Friday, November 17, 2017

Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane – Festivals

Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane – Festivals
Tiruvallikeni is noted for its colourful festivals throughout the year. The recitation of the 4,000 hymns of the Azhwars is a great tradition preserved in this temple for generations. During festival days, the place is given a new look and accompanied by various traditional rites. Triplicane is known for celebrations held throughout the year. There are festivals held specifically for each of the deities round the year. The temple is administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Vaikanasa Aagama.
Utsavams take place around the year in Parthasarathy temple. Urchavams (or Utsavams), as these are termed, take place for a god at a particular period of time in the year. It is a religious practice to carry the different gods of the temple through the Mada veethis of Triplicane during some of these festivals. The Gods will move in different religiously built temple vehicles (vahanams, as these are termed in Tamil), like Elephant, Garuda, horse, Yali (a mythical animal), temple Rath (Ther in Tamil, chariot or Ratham, alternative terms), etc.
Theppam (Float) Festival:
Theppam Festival is also known Theppotsavam (Theppam + Utsavam), this pictorial and colourful festival takes place on 7 days in the Tamil month of Masi, 3 days for Lord Parthasarathy, one each for Sri Narasimhar, Sri Ranganathar, Sri Ramar and Sri Gajendra Varadhar. The seven-day event attracts many devotees and onlookers from different parts of Chennai and Tamil Nadu. A floating structure made up of drums, timber would be constructed and would be beautifully decorated with lights, flowers, religious paintings, silken buntings, etc. which serves as a visual delight. For better ambience, lights were also installed in the garden around the tank and additionally, focus lights were placed on the corners of the Neerazhi Mandapam (the mandapam (structure) in the center of the temple tank). 
Perumal (God) would come to the temple tank in Purapadu (departure) and be placed majestically inside the float. On all the days, the float completed five rounds around the Neerazhi Mandapam. After this, the deities were taken in a procession around the four Mada Streets. Devotees in hundreds would converge and sit on the steps of the temple tank to have darshan of the Lord on Theppam. The specialty of the third day function is the ‘Thirumanjanam', performed to the deity inside the float. Other than the bhattachariars (temple priests), no one is allowed inside the float. A Rescue team of about 10 swimmers is usually provided by the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services.
This Theppam festival exhibits one of the aspects of the richest cultural heritage aspects of Triplicane which one can see nowhere else in Chennai, other than Mylapore.
Thiru Adi Puram Festival:
A separate shrine is built for Sri Andal - the incarnation of Bhu Devi and the festivals are being celebrated monthly and annually. In the month of Adi (June-July) Thiru Adi Puram festival for ten days is celebrated ending with the procession of Andal with Sri Parthasarathy Swamy on Pura Thirunakshatram day (Thiru Aadippooram), the birth star of Sri Andal.
Neerattu Utsavam:
Neerattu Utsavam for nine days is also done in the month of Margazhi (December-January) ending with Bhogi Thirukalyanam with Sri Parthasarathy Swamy.
Deepa Alankara Festival:
During Karthika Masa (October- November), Deepa Alankara festival is celebrated, when lights of various sizes and shapes are lit throughout the month. On the day of Karthika Poornima, full moon day, lakhs of devotees throng to the temple and light lamps. 
Dhavana Uthsavam:
Dhavana Uthsavam is celebrated for 3 days in the month of Masi commencing from Swathi Thirunakshatram.
Theerthavari Festival:
In the month of Masi (March- April) a festival for Lord Parthasarathy known as Theerthavari festival is held at sea shore.
Pallava Uthsavam:
Pallava Uthsavam is celebrated for five days in the month of Panguni and Sthala Puranam is read on all days of the festival and the festival ends with Thirukalyanam with Vedavalli Thayar on the Panguni Uthiram day.
The wedding of Lord Ranganatha with Vedavalli is celebrated annually during Masi Shukla Dwadashi (12th day in the month of January- February)
Navarathri Festival:
Navarathri festival ending with Mahanavami is celebrated in the month of Purattasi (September-October).
Narasimha Jayanthi:
Sri Narasimha Jayanthi, the birth day of Shri Narasimha, is celebrated on the Suddha Cathurdasi day in the month of Vaikasi.
Hanumanth Jayanthi:
Hanumanth Jayanthi with procession is done on the day of Suddhya Thrayodasi in the month of Margazhi.
Rama Navami:
Sri Rama Navami festival is celebrated in the month of Panguni and on the third day morning, Garuda Vahana procession is conducted.
Vaikunta Ekadashi:
Vaikunta Ekadashi, during December- January is one of the important festivals celebrated with great fervor. It is generally believed that people who go through the Vaikunta Dwara on Vaikunta Ekadashi day will reach Vaikunta, the abode of Lord Vishnu after their death.
Other Festivals:
Festivals are done to Sri Thayar on every Friday and the procession is carried out within the precincts of the temple Thirumanjanam or holy bath is done on every Friday. Procession on every Swathi Thirunakshatram day being the day when he appeared to Athri Rishi, is conducted in the four small Mada veethis.
The following are the various festivals or Urchavams or Utsavams or Utsav in Parthasarathy temple in different parts of the Tamil Calendar year.
Traditional Tamil calendar month (Gregorian calendar months)
Chithirai (April–May)
Shri Brahma Utsavam (Brahmotsavam) - Lord Shri Brahma himself will perform this most important festival. 
Seer Shri Udayavar Utsavam
Vidaiyaatri (Concluding and Leave-Taking Ceremony).
Vaikasi (May–June)
Vasanthotsavam- Spring Festival
Shri Gajendra Varadaraja Swamy Utsavam
Shri Ranganatha-Shri Vedavalli Thayar Utsavam
Sri Nammalwar Uthsavam (Vaikasi - Visagam)
Aani (June–July)
Shri Narasimha Swami Brahmotsavam
Kodai Utsavam (Summer Festival)
Aadi (July–August)
Shri Gajendra Moksham (Salvage for Gajendra-King of Elephants)
Shri Parthasarathy Jestabishekam
Thiru Pavadai Utsavam
Thiru Aadi Pooram - Birthday of Andal on her Birth Zodiacal Star
Aavani (August–September)
Pavitrotsavam (Thiru Pavithra Utsav) - Sanctification ceremony
Shri Jayanthi or Krishna Jayanthi (Birthday of Lord Krishna)
Puratasi (September–October)
Navarathri -Festival of nine lights
Shri Vedavalli Thaayar Laksharchana
Aipasi (October–November)
Shri Manavaala Mamunigal Utsavam
Deepavali or Diwali - Festival of Lights
Anna kooda Utsavam- offering variety of rice
Karthigai (November–December)
Thiru Karthigai Deepam - Various and Varied Lights
Thaila Kappu - anointing of several medicinal oils or his/her corporal
Margazhi (December–January)
Margazhi Pagal Pathu (Days-Ten)
Shri Vaikunta Ekadasi (Entering Heaven) Raa Pathu (Night-Ten)
Thai (January–February)
Laksharchana of Shri Parthasarathy Swamy
Ratha Sapthami (Ratha-Car, Sapthami-Seventh Lunar Occasion) Visiting Festival to Ekkatuthangal
Masi (February–March)
Masi Magam (Magam-star day)
Theppam or Theppotsavam (Float Festival in Temple Tank)
Dhavana Utsavam (Spring Festival)
Panguni (March–April)
Panguni Uthiram (Uthiram - a star day)
Shri Rama Navami (Birthday of Lord Ram)
Some Nivedhanas are famous in Perumal temples – Tirupati Laddu, saltless rice in Uppiliappan Koil and Dosa in Madurai Kallazhagar temple.  Sweet Pudding – Sarkarai Pongal is famous in Parthasarathy temple. For every 2-kg rice, they add 400 gm cashew nuts and 700 gm ghee in the preparation. Devotees can pay and get it prepared for them for the Nivedhana of Lord.