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Nagaswaram. The loudest instrument on Earth (according to me)

The Nagaswaram is an amazing instrument used chiefly in temples in Sth India. In temple bands there are usually 2 or 3 Nagaswaram and drums. For the Mahakumbhabhishaigam we had 2 of each. Trust me, it was loud. The music is complex and, to Western ears, chaotic. However, as you get used to it, the intricacies of the music reveal themselves and it is amazing to listen to and to watch. The ability to listen and watch these extraordinary musicians, who played for hours on end without stopping, was such an great opportunity. I enjoyed the band very very much.


Every Hindu Temple is reconsecrated every 12 years. It is called a Maha Kumbhabhishaigam. The rituals and activities continue for days.


Leading up to the Mahakumbhabhishaigam, repairs are conducted, renovations, repainting and re-beautifying all seen to. During these activities, the deities are removed to another room temporarily and pujas continue as normal using this room until the renovations are complete and it is time to reinstall the deities and renew the spiritual energy in the temple.


At the Adelaide Ganesha Temple major renovations were carried out. Then commenced five days of intense rites and rituals, fire ceremonies and chanting. It is a loud affair, with the Nagaswaram (Temple Band) playing at full volume, and the chanting's continuous. There were 10 priests in attendance from India, Malaysia and Adelaide. It was a truly amazing event with thousands attending. The energy was palpable.


I took a few pics on the first two days then got caught up in the rituals and didn't take any more. But if you are interested, the last day, the blessing of the temple with holy water, rose petals and other substances, can be seen on YouTube. The first of four videos is here.

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Taken on February 2, 2012