Vallakottai Subramaniaswamy Temple – Festivals & Religious Practises
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed five times a day: Go Pooja at 6:30 a.m., Kalasandhi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikala Poojai at 8:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Arthajama Pooja at 8:15 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) & deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for the presiding deities. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple. The temple is open from 6:30 am – 12:00 pm and 5 – 8:30 pm on all days except during festive occasions when it has extended timings.
The temple possesses gold, jewels, diamonds, and rubies, silver vessel and other costly articles worth many lakhs of rupees. Every Thursday, Lord Subramaniaswamy is decorated with Diamond Vel. The day of Krittika is very important and thousands of people worship the Lord every month on this day. The main festivals are the Brahma Utsavam, Skanda Shashti, Adi Kiruthikai and the festival of Subrahmanya’s marriage with Valli.
A popular event performed a few years ago is the Sri Subrahmanya Sahasranama (1008 names of Subrahmanya) Archana. A Sahasra namamala, a garland of gold coins on each of which one of the 1,008 names of the Lord was inscribed, was made and offered to the deity. Devotees from far and near in large numbers participated in this holy and pious act.
Here also pilgrims carry Kavadis to the shrine and abhishekams are performed to the idol on behalf of the devotees. Bathing of the deity in holy ashes, known as Vibhuti Abhishekam is a feature here as in Palani temple and in that Abhishekam the idol has a very captivating and awe-inspiring aspect.
The important festivals conducted in the temple are:
1. Monthly Kiruthikai festival
2. Temple Car festival in April
3. Visakam festival in May
4. Navarathri festival in May
5. Skanda Shashti festival in October
6. Tiru Karthikai festival in Nov/December
7. Thaipusam festival in January
8. Panguni Uttiram festival in March