Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thyagaraja Temple, Thiruvarur – Festivals

Thyagaraja Temple, Thiruvarur – Festivals
Important Festivals:
Festivals celebrated in this temple are listed below;
·   10 day Panguni Uthiram in March-April with the flag hoisting on the Hastha Star Day of the previous Tamil month Masi,
with car festival on the 10th day with the significance of the darshan granted to sage Vyakrapada
·        Aruthra Utsavam – Lord’s legs can be seen on that day.
·        Chariot Festival in Panguni
·        Vasantha Utsavam
·        Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January
·        Lord Thyagesar granting his Feet darshan – Pada Darshan
·        10 day Aadi Pooram in July-August
·        The Boodha Ganas carrying paddy bags to Saint Sundarar on Masi Magam Day in February-March;
·        Chithirai festival in April-May
·        Pradosha Poojas are devotionally performed drawing huge crowds
·        Deepavali
·        Pongal the Makara Sankaranthi
·        Tamil and English New Year days
Panguni Uttara Peruvizha and Float Festival:
Every year the Panguni Uttara Peruvizha ends with the Theppam or float festival that is celebrated on the Kamalalaya Kulam (tank) in front of the temple. During the float festival devotees consider it an honour to climb onto the raft with the image of the god. The float continuously goes around the Kamalalaya Kulam for 3 days.
Chariot Festival:
The festival called Therottam is a historical event that still follows the same rituals and tradition associates with the Thyagarajaswami Temple, Tiruvarur, in Tamilnadu. The Lord Veethividangar now called as Thyagarajaswami (Shiva) comes out of the massive ancient temple, with his consort Kondi (Parvathi) to bless the devotees who always come to visit him in his abode. One of the very old and ancient festivals that often mentioned in the devotional hymns of saints like (ApparTirugnanasambandar and Sundarar) and many Tamil literature, usually held during the summer between March–April months of every year, lasts more than 25 days.

Kulothunga Chola II (1133–50 CE) enlarged the temple ritual to have fifty six festivals, some of which are followed in modern times. The annual chariot festival of the Thyagarajaswami temple is celebrated during April – May, corresponding to the Tamil month of Chitrai. On the day of the chariot festival the Utsava moorthy (the lord how comes out for procession), is beautifully decorated and bought out of the temple along with his consort to the Great car and go for the procession all day long. This chariot is said to the biggest one of its type in size and height. It is 96 feet (29 m) tall and weighs more than 300 tons. 

Apart from this grand big chariot there are 4 more cars for the lord's consort, Subramanya, Ganapathi and Sandikeswarar respectively. All this chariots are big in size but relatively smaller than the Great Ther of Tiruvarur. This grand Chariot is extensively decorated with wooden carvings and finishes. It requires a minimum of ten thousand people to pull the chariot around the four surrounding streets of the temple. The chariot comes around the four main streets surrounding the temple during the festival. The car is pulled by people with a backup of bulldozers which push the car from behind. Iron wheels fitted to the car make the movement easy and fast.

Hydraulic brake system helps in maneuvering the car. The event is attended by lakhs of people from all over Tamilnadu. The chariot festival is followed by the "Theppam", meaning float festival. The chariot is a beautiful structure with intricate work and the biggest, which was used as model for the Valluvar Kottam in Chennai. The original chariot was burnt in 1922 in an accident caused by Justice Party members during the anti-Brahmin agitation under Periyar EV Ramaswamy. The new chariot was later built and has replaced the old one in the original grandeur.

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