Saturday, March 12, 2016

Annamalaiyar Temple – Karthikai Dheepam Festival

Annamalaiyar Temple – Karthikai Dheepam Festival
Many festivals are celebrated at Annamalaiyar temple in Thiruvannamalai throughout the year. Among them Karthigai Deepam is the most significant festival that is celebrated with pomp and gaiety at Annamalaiyar temple. This Karthigai Deepam is celebrated as a ten day festival and it widely known as Karthigai Brahmotsavam.
First Day:
Karthika Deepam festival begins with the hosting of the flag signifying the commencement of the festival also known as Dwajaroghanam. In the morning and night Lord Annamalaiyar will be taken out on the silver vahana for procession.
The Panchamurthis (Panchamoorthigal) are also taken out in the procession. The Panchamoorthigal are Ganapathi, Murugan, Sandeswarar, Annamalaiyar and Parvathi.
These processions are carried out on different vahanams after the Deeparadhana is done at the kalyana mandapam.
Second Day:
Karthigai Deepam festival commences with the Lord Panchamoorthigal coming on Indira Vimanam the chariot of Lord Indira.
Third Day:
Karthigai Deepam festival begins at night with the Lord Panchamoorthigal coming in procession majestically on the Simha vahana, the chariot of lion. 
Fourth Day:
Lord Panchamoorthigal comes in the procession that starts at night on the Kamadhenu vahanam. The auspicious tree Karpaviruksha is also on the side of the lord. This tree is believed to grant all the wishes that the devotees seek without fail.
Fifth Day:
Karthikai Deepam festival begins at night. This procession on the silver rishaba vahanam is very appealing and splendid to witness.
Lord Panchamoorthigal goes on this vahana that is about 25 feet tall. A big umbrella with about 17 feet in diameter is carried along in the procession.
Sixth Day:
Karthigai Deepam festival commences with a night procession of Lord Panchamoorthigal on the silver chariot that is beautifully crafted and simply imposing when it comes around the temple.
Seventh Day:
Lord Panchamoorthigal starts with the procession on the Maha Ratham that is very huge and it almost occupies the full width of the road. This Ratham is made of pure wood that is strong and rugged. 
Eighth Day: 
Karthigai Deepam festival begins at night with the Lord Panchamoorthigal going out on procession on the huge horse vahana. The specialty of this horse is that all the four legs of this horse are in the air and they do not touch the ground.
Ninth Day:
Devotees can witness Lord Panchamoorthigal going out procession on the Kailasa Vahanam. This ceremony is mostly conducted on the ninth night.
Tenth Day:
Karthigai Deepam festival starts at around four o clock in the early hours and the Bharani Deepam is lit at the temple. In the evening the Maha deepam is lit on the top of the hill at around six o clock.
This is a very important ceremony during the Karthigai Deepam festival at Thiruvannamalai. Annamalaiyar is said to be visually represented in the form of Agni on the hill top.
There is a very mammoth gathering on this day at the Annamalaiyar temple to witness this glorious and sacred event. The night ceremony starts with Lord Periya Nayagar going out procession on the Rishaba vahanam that is made of gold. This is another spectacular event at Annamalaiyar temple at Thiruvannamalai.
Lord Chandrashekarar, Lord Parasakthi, and Lord Subramaniar go in the boat and this is called Theppam, since it carried out in the tank. Lord Annamalaiyar goes procession round the hill, known as Girivalam or pradhakshina.
With this ceremony the Karthigai Deepam festival at Annamalaiyar temple comes to a grand conclusion with the devotees taking back home some divine blessings and memories from this ancient holy city Thiruvannamalai.