Submitted by Editor on Thu, 2016-05-05 12:18 Bengaluru: The annual Poopallaki (Palanquin of Flowers) was held at the Someshwara temple, Ulsoor recently. The occasion saw several other cars (chariots) of other deities from nearby temples also take part. It was a spectacle for the massive crowd that throng the area. The most fragrant of all festival is the Mallige Pallakothsava or the Poopallaki, in Ulsoor, one of the oldest areas. People of the locality come together with every family supplying a volunteer, to reinforce the sense of community. Over 50-60 flowers bedecked chariots converge at the Someshwara temple before going in a procession. Old timers remember devotees coming to the festival in bullock carts, stay for days staying either with relatives or in choultries. Even today people cater to the huge crowds offering mass feeding and dispensing water, buttermilk and juice, to quench their thirst. The wedding of the deities is a grand event. All the gods and goddesses attend the reception of Goddess Kamakshi Amma which is borne in a palanquin bedecked with flowers, from the temple. There are nearly six historic temples in Ulsoor. The suburb hums with activity. All roads lead to the Sri Kamakshi Someshwara Swamy temple. Flower sellers, coconut merchants, fruit and betel vendors and hawkers of toys take up positions along the road. Women and children in colorful clothes come to the temple. The air is filled with fragrance of flowers. The imposing chariot is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, confirming to the specifications of the Agama Shastras. The chariot carrying the deity is pulled by the devotees. Poojas in the temple are performed by descendants of the Pandits brought here by Kempe Gowda, when he constructed the temple more than several centuries ago, known as Dikshitars, they hail from the great temple town of Kanchipuram. The Sri Kamakshi Someshwara Swamy temple is several years old. The temple was built by Kempa Gowda, the then ruer of Yelahanka Nadu. The temple is very famous for its architectural beauty and spiritual sanctity, when one faces the temple, a huge stone pillar called the Garuda Kambha is seen, In front of this pillar id=s the grand Mahadwara, the 'Great Door'. It is fixed in a high brick tower with metal Kalashas on the top. The tower, the Raj Gopura has important mythological stories exhibited in sculptures on it. As soon as one enters the temple, one finds a Bali Peeta, a Vrishaba Dwaja and a Nandi Mantap. Ahead of the Mantap is Shiva's sacred vehicle, the bull, guarding the Navaranga doorway are the two Dwarapalakas - door guards. In the Northern part of the temple, is a sculpture of Mahishasura Mardini slaying the demon buffalo. In the inner sanctum are a number of idols including those of Brahma and Vishnu. To the North of the temple is the temple of His consort, Kamakshi Devi. On the outer wall of the temple to Kamakshi Devi, the Girija Kalyana - the wedding of the Goddess is depicted. Attending the marriage of Shiva and Parvati are processions of the Trimurtis, the seven rishis, the twelve Adityas, the eleven rudras, eight Dikkalas and other figures. The marriage scene shows a bearded Brahma before the holy fire and Himavanta with a mountain on his head pouring kanya dhana water. In front of the Goddess Kamakshi os a Shri Chakra, a sacred symbol of the temple. It also has five Lingas. The Pancha Linga darshana is considered to be very sacred. It is said that all sins are washed away by worshiping the five Lingas. A small figure in memory of Kempe Gowda, Gangappa Gowda went hunting one day and came to a forest which existed in the area then. As he slept at noon, he had a dream, a devotee appeared to him and said there was a Linga beneath the spot where he was sleeping. When he had the earth dug up, he found a Linga. He built a Garba Gruha, a sanctum sanctorum in wood and worshiped the Linga. A successor, Giddappa Gowda, extended the temple by adding mud walls and wooden pillars. He brought Agama Shastra (temple building) experts from Kanchipuram and entrusted the religious duties of the temple to them. He organised an Agrahara - residential area for Brahmans in Ulsoor and made appropriate and permanent arrangements for the temple worship. Kempe Gowda another ruler of the dynasty, had a dream one night that there were seven big tubs of gold somewhere in the temple. It is said that Kempe Gowda got to work and found four tubs, the remaining were not found. The tubs were the size of those n which jaggery is mixed. He at once got to work on the temple, priests, architects and sculptors were brought from Kanchipuram and the entire temple was reconstructed in stone. Immadi Kempe Gowda, a successor invited experts in temple building from Tamil Nadu and from Belur in Karnataka and constructed the Prakara, Navaranga the Mukha Mantapa and the attractive Kamakshi Mantapa. It is said that the Dwara Gopura was constructed in 1605. Thus the temple was brought to its present form by stages at different periods. People from all over Bangalore throng the temple precincts during the festivals. The car festival of Lord Someshwara is one of the most colorful events. A 35 feet high wooden chariot carrying images of Lord Shiva, His consort and son is drawn around the area attracting people to the temple which is held in April. The car festival plays a great part in the economic and social life of people in the area and surroundings. On a full moon day preparation for the events begin in the temple. There are other festivals like Ankurpana, Nandi Vahana, the Gaja Vahana in which the deities are taken in a procession too.