Karthikai -2009 - A variety of lamps


With the advent of Karthikai, out come the old brass lamps, some of which are family heirlooms…. At our place, we still prefer using the clay lamps, simply ‘cause they look so beautiful, and we can leave them outside without any fear of them being carried away!!! However, our neighbours regularly take out their special brass lamps, and I decided to capture some of the interesting types of lamps on my camera…..

This is the typical Kerala type of lamp…. surrounded by the smaller lamps which are unique to Karthikai.




Here is an assortment of lamps, the central one being the typical Kuttu Vilakku, a lamp all of us Tamilians possess.




Around it is the Kamakshi Vilakku, which has an image of the goddess Kamakshi behind the area where the flame is lit. But the most interesting of the lot is this one……..





This is called the ‘Aikya Vilakku’ (Aikyam – meaning attainment). The lamp is so-called since it is a representation of the trinity – the base representing Brahma, and the upright part representing a Shiva Lingam, with the Namam (the three vertical lines) representing Vishnu.


Here’s another interesting lamp from another neighbour’s house – this one is a different shape with the top bulging out – apparently, this part can be opened and filled with oil so that it trickles down to replenish the stock of oil near the flame, and the lamp burns for a much longer time!




An interesting assortment of lamps, aren’t they?? I am sure there are many more such interesting lamps from all over India….. And I am trying to collect information about them. if you know of any, please do send me a mail, or leave a comment on this post.



Comments

  1. Nice and informative...If I get to any lamps in my database will surely get u know

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  2. It is people with interest who would notice it. To me unless pointed out, all of them would have looked the same, which is a pity.

    Lovely lamps.

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  3. Nice collection and I learnt a good deal about couple of lamps :) Great! nd I voted for u already :)

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  4. @ Tarun : thanks a lot!!! lets see if i get hold of a lot more pics of lamps, maybe i can do another detailed post on them!!!

    @ Mridula : lamps have always interested me.... before i got married, i used to spend hours putting the rangoli and getting the lamps ready.. used to even draw the rangolis like the different lamps..... now theres no time for all that....

    @ Sri : thanks a lot!!!

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  5. What an interesting post, thanks for sharing the info. I have, of course, nothing to add, but will be dropping in again to check if there is anything else new on this.

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  6. I liked the aikya lamp. haven't seen such a lamp.

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  7. Beautiful. Loved the variety in these lamps. We still have some of them and to polish them and keep them shining is an interesting activity.

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  8. @ Celine: thanks a lot....i shall certainly update the post as soon as i get some more pics....

    @Chitra: neither had I!! this is a neighbour;s and she says it is a speciality of thirunelveli!!

    @Rajesh: yes, polishing them is an arduous task indeed!!! and here in bombay, they really become jet black in colour thanks to the moisture!!!

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  9. Thank you for your blog. I have been following your blog for a very long time. Just a quick point. Aikiyam would mean integration (or unity) rather than attainment. This is also more in line with your elaboration about Siva and Vishnu. Thanks.
    Kris

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