Musicians Heralding A Parade watercolor sketch by Meera Rao
Street parades and processions during festival season is a common sight. In the southern India it is often lead by musicians playing Nadaswaram or even saxaphone, mridanga and dolu -drums playing joyful hymns. The ensemble is called 'valaga.' They are followed by elaborately decorated floats carrying various deities.
Hitching a ride with the Deity watercolor sketch Meera Rao
Children enjoy riding on the back of the ornate floats and being a part of the parade. Prominently displayed on the floats are the names of the sponsors. The floats are called 'vahana' and they carry the images of deities. Devotees sing and dance as they slowly make way thru the streets. Here a vehicle is decorated with a pair of 'swans.'
Vahana with Ornate silver Horses watercolor sketches Meera Rao
'Silver horses' decorated with flowers, silky materials and ornaments hide a car/truck that is carrying another deity! The sponsors take great pride in making sure their 'vahana' stands out in the procession. On the whole it is a fun diversion and joyous occasion for kids and participants and but a major traffic headache for some others :)
The sketches are part of my sketchbook "Embracing the Ephemeral" done on Moleskine Japanese Albums in pencil/pen and watercolors.