The ninth day of the annual Thiruvizha at Sydney’s Murugan temple attracted thousands of devotees on Sunday 16 March. The chariot festival is one of the hightlights of Thiruviza. The Lord Murugan procession started at 10.30am, soon after the morning poojas. The festival, in its 12th year in Sydney, keeps growing every year as the number of devotees increases.
A few thousand people visit the temple during Thiruvizha, which will conclude on 18 March with Poongaavanam.
The festival organising committee has a free shuttle service from Westmead railway station to the temple and back. On Sunday 16 March, around 5,000 people were served free food prepared by volunteers working for the temple committee.
The Saiva Manram (TSM), organisers of the festival, have coordinator groups from various suburbs of Sydney organising each day’s events. The festival’s first day, (hoisting of the flag), ninth day (chariot festival) and Day 10 were managed by TSM. The other days’ events were organised by groups working from various suburbs of Sydney working under TSM. The groups are Group H, headed by V Satkunarajah (Parramatta, Mays Hill, Westmead and surrounds), Group G headed by T Sampanthar (Prospect, Rooty Hill, Blacktown, Seven Hills, Doonside, Mt Druitt and surrounds), Group CD headed by N Ketheesan (suburbs include Homebush and surrounds; Hurstville and surrounds; the Eastern suburbs; Menai, Bankstown, Fairfield, Smithfield, Villawood, Chester Hill, Cabramatta, Horsely Park etc); Group B headed by S Vellupillai (Auburb, Lidcombe, Merrylands, Harris Park, Granville, Berala, Regents Park etc); Group A headed by Dr V Manomohan (Strathfield, Enfield Burwood, Ashfield and surrounds); Group F headed by B Ravindran (Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, North Rocks, West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook, Kellyville, Kings Langley, Bella Vista etc); Group E headed by T Vaikunthan (Ermington, Dundas, Eastwood, Gordon, Beeecroft, Cheltenham, Carlingford, Ryde, West Ryde, Chatswood, Dee Why, Hornsby etc), and the Sydney Murugan Youth Circle with representative volunteers from all suburbs.
Thiruvizha is held in the month of Panguni of the Tamil calendar. Although the Murugan festival is a Tamil festival it attracts people from all communities of the South Asian diaspora.
Published in Indian magazine, Australia