Vilakkoli Perumal Temple (Tiruththanka or Thoopul), Kanchipuram – Festivals & Religious Practices
The temple follows the traditions of the Vadakalai 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).
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 Brahmotsavam festival during the Tamil month of Puratasi (September - October) is the major festival celebrated in Vedanta Desika shrine. During the festival, the festival image of Desikar is carried to the Varadaraja Perumal Temple. Special worship practises and rituals are followed during the occasion.
During the Brahmotsavam in Varadaraja Perumal Temple during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June), the festival image of Varadaraja Perumal on his Garuda Vahana is brought to the shrine of Vedanta Desika on three different days.
Lord Vilakkoli Perumal visits Desika’s shrine during the Aavani festival in August-September and the one in Margazhi (December-January) of Perumal honoring Desikar.