The evening before the anniversary saw nine elephants and 108 drummers from the state of Kerala performing at the entrance plaza in Sripuram followed by lion dancers from Singapore.
Elephants at the start of the procession
Drummers & Musicians play at the gate of the Sripuram Golden Temple
Lion Dancers from Singapore thrill the crowd
Devotee beats the drum for the Lion Dancers
The anniversary celebrations started early in the morning at around 7.00 am. 25 priests from Karnataka performed homam at the venue which was a stage erected in the market place of Vellore City. First was Ganapathy Homam which was followed by Gayatri Homam, Navagraha Homam, Mrityunjaya Homam, Rudram, Purusha Suktham, Medha Suktham, Sri Suktham, Durga Suktham and Narayani Moola Mantram The homam continued till 2:00 pm and attracted crowds all day long. Meanwhile 120 female singers from different parts of Karnataka state performed vocal music in the Darshan Hall of the Sripuram from 2:00-4:00pm.
Foreign devotees in prayer
Amma arrived at the stage in Vellore at 3:00 pm. Poornaudhi (final culmination of the homam) took place after which Amma performed the Gaja puja to summon the procession. While the animals took their position in the procession, artists from various states got on the trailers and were ready to perform their dance representing their state.
Crowds witness the arrival of Beloved Amma in procession
Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of Beloved Amma
Ambulance Services on hand in case of an emergency
Folk artistes and musicians entertain the crowds
Crowds receive Amma's Blessings
Amma crowned after the Pada Puja
Amma presents the new souvenir magazine to a guest
Amma presents the new souvenir magazine to another guest
There was a pada puja for Amma performed by the President of the Flower Association which was followed by the release of the souvenir magazine. Then some chief heads of various associations paid homage to Amma. At 5:00pm Amma got on to the Peacock Chariot and sprinkled holy water on everyone.
Beloved Amma sprinkles holy water on the crowd
Beloved Amma blesses everyone
The procession consisted of Elephants, followed by Camels, Horses, Trailers representing Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Narayani Vidyalaya students. After the trailers were over 300 artistes performing the different folk art forms of Tamil Nadu. There were 2 dancing horses which won the hearts of many.
Artistes from different states of India
They were followed by 54 instrumentalists. Then came AMMA in the Peacock Chariot and Trailers with the Veda priests from Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Punjab and Karnataka. After them came 54 instrumentalists, school buses with overseas devotees, local devotees and staff.
Beloved Amma arrives on the Peacock Chariot
It took 5 1/2 hours for the procession to cover this 9km but the Divine Mother had that gracious and loving smile all through the journey. Crowds thronged on either sides of the procession for the entire distance to have their children blessed by Amma, to have the holy water sprinkled on them or even to just have a glimpse and offer salutations from a distance. Due to the energy and vibrations many managed to walk without a sign of strain or tiredness.
Crowds gathered to witness the celebrations
On arriving at the Sripuram, Amma went into the Mahalakshmi Temple and sprinkled holy water on the Goddess Lakshmi Narayani and then on the devotees who had gathered there. It was a beauty to behold and a treat for everyone to receive Amma' s blessings. Thank you for the blessings and opportunity AMMA.