Saturday, April 16, 2005


Hello Everybody.....

Welcome to this blog.

This is going to be blog for articles and stories of a serious nature.

The articles will be spiced with jokes and punchlines.



Blogger A-A said...

What is a thER?

A chariot is small. It is properly called a 'Ratham'.
But a 'ThEr' is huge. It's platfrom or 'thEr-thattu' is usually
ten to twenty feet above the ground level, according to the size of
the thEr.
One of the largest thER's is at PUri in North India. It belongs
to the PUri Jagannath Temple.
During the annual thEr procession, it is built up with additions
that it would make seem to be very very large. And it moves with a
lumbering slow speed, being pulled by thousands of people.
The Englishmen who saw this were so awestruck.
So much so, that they gave the name of Jaganath to His thEr
as well. But they colloquialised it into 'Juggernaut'.
They also named other thErs in other places as 'juggernaut.
It is this word that is found in dictionaries.

A thEr would have six wheels. The wheels are solid and are
made by joining together very large pieces of wooden parts. For an
average thER, the diameter of the wheel could be as much as six feet.
But it could be more, according to the size. People tend to think that
there are four wheels. Actually six. Two wheels are situated in the
centre of the thEr.
The axle of the thEr is very hefty and made up special types
of wood which must be from a tree that is sufficiently old.

A superstructure is fitted during the thErOttam or thEr
ceremony. This makes the thEr around forty feet in height.

The thEr is pulled by very thick ropes which have been made
specially for this purpose. This type of rope is known as 'thEr vadam'.
Apart from two to four of these vadams, there may be two heavy chains
also. Each of the links of the chain may be nine to twelve inches long.

During the thEr festival, there will be some unofficial
competitions among men, as to how high we can lift the chain.
This is equal to how many links we are able to carry. Some sort of
a weight-lifting competition. We usually have this competition in the
morning when the chains are attached and laid in front of the thEr.
It is somewhat equivalent to lifting a 'MAppiLLai kal' or 'iLavatta kal'.

Oh well...those were the days.....young men were different in
those days. We were not what you are now.

The thEr pulling is an art and a science by itself. It is not
so easy a task. It needs perfect coordination among various teams
who are pulling, pushing, levering, signalling from above to the front,
and the rhythm-beaters who beat out signals as well. And the men
who steer the thEr.

Before the beginning of the thER ceremony, the thEr is sanctified.
Within the temple, the uRcavar idol is consecrated. Then it is carried out
and lifed up to the thEr.
The thEr is always placed in a special garage. The whole thEr without its
superstructure is lifted on to short stout stone pillars over which the
thEr is rested by its axle. The wheels are usually taken out, if possible.
This is to prevent water clogging of the wheels during rainy season,
termite attacks, and rotting of the wood.
Before the thEr festival, the thEr is lifted down and the axles are greased.
The most important part of the thEr is its axle. It has got to be really
really hard and strong.

5:09 PM  
Blogger visithra said...

when we go to old temples in india, you get to see these thErs, some as old as the temple.

Given the age, usage and weight are these axels changed with time or its the same one.

trust their ignorance to change Jaganath to Juggernath!

11:06 PM  

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