Mylapore Festival , Capturing the Spirit of Chennai

Mylapore Festival takes place on January of every year. It has various competitions and cultural programs. Mylapore is at the heart of the city and can be reached by local bus from every part of city and by local train.

All great cities have a soul. Mylapore can rightfully claim to be the soul of Chennai. It pre-dated Chennai’s birth and watched the city’s growth. Mylapore retains many of the old landmarks, culture and heritage of a village, yet has not escaped development
So it deserves a festival of its own. That is why Mylapore Festival is organised every year during January.

What began as a simple kolam -see details of kolam below, contest for the community in the year 2001 organised by the neighborhood newspaper, Mylapore Times ( in its 17th year), has now grown into the Mylapore Festival.

Four days. Ten venues, 30 events, 300 artistes. And thousands of people visit and soak in it. Welcome to what is Chennai’s most unique festival held in the spaces all around the famed Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple -see details of Kapaleeswarar temple below, and at the Nageswara Rao Park. The 2012 fest will take place from Jan 5 to 8, 2012.


There will be over 30 events. 10 venues across four days. Jan. 5, 6, 7, and 8, 2012. On the main stage in front of the eastern gopuram of Sri Kapali temple. Details will be published here soon.


• Classical Concerts by children – 6.30 am • Painting contest for Kids KAPALI TEMPLE ZONE:
• Classical dance inside Sri Kapali temple – 6.30 pm.



Three walks are planned on Jan. 6, 7 and 8, 2012. 2. Golden Ther Procession (Inside Sri Kapali temple) On Jan. 8, at 7 pm -details of ther / temple are provided below . The festival hosts this event in conjunction with Sri Kapali Temple

Please click on images to view bigger

What is Kolam ?
Kolam is a form of painting that is drawn using rice powder. A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots. In South India, it is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their homes.

Kolams are thought to bestow prosperity to homes. Every morning in southern India, millions of women draw kolams on the ground with white rice powder. Through the day, the drawings get walked on, rained out, or blown around in the wind; new ones are made the next day. Every morning before sunrise, the floor of the owners house ,or where ever it may be, is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface. The kolams are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so that it is held better. Occasionally, cow-dung is also used to wax the floors. In some cultures, cow dung is believed to have antiseptic properties and hence provides a literal threshold of protection for the home. It also provides contrast with the white powder.

Decoration was not the sole purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams used to be drawn in coarse rice flour, so that the ants don’t have to work that much for to long for a meal. The rice powder is said to invite birds and other small critters to eat it, thus inviting other beings into one’s home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes. Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple , Mylapore.
Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a temple of Shiva located in Mylapore, Chennai. The form of Shiva’s wife Parvati worshipped at this temple is called Karpagambal (from Tamil, “Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree”). The temple was built around the 7th century CE. According to the Puranas, Shakti worshipped Shiva in the form of a peacock, which is why the vernacular name Mylai (Mayilāi) was given to the area that developed around the temple – mayil is Tamil for “peacock”. The original idol of this temple is kept in Jina Kanchi ( Mel-Chitamoor) near Tiruttani.

“Ther” in tamil / Temple Cars / chariots

Temple cars are chariots used to carry representations of Hindu gods. The car is usually used on festival days, when many people pull the cart. Thiruvarur, Srivilliputhur, Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu & Puri, in Orissa, host some of the largest annual temple car festivals.

One of the very old and ancient festivals that often mentioned in the devotional hymns of saints like ( Tirugnanasambandar and Sundarar) and many Tamil literature, usually held during the summer between March and April months of every year, lasts more than 25 days. The main attraction of the festival is the procession of the great temple car of Thiruvarur (in Tamil: ஆழித் தேர்) . This great 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] The size of the largest temple cars inspired the Anglo-Indian term Juggernaut (from Jagganath), signifying a tremendous, virtually unstoppable force or phenomenon.

As of 2004, Tamil Nadu had 515 wooden carts of which 79 need repairs. Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram Natarajar Temple are some of the temples that possess huge wooden chariots for procession each. In particular, Natarajar temple celebrates the chariot festival twice in a year one at summer (Aani Thirumanjanam (June- July)) and another at winter (Marghazhi Thiruvaadhirai (in December – January )). Lord Krishna of Udupi has five temple cars, namely Brahma ratha (biggest), Madya ratha (medium), kinyo (small), and silver and gold rathas.

Posted on December 1, 2011, in Attractions, Events, Heritage of Chennai and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hello, how’s it going? I hope you are doing well. I wanted to say that I like Mylapore Festival , Capturing the Spirit of Chennai Chennai Focus – A Tabloid on Chennai.

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