Making of Umbrellas
The celebration of offering umbrellas on the day of Garudotsavam has been in practice for over a period of 180 years. This worship was started by Sri Venkata Krishnamma Setty. It has been in practice traditionally for a long time. For the preparation of umbrellas, nearly a month’s duration is required.
Usually, before two months, the process of the divine work takes its initial startup. One auspicious day is fixed during the fortnight period of ‘Ashada Amavasya’ and ‘Purnima’. The material used is well-grown bamboo reapers which are to be worshipped prior to the making of the umbrellas.
During the making of the umbrellas, the part of the tree trunk is used to make the long post and above that, a ‘kalasa’ is placed. Bamboo reapers, silk cloth and white cloth are woven above the kalasa.
WoodWork – Bamboo- Silk – Cloth
Different parts of the umbrellas are made in different areas like Woodwork will be taken up in Chennai. The bamboo work will be done in Kanchi and the ornamental silk work will be done in Chintadripeta in Chennai.
Firstly, silk cloth is used inside the umbrella. Above that, Qualitative ‘tracade’ cloth will be used. It is then wrapped in White ‘drill’ cloth. Ornamental ‘kuchu’ designs are decorated around the umbrella.
A white cloth would be placed as a cover on the three types of cloth in order to protect the shining of the umbrellas during the times of procession. As soon as the umbrellas reach Tirumala, the umbrellas will be unveiled by removing the outer protecting cover. They appear radiantly to the onlookers during the procession.
The ‘kalasalu’ which were arranged above the umbrella and based below the stem of the umbrella would be smeared with gold colour in order to protect its scintillating effect.
Procession of Umbrellas
Followed by a musical troupe, the umbrellas will be taken in a procession in the streets of Chennapattanam. During this, the devotees offer incense, lights, ‘haarati’ and ‘naivedyam’ to the Lord.
The umbrellas reach the ‘Kalyanamandapam’ located in Kandapu Setty street in Chennai. The ‘mandapam’ was arranged by the then Mayor of Chennapuri Sri K. Sreeramulu.
It is a rule that the ‘mandapam’ was to be used when the umbrellas were offered gloriously. During those days, the devotees who enter the ‘mandapam’ feel excited, as if they were in the presence of the Lord of Seven Hills at Tirumala.
There is a special privilege in the making of these umbrellas. A costly silk cloth is woven for the ‘Moolamurthy’ of Tirumala. It will be kept on a glass shelf and worshipped there itself. Along with the new umbrellas, the devotees bring the cloth and reach Tirumala by foot on the day of Garuda Seva.
Lord Malayappa swami come along with these newly prepared umbrellas on the Garuda Vahana in a procession in the night. Later, the ‘Moolamurthy’ is being decorated with the valuable silk cloth.
If one visits and serves Lord Venkateswara on the day of Garuda Seva, which is renowned for ‘Kaimkaryam’ of umbrellas, the Almighty will bless the devotees with prosperity, peace and eternal bliss.