It was a sun-drenched hazy day on February 10, 1995, when the famed Siva Lingam temple at Tiruvanmiyur, just outside Madras, received its kumbhabishekam amidst throngs of devotees and dignitaries. Shankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati and Sri Sankara Vijayendra graced the occasion and blessed the purifying and revitalizing holy waters as they were poured over the temple towers. Renowned Sivacharya Sri T.C. Thyagaraja officiated along with his cousin, Sri Rajamani Sivacharya and his disciple, Sri Ganesha Sivacharya. The dynamic young men of Madras' Friday Festival Committee are due the credit for a flawless spiritual event.

Report and photos by V. Gowri Shanker, Madras

Photos, clockwise from top right: Kanchi Shankaracharyas in procession amidst devotees; Sri Rajamani Sivacharya shows the alankara dipa as Sri Tyagaraja Sivacharya chants (center); Kanchi Shankaracharyas help the Sivacharyas perform the libations atop the temple vimanam; aerial view of the temple; Devaram troupe sings praises to Siva (HT correspondent Gowri Shanker is standing in back, center); Sri Kannappa Sivacharya concluding the Ganapati homa; bathing of the temple tower by Sri Kannappa Sivacharya assisted by Sri Ganesha Sivacharya.