India, Sri Lanka: Temple Festivals on both sides of the Palk Strait

Temple festivals are an integral part of life for Hindu Tamils, across the countries they live in. The following photo essay captures a few moments of these festivals.

From Rakwana in Sri Lanka, a temple car festival in photographs by ‘Irakuwanai’ Nirshan. One of the focal points of the festival is the temple car – “Temple cars are chariots used to carry idols of Hindu gods. The car pulling is usually on festival days where many folks pull the cart.”






Surekha, in Tamil Nadu, India, across the Palk Strait blogs about the small time merchants who peddle their wares in festivals such as this. Temple festivals, are as much about the local economy as they are about religious festivities. He captures the moment with photographs and short poems in Tamil. A rough translation has been attempted here.


கிளி எடுத்துத்தரும்
கிழவி குரலில்
டேப் ரெக்கார்டர்
பலன் சொல்ல,
வண்டியை போத்தியிருக்கும்
சிரிப்பை வரவழைக்க
பீட்டர் இங்க்லாண்ட்
வாடிக்கையாளரை எதிர்பார்த்து..!
(அவரிடம் ஒரு சட்டை வாங்கினேன்)

Parrot Tarrot predicts the future
in an old lady's voice
from the tape recorder,
Wordings on the sheet protecting
the vehicle brings a smile,
while the sales person on the
next stall awaits a customer
accustomed to Peter England shirts.
Bought a shirt from him.


திடீர் பக்தியும், திடீர் படிப்பும்..
சிறந்த நெட்வொர்க்கும்!
(இளையராஜா பாடல்கள் வாங்கினேன்)

Instant devotion and instant knowledge
from a here today, gone tomorrow store.
Though an excellent networking spot.
Bought Ilaiyaraja's book.


இந்த கோபுரங்களுக்குப்பின்னே
மகிழ்ச்சி வரும்.
(சீனிக்காராச்சேவு வாங்கினேன்)

Trailing behind these towers
are much sorrow,
expectation and mortgages.
Destroying these towers
would only bring happiness
in many households.
Bought some sev.


சத்தியமாய் எனக்காக இல்லை!

வாழ்க்கை மீதுள்ள இவர்களது

But certainly not for me!
Just for their devotion to life!!


  • Excellent Narration. Srilanka photos are very nice
    congrats to Irakkuvalai Nirshan
    Thanks to Mathy kandasamy!

  • Good work Mathy Kandhasamy.
    All the best Sureka & Nirshan

  • Excellent work Mathy Kandhasamy.

    Wishes Surekaa & Nirshan

  • Nice to c this. Both Nirshan and sureka are my friends.

    Warm wishes to both of them

  • Thami

    Excellent!!!!!! and wonderful job
    I like to join with u
    both r my friends

  • Human

    Who are we as a people? We are Human.

    I mean more specifically, Racially? South Asian, Deshi, Sarracian, Indian.

    What are the major subgroups? Bengali in the East, Hindi in the West and Central, Tamil in the South, Urdu in the North.

    What are the major cutoffs? The Hindu Kush to the Northwest, The Himalayas to the Northeast, The Chini Hills to the East, The Indian Ocean to the Southwest, The bay of Bengal to the Southeast.

    How many are there on the planet? We estimate about 1.5 Billion Deshis.

    How many are there in North America? We estimate about 5 Million people.

    What do you find is our key goal in North America? We should build a megacity for nearly 1 Million South Asian people.

    How will we do that? The Millions will build it for their benefit. Others can help them at a cost.

    Why are we here in North America? Larger forces in nature have placed us here.

    What is the goal of man? To evovle.

    What is the price of the wheat? I don’t know.

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