With the the Grace of Lord Sri Mahalingaswami and the blessings of Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati and also with the unstinting and continuous support of all our donors, the Pancha-Ratha-Project at Thiruvidaimaruthur has been sucessfully completed with the construction of all the five chariots for Sri Mahalingaswami, Sri Ambal, Sri Subrahmanya, Sri Vigneswara and Sri Chandikeswara.
The Rathotsava took place on the 23rd of January.2016 where all the five rathas were taken in procession during the Thai-Poosam Brahmotsavam after a long gap of 77 years.
This project was taken up with great enthusiasm by Pujya Swamiji when he was approached with a request for help to revive the chariot festival in its old glory.
The project helped in reviving the ancient fine arts of Tamil Nadu including Sculpting in Stone, Mortar[Sudhai],and Wood, Folk Music, Puppetry and Traditional Painting. Construction of the Wooden Chariots involve wooden structural engineering, wood carving and sculpting, which are traditionally passed on and handed over to the present generation of artists called sthapatis.
These chariots at Thiruvidaimaruthur, were constructed with Vengai and Iluppai wooden logs and planks. A well-constructed and maintained Chariot has a life span of of not less than 200 years.
The chariot festival is an occasion where people in the surrounding areas, irrespective of their social status, come together to participate in the festival which promotes harmony and good-will in the community.