Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple (Kallapiran Temple), Srivaikundam, Thoothukudi – Festivals
The Garuda Sevai utsavam(festival) in the month of Vaikasi (May – Jun) witnesses 9 Garudasevai, a spectacular event in which festival image idols from the Nava Tirupathis shrines in the area are brought on Garuda vahana (sacred vehicle). An idol of Nammalvar is also brought here on a 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 9 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.
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 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m, Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m, & Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Vaikuntanathan and Vaikundavalli.
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.
Important Festivals celebrated in this temple are;
· Brahmotsavam – January or February
· Pavithra Utsavam – January or February
· Vaikunda Ekadasi – January
· Pongal – January
· Garuda Sevai utsavam festival – May or June
· Deepavali – October or November