Devapiran Temple, (Irattai Tirupati Temple), Tholavillimangalam, Thoothukudi – Festivals & Poojas
The Garuda Sevai utsavam (festival) in the month of Vaikasi (May-Jun) witnesses nine Garudasevai, a large event in which festive images from the Nava Tirupathi shrines in the area are brought on Garuda vahana (sacred vehicle) to Alwarthirunagari Temple. An idol of Nammalvar is also brought on an Anna Vahanam (palanquin) and his paasurams (verses) dedicated to each of these 9 temples are recited.
The Utsavar (festival deity) of Nammalvar is taken in a palanquin to each of the nine temples, through the paddy fields in the area. The paasurams (poems) dedicated to each of the nine Divyadesams are chanted in the respective shrines. This is the most important of the festivals in this area, and it draws thousands of visitors. Other festivals celebrated in the temple are Karthigai Brahmotsavam, Thai Fridays & Puratasi Saturdays.
The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Pancharathra 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 four times a day: Kalasanthi at 8:30 a.m., Uchikalam at 11:30 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Aravanai Pooja between 8:00 - 8:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Devapiran and Karunthadankanni.
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.