Nachiyar Koil (Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple) - Festivals & Religious 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 Vaishnavaite 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 Srinivasa and Nachiyar.
During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the sacred texts Vedas 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.
The prime festival or Brahmotsavam is a 10-day festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January). Garuda Sevai is celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (March–April). During both these festivals, the festive images of Kal Garuda are taken out around the streets of the temple.
Vasantotsavam or spring festival is celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May–June). The Thirukalyana Utsavam or the wedding festival is celebrated in the 100-pillared hall during the Tamil month of Aavani (September–October).
The very special Garuda Seva Utsavam is conducted twice a year. One is during Margazhi month and another during Panguni month.