Udupi: The “Three Chariot Festival”, as part of the “Sapthotsava”, was held with traditional pomp and gaiety at Car Street here on Thursday January 14. A large number of devotees participated in the event.
It was on the day of “Makara Sankranti” that the exponent of the Dwaita philosophy Acharya Madhwa installed a beautiful idol of Sri Lord Krishna in Udupi nearly 800 years ago. To commemorate this, the “Sapthotsava” is held every year.
The “Utsava Murtis” of Lord Krishna and Lord Mukhyaprana were brought to the “Madhwa Sarovara” (Holy pond in the Sri Krishna Temple premises) in a golden palanquin. They were then placed in a decorated boat in the shape of a chariot, which took three rounds in the Holy pond. The idol of Lord Krishna was then taken out and placed in the “Brahmaratha”, the idol of Lord Mukhyaprana in the “Garuduratha” and the “Utsava Murtis” of Lord Ananteshwara and Lord Chandramouleshwara were placed in the “Mahapuja Ratha” in front of the Sri Krishna Temple. Hundreds of devotees pulled the three chariots chanting the name of the Lord.
The “Rathas” moved in a clockwise direction and came to a halt in front of the Sri Krishna Temple. The deities were placed in the golden palanquin and carried to Vasanth Mahal for the Puja.
After the Puja, the Paryaya Kaniyoor Sri Vidyawavallbha Theertha Swamiji offered “Mantrakshata” to the devotees. Later, the “Utsava Murtis” were carried to the sanctum sanatorium of the temple and the “Mangalarati” was performed. Swamiji then offered sandal oil, paste and flowers to the other Swamijis. The devotees were then given “Kashaya Tirtha”.
The three chariots are drawn only on “Makara Sankranti”. This is considered a spiritually enriching sight. On the first five days of the “Sapthotsava”, only two chariots are drawn. During the first five days, the deities of Lord Krishna and Lord Mukhyaprana are carried in the “Garudaratha” while those of Lord Chandramouleshwara and Lord Ananteshwara are carried in the “Mahapuja Ratha”.