Yathothkari Perumal Temple (Tiruvekkaa), Kanchipuram – Festivals & Religious Practices
The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Vaikhanasa Aagama. 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 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.
The main festival of the Thiruvekka Yathokthakari Perumal Temple, Brahmotsavam is celebrated in Chithirai (April-May). Other major festivals of this Divya Desam temple are Pavitrotsavam (cleansing), Aippasi Thiruvonam (September or October), Vaikunta Ekadesi (December or January) and Poigai Azwar Varushothsavam.