Karunellinathar Temple, Thiruthangal – Religious Practices & Festivals
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamilnadu, the priests belong to the Shaivaite 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 5:00 p.m., and Ardha Jamam at 8:30 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: Abhishekam (sacred bath), Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Lord and Mother.
The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly rituals like Somavaram and sukravaram, fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Amavasai (new moon day), Kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi. Thai Poosam is a festival celebrated during January and food is distributed to poor people.
Chithirai festival in April-May, 11 day Karthikai festival in November-December, special festival for Palaniandi, Thiruvillakku puja to Mother Meenakshi on all Poornima – full moon days, procession of Lord Shiva on Pradosham days – 13th day either from new moon or full moon day – Abishek and pujas to Mother Durga on all Tuesdays, special pujas on Tamil and English new year days, Deepavali, Pongal are the festivals celebrated in the temple. The crowd is huge on New Moon, Full Moon days and Pradosha days in the temple.