Sunday, June 12, 2016

Yathothkari Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram – Worship Practices & Festivals

Yathothkari Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram – Worship Practices & Festivals

Worship Practices:

The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Vaikhanasa Aagamam. 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 7.00 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 Yathothkari Perumal and Komalavalli. 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.


Brahmotsavam celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (Apr-May) is the major festival celebrated in this temple with much fanfare. Aipasi Thiruvonam (Sep-Oct), the birth star of Poigai Azhwar, is celebrated every year. The legend of Kanikannan along with Thirumazhisai Azhwar and Lord Yathothkari Perumal leaving Kanchipuram and returning back to Kanchipuram is celebrated during Thai Magam festival (Jan-Feb). During this day, the utsava idol of Yathothkari Perumal, Thirumazhisai Azhwar and Kanikannan are taken in procession to Orikkai village to have a short stay and return back to the temple. Pavitrotsavam and Vaikunda Ekadashi are also celebrated here.