Temple car

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Temple car in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Temple cars are chariots used to carry representations of Hindu gods. The cars are usually used on annual festival days called Ther Thiruvizha (தேர் திருவிழா), during which many people gather around.

The size of the largest temple cars inspired the Anglo-Indian term Juggernaut (from Jagannath), signifying a tremendous, virtually unstoppable force or phenomenon.

The procession of the great temple car of Thiruvarur (in Tamil: ஆழித் தேர்) features prominently in an ancient festival held in the town. This festival, called Ratha Yatra is a famous festival mainly observed in Eastern India. It is usually held annually in March and April, lasts more than 25 days, and is often mentioned in the devotional hymns of saints Tirugnanasambandar and Sundarar, as well as in Tamil literature. This great chariot is said to be the largest of its kind in height and weight, standing at 96 feet (29 m) tall and weighing more than 300 tons.

As of 2004, Tamil Nadu had 515 wooden carts, 79 of which need repairs. Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram Natarajar Temple are among the temples that possess these huge wooden chariots for regular processions. The Natarajar Temple celebrates the chariot festival twice a year; once in the summer (Aani Thirumanjanam, which takes place between June and July) and another in winter (Marghazhi Thiruvaadhirai, which takes place between December and January). Lord Krishna of Udupi has five temple cars, namely Brahma ratha (the largest), Madya ratha (medium), kinyo (small), silver and gold rathas.

Temple chariot in Bannur, Mysore

List of places with Temple cars[edit]

House of temple car, where temple car preserves or rests during non-function.
Tiruvarur temple car, the largest temple car in Tamil Nadu
Temple car (decorated), Udupi,Karnataka, India
Srivilliputtur Andal Temple car which was idle 18 years up to 1974 – 2nd largest Temple Car in Tamil Nadu
~ Picture of Tirunelveli Nellaiappar Temple Golden Car taken on Nov 2,2009
~ Picture of Alwarkurichi People pulling Sivasailanathaswamy Temple Car taken on Apr 13,2006
Temple car in Chennai, India.


List of temples/cities having Golden cars[edit]

See also[edit]

Tiruchembur Tirumurugan Temple, Mumbai

References[edit]