Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple, Thiruninravur – Festivals & Religious Practices
The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Pancharatna. 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 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 8:30 p.m.
Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Bhaktavatsala Perumal and Sudhavalli Thayar. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (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 during Panguni (March - April), Panguni Tiruvonam in March-April, birth star days of Sri Vaishnava Acharyas and 12 Azhwars, Chitra Poornima in April-May and Wedding festivals, Deepavali in October-November, Sri Jayanti Utsavam during Aavani, Tirukarthikai in November-December, Tiruadyana Utsavam during Margazhi (December - January), Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January, Masi Magam in February-March, Thai Pongal and Ratha Sapthami in January-February are the festivals celebrated in the temple. All full moon days, Tiruvonam star days, Fridays and Saturdays are special puja days in the temple.