Uthamar Temple, Manachanallur – Festivals
The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The priests of the Bikshadanar shrine belong to the Shaiva community, while the priests of Purushothamar are from Vaishnava community. The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushathkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 5:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 8:30 p.m. The Saiva and Vaishnava sects have their own rituals. The ritual of Bhishadanar comprises four steps: abishekam (sacred bath), Alankaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Bikshadanar and Soundarya Parvathi Amman.
The worship is held amidst religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred texts) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly rituals like Somavaram (Monday) and Sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Ammavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) & Sathurthi for Bhishadanar. The major festival of the temple, the Brahmotsavam, is celebrated during the Tamil month of Karthigai (November – December) when festival images of both Purushothamar and Bhishadanar are carried together in the streets surrounding the temple. Kadamba Thiruvizha is a festival celebrated in the temple when the festival image of Ranganathar is brought to the Kadamba tank of the temple for Theerthavari.
The Karthikai festival in November-December is celebrated at three directions for the three Lords by burning the Chokkapanai (a palm leaf set up around a tall palm tree stem). Theerthavari festival is celebrated in Coloroon River (Kollidam) for Lord Shiva on Thai Poosam day (January-February) and on Masi Magam day in February-March for Lord Vishnu. Float festival is celebrated for Lord Perumal in Chithirai (April-May) and for Lord Shiva in Vaikasi (May-June). The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu.