So, when Uma Bharath (fast developing into a very dear friend) called me up on Saturday and said that the time to visit the
Chokkanatha Swamy Temple
was within the next couple of days, and early in the morning (when the rising sun's rays would fall on the idol of Vishnu)...I dragged an extremely reluctant KM, and a very willing friend, Jayashree, and off we went, early on Sunday morning.
When we got there, it was still dark, and we went into the sanctum, and found a few people already there. It was 6.40am when the priests finished, with clockwork precision, their various pujas and rites, and switched off all the lights in the temple. First, the utsava vigrahas (the smaller idols, which are the ones taken out in temple processions during "utsava" or festivals) were lit up...and then, the idol of vishNu, decorated as Venkateshwara (Lord of Gold)...was aglow and sparkled in the sun's rays. It was just uncanny to watch....
Here are a few views (photography is allowed at the temple, something I have noticed, and appreciated, in many Karnataka temples.)
Here are the utsava vigrahas and the bowls of various items for the abhishEka or the ritual ablutions:
Here, the golden feet of the main idol can be seen:
I reflected...on the beauty of the idol, the skill of the builders of the temple who ensured that the idol of the god is thus illuminated, the necessity of keeping tall buildings from being built, that would block the sunlight (such a building could be far away, down the lane that leads to the temple, and beyond it!)...and the sheer beauty of the sun's offerings of his rays to Vishnu! It was a peaceful, serene time..of utter happiness. There's been great happiness in my life, lately, and I gave heartfelt thanks, too....how lucky I was, in every way, including being able to witness the evening sun's rays (by sheer accident, then...I did not know the time!) at Basavanagudi, and then here, at Domlur, near the old (HAL) airport!
Just outside the sanctum is an amazing documentation of the history of the temple,
and this painting of the temple as it stood (not very high!) on 15th August, 1947, the day of India's independence from British rule:
Here's a short video I took, of the abhishEkam to the utsava vigrahas:
Here's a scene of Vishnu and his devotees, from the temple....
For more photos from the temple,
for my Facebook album
The Facebook album with photos of my visit to the Gavi Gangadheswara Temple is
on another Facebook album