Friday, December 25, 2015

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Thirukovilur – Worship Practices & Festivals

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Thirukovilur – Worship Practices & Festivals

Worship Practices:

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 Vaishnavite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m.

Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Ulagalantha Perumal and Poongothai. During the last step of worship, Nadaswaram (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. Various festivals are celebrated in the temple, with the 15 day Panguni Brahmotsavam in March–April with Sri Pushpavalli Thayar Oonjal, being the most prominent one. During the Masi Magam festival celebrated in February–March, the festive deity is carried on the shoulders of devotees to Cuddalore. Pongal, Deepavali, Tamil and English New Year days are also observed with special pujas to Lord Trivikrama.

Other festivals are Purattasi Pavithra Utsavam, Navaratri, Srirama Navami, Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi, Vasantha Utsavam in April–May, Vaikasi Visakam Garuda Seva, Nammazhvar Satrumurai in May–June, Aani Periazhwar Satrumurai in June–July, Aadi Thiruvaadipooram, Andal Utsavam in July–August, Avani Sri Jayanthi, Uriyadi Utsavam in August–September, Aipasi Mudalazwar Satrumurai, Sri Manavala Mamunigal Utsavam in October–November, Karthikai Kaisika Ekadasi, Tirukarthikai in November–December, Margazhi Raapathu, Pagal Pathu and Vaikunta Ekadashi in December–January.