When unity is celebrated.

For some Radhapuram is a hot, dry barren land with fewer vegetation and nothing special. What makes this land peculiar to me is the large array of wind turbines and occasional trees in the vast blank roads. Its just nothingness till the eyes can see, but in the far out we could see silhouettes of hills and mountains. More than this, the hospitality of the people here binds me to this aberrant land.
My friend Vijay hails from one of the oldest families here and his ancestors used to own most of the land. So this was an easy access for me, as I could see more places and meet more people by accompanying him.

I have been to Radhapuram previously but when Vijay told about the Chariot festival, I didn't want to miss that opportunity to meet new faces.

The annual chariot festival of "Sree Nithya Kalyani Amman Temple" happens in the Tamil month of "Chithirai" and that's around April/May. The Nithya Kalyani Amman temple is one of the oldest temples here and the entire village town is constructed around this temple.

People who have migrated to other parts of the state for better job and education will come home on such occasions. There are two Chariots, the smaller one is pulled by women and the bigger one by men.Kids enjoy the sweets and toys which are available from the number of stalls opened specially for the festival.

It's really astounding to see how an otherwise deserted town transforms into a swarming huddle of people on that day. We can see people from all age group, gender and all walks of life huddle up and cooperate to pull the chariot together. It depicts our concept of "unity in diversity".

The two chariots take a full trip around the city. On the way, I could see people waiting with the offering for Amman. Its a treat for eyes to see how people coordinate and pull the chariot, it's really kind of an art. Making turns is the most difficult task, It demands expertise and stamina.

Once they reach the finish line, holy water is sprayed over everyone and people chant Amman's names and thank god for making the event a success.

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