Dasara Festival at Kulasekharapatnam - A Pictorial Chronicles

Artist R. Manivannan

(Visual artist and Fine-art travel documentary photographer)

M2 Photography - Creating art through the lens.

Location: kulasekarapattinam

Sri Mutharmman temple is located at Kulasekharapattinam village near Tiruchendur 55 km south of Tuticorin, Tamil nadu, India. In this temple, Dasara is celebrated as a big festival. Lakhs of people are assembling here to celebrate this festival. The uniqueness and oddity of the festival is that the devotees need not spend from their own pocket. They are expected to beg alms from door to door and only token offerings only is expected to be offered at shrine after meeting out their expenses. On the climatic day the sea shores of this otherwise deserted coastal village turns into veritable carnival of folk music and folk dance of the devotees in their chosen fancy dresses to either solicit the grace of or to thank for the boon granted by presiding deity Sri Muthramman considered to be the incarnation of Sakthi the consort of Lord Shiva in Hinduism.

Dasara Festival at Kulasekharapatnam

Kulasekharapatnam or Kulasekarapattinam (aka) Kulasai, is a remote coastal town in Tuticorin district in Tamilnadu. Earlier, it used to operate as a minor port for pearl fishing and trading with neighbouring Sri Lanka. A 300 year old Mutharamman Temple resides in the town where a massive Dasara celebrations takes place every year. However, these Dasara celebrations are quite unique and outlandish!

As per the tradition of this temple, devotees are inspired to transform themselves into Goddess Kali, kings, monkeys, beggars, and have to beg in the streets of the town. Their collected money is then submitted as an offering to the presiding deity, Sri Mutharamman Goddess. Here you can see the various moments from start to end of the Dasara celebrations.

Story of Artist Manivannan :

I am Manivannan, an artist and a professional photographer with a post-graduation in visual arts. I hail from the historic city of Tanjore, a city that is a household name for Arts and Architecture, in Tamil Nadu. I am a life-time member of Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural heritage (INTACH).

Having born into a city that flaunts various heritage sites, monuments, and world-renowned temples, I was quite naturally fascinated by them at a young age and developed a taste for Aesthetics. Obviously, the best breeding place for an artist. Art being the mother of photography, only the tools and techniques being different, I avowed to learn both. Thus, my passionate journey as an artist as well as a photographer begins.

My primary interest is to capture the rich and diverse arts, architectures, cultures, and heritages of India. My interests and works also include Architecture and monuments photography, Portraits, Street photography, Landscape photography, Travel photography, and Fine-art and documentary photography.

I have traveled extensively across the length and breadth of India to capture the diverse and magnificently rich cultures. I have captured through the photographic lens the alluring beauty of various heritage sites, monuments, and sculptures, which include Ajanta, Ellora, Sithannavaasal, Humphi, and Jagannath temple.

I was really honored when the government of Tamil Nadu chose me to send to capture the ‘Kumbh Mela.' Also, capturing the Theyyam festival of Kerala, camel pushkar of Rajasthan, and the Hornbill (the festival of festivals) of Nagaland were enthralling experiences to me. I have documented the lifestyles of various Tribes across India, as I believe ‘Tribes are ‘living pre-history' and their cultures are a repository of enormous cultural wealth. I have as well exhibited my photographs and Art works in several exhibitions.

Being an Artist and a Photographer, these two skills have been complementing each other, and this Twin Passion of mine is to me like the two eyes but with a common and single vision that is to “create art through the lens" by capturing the Elegance and richness of the Nature and Human culture and render them to the appreciation of the public. I conduct photography workshops and seminars for arts, architecture, and visual communication students. I also organize photography tours.