Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple (Thirupadagam), Kanchipuram – Festivals & Religious Practices
The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Vaikhanasa Aagama. The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m.
Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Pandava Thoothar and Rukmini. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.
The major festival of the temple is Krishna Janmashtami, celebrated during the Tamil month of Aavani (August - September). The other major festivals of this temple are Deepavali in October-November; Mukkotti Ekadasi; Panguni Uthiram in March-April; Sattrumurai Utsav for Arulala Perumal Emperumanar on Karthikai Bharani star day in November-December.