorneswari & Lakshmi Narasimhar. A Veda Patashala has been added as an annexe in recent years where young Brahmin boys are initiated into the Vedas and ultimately into priesthood. To our surprise we saw Sri Jayendra Saraswati, the present head of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, seated in the Veda Patshala, receiving and blessings devotees. We availed of this golden opportunity and took Swamiji's blessings too. He had come to Coimbatore primarily to participate in the Kumbabhishekam at the Kamakshi Temple on 14th.
The evening's proceedings ended with a visit to a nearby chat shop for mouth watering pani-puris or "golgappas"
For a detailed write up about what "Kumbabhishekam"is all about log onto: http://www.ganeshatemple.org/Articles/Article_2(pdf)/mahaabhishekam%20Article.pdf
& photogallery: http://picasaweb.google.com/ramakrishnan49/Kumbabhishekam