I walked from home in Alwarpet at 10.40 for the rishaba vahanam procession at Sri Kapali Temple. The roads were deserted save for an auto near Sai Baba Temple.
I saw women drawing kolams on the road in front of Vasantha Bhavan restaurant in South Mada Street. ’Kabali kaga kolam podaren’, one said. The other replied ‘Kabali nu summa sollade; Yaro rowdy ya sollara madiri irukku. Kabaleeswar vararu nu sollu’
Sri Veleeswaran Koil also had lighting decoration on the gopuram.
We reached the gopuravasal by 11.05 p.m. and could get only a glimpse from sideways. So we walked through Piuchu Pillai Street and came to East Mada Street. Petty shops lined Pichu Pillai junction. Here too, people were drawing beautiful kolams on the road. East Mada street looked as though the time was 6 p.m..
There were thousands of people - from the theradi point, Sannidhi Street was jam packed. It was suffocating because of the asbestos shed that has been raised. We squeezed in and reached near 16 pillar-mantap where Lord Kapali was seated on silver rishabha vahanam.
Goddess Karpagambal joined the lord later. (Karpagambal was on a golden Rishabha). Lord Muruga was on a ‘mayil’ vahanam.
The crowd got bigger as the procession began. We left the sannidhi square and got away - a cool drinks shop was busy. Further down, we saw free distribution of hot bad am milk.
It was [ast midnight. People were coming in. Autos were available.
So getting back home was not a problem.
( The second photo was taken when the procession got back to the temple at about 6 a.m. on March 31, about six hours after it began)