Tiruvarur Chariot festival

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The Great Thear (ஆழித் தேர்) of Sri Thyagarajaswami, Tiruvarur

The festival called thearottam is a historical event that still follows the same rituals and tradition associates with the thyagarajaswami temple, Tiruvarur,in Tamil Nadu. The Lord Thyagaraja (Shiva) comes out of the massive ancient temple, with his consort Kamalambal (Parvati) to bless the devotees who always come to visit him in his abode.


One of the very old and ancient festivals that often mentioned in the devotional hymns of saints like ( Tirugnanasambandar and Sundrar) and many Tamil literature, usually held during the summer between March–April months of every year, lasts more than 25 days. On the day of the charot festival the uthsava morthi (the lord how comes out for procession), is beautifully decorated and bought out of the temple along with his consort to the Great car (in Tamil: ஆழித் தேர்) and go for the procession all day long. This chariot is said to the biggest one of its type in size and height. It is 96 feet (29 m) tall and weights more than 300 tons.[1] Apart from this grand big chariot there are 4 more cars for the lord's consort, Subramanya, Ganapathi and Sandikaswerar respectively.[2] All this chariots are big in size but relatively smaller than the Great Thear of tiruvarur. This grand Chariot is extensively decorated with wooden carvings and finishes. It requires a minimum of ten thousand people to pull the chariot around the four surrounding streets of the temple.

The chariot is a beautiful structure with intricate work and the biggest, which was used as model for the Valluvar Kottam in Chennai. The original chariot was burnt in 1922 in an accident caused by Justice Party members during the anti-Brahmin agitation under EV Ramasamy Naiker. The new chariot was later built and has replaced the old one in the original grandeur.