Annamalaiyar And Unnamalaiyamman

Annamalaiyar And Unnamalaiyamman

About Karthigai Deepam :

Legend has it that the practice came into existence following a dispute between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma over who was the greater of the two. After some hindrance to their attempts to gauge their strength, the two prayed to Lord Siva for His Grace.

Their test was to find the top and the bottom of a blazing mount which was actually Siva. Lord Siva blessed Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma and said that He would appear as Jothi (flame) on top of the hill. It is to commemorate this event that the flame is lit on top of the hill during the month of Karthigai (Nov 15-Dec 15).

Evidence from Tamil literature proves that this festival is one of the oldest in the state. It finds mention in Tholkappiam, Which is believed to be more than 3000 Years old, the oldest known work in the language, Jeevaka Chintamani (one of the five Kappiams) also mentions the Deepam as do the two old Tamil works Kar Narpathu and Kalavazhi Narpathu.

The festival begins in the uthiradam (star) day in Karthigai and winds up with the Bharani Deepam lit in the early hours of the tenth day. The Deepam is lit at dusk, Coinciding with a full moon, after the Ardhanareeswarar deity is taken to the "Katchi Mandapam" where the Panchamoorthis have already been kept.

The lighting of the beacon on the top of the hill is the culmination of ten days of hectic activity in the temple town.

The lighting of the beacon on top of the hill is the culmination of ten days of hectic activity in the temple town.

The highlights of the Festival are :

Kalpagavritcha vahanam and kamathenu vahanam

Rishaba vahanam

Silver Car

Procession in five wooden cars

On the main and final day of the festival, the Bharani Deepam will be lit in the Sanctum Sanctorum early in the Morning. The Maha Deepam will be lit on the hill top on the evening (at 6 pm). The Deepam can be seen even from a distance of 35 km. The lighting of the Maha Deepam will take place simultaneously with Deeparadhanam to the five deities in the temple at the foot of the hill.

Preperation for the Deepam

The Kopparai (cauldron) is taken to the top of the hill through a seven kilometer long route. The cauldron, ten feet high and five feet in diameter is carried on poles shoved into three handles on each side. The task of carrying the vat is assigned to the Nattar (Sembadavargal), who, numbering about fifteen, take turns to shoulder this sacred load.

Atop the hill, the cauldron is filled with tins of ghee and wick, which is made of "ghada" cloth measuring more than 350 meters. Nearly thousand kilograms of ghee is used to burn the flame, Which when lit, shoots up to seven feet and can be seen as a point of light from a 35 km radius.

The ghee keeps the flame burning for nearly a week. At the end of it, after due ceremonies are performed, the Nattar (Sembadavargal) bring down the cauldron.

On the day of the Deepam is lit, devotees also trek to the top of the hill to make personal offerings of ghee which is poured into the cauldron by two Nattar (Sembadavargal) and two temple staff, on attendance throughout. A long pole is used to pour the ghee into the vessel from about ten feet. The Nattar (Sembadavargal), of course, get a bit closer to the flame, as their bodies have become used to the heat.

At the top of the hill, there is just enough space to accommodate hundred persons.

Before lighting, the wick is immersed in ghee and then dumped in to the vat, which is already full of ghee and camphor. The whole concoction is lit at a signal (usually around 6 pm) from near the temple where fireworks are set off.

The festival is well-known all over Tamil Nadu and is attended in large number. Actually in every home in Tamilnadu can be seen rows of lights (oil lamps) lit in the front, and it presents a beautiful sight. It is a day of festival of lights.

Other Festivals :

Pancha Parva Vizha

The Pancha Parva Vizha is the name of the festivalsthat take place during Amavasya, Kartigai, Pradhosa, Sukra Varam and Soma Varam every month in this temple.

Monthly Festivals :

Chitrai :

Chitrai Vizha occuring for 10 days. This festival closes on in Chitra Pournami. The Manmada Dahana (burning of Cupid) also takes place there.

Vaikasi :

Vaikasi festival occurs.

Ani :

Commences on the 21st day of Ani month and runs through 10 days in Dakshinayana. Ani month and runs through 10 days in Dakshinayana. Ani Thirumanjanam is the festival when abulations for Natraja are done in Uttara star in the Thousand Pillared Hall for 2 days.

Adi :

The Adipoora Vizha for Parasakti occurs for 10 days. On the 10th day Valaikappu (bangles wearing) and fire walking take place. On 15th August, the Arunagiri Nadhar Vizha is celebrated.

Avani :

Avani Mula Vizha - 1 day

Vinayaga Chathurthi Vizha

Puratassi :

Navaratri Vizha 10 days

Iyppasi :

Skanda Sahasti - 6 day. Soora Samhara occurs on the sixth day.

Kartigai :

1008 Sangu Abisekam every Somavaram in the month of Kartigai. This is considered sacred and attended by many.

Thiru Kartigai Vizha : 13 days; on the 10th day of Thiru kartigai takes place.The most impotant festival of the temple (and town).

Margazhi :

Commencing on the 21st day of Marghazi, the uttaranya occurs for 10 days. In the month Marghazhi on Thiruvadirai 10 days festival for Manickavachaka. This takes place in the Thousand pillar Hall.

Thai :

On the 2nd day of Thai, the Thiruvudal festival occurs.

Bathing festival at Manularpet takes place on the 5th day of Thai. On Rathasapthami day sacred bath takes place in kalasapakkam.

Masi :

Vallar Maharaja festival on Masi Maga day and Final Ceremonies. On Amara Maga day and Final Ceremonies, On Amara Chathudasi Maha Sivarathri is celebrated. This is important for Lord Siva.

Panguni :

Six days festival of panguni Uttaram.


Karthigai Deepam Schedule :

  Morning Thiruvizha Evening / Night Thiruvizha
Sri Durgambal Utsavam
Sri Pidari Utsavam
  Sima Vaganam
Vignesvara Puja Procession
  Vinayagar Velli Mooshiga
First Day Thiruvizha
Five Deities Silver Chariot
Mooshigan Mayil (Peacock), Adihara Nandi (Bull),
Sina Rishaba Chariots
Second Day Thiuvizha
Sri Vinayagar
Sri ChandrasekaraVimanams
(Chariots) of Sooriya Prabha; the Sun.
Silver IndraVimanam Chariots
Third Day Thiruvizha
Sri Vinayagar
Sri Chandrasekara in new
Simha (Lion) Vaahanamam,
Silver Swan etc
Fourth Day Thiruvizha
1008 Sanka Abishekam
Sri Vinayagar
Sri Chandrasekara Vimanams - Naga (Cobra) Vahanam
Silver Kalpatraru
Kamadenu (Cow of Plenty),
Ruby and Silver Chariots.
Fifth Day Thiruvizha
Sri Vinayagar
Sri ChandraskaraGlass RishabaVahanamsSilver Elephant
Silver Mooshigan
Silver Mayil
Large Silver Bull Rishaba Vahanam
Sixth Day Thiruvizha
Sixty - Three Nayanmars (Saints)
Sri Vinayagar
Sri Chandraskara Mooshikan
Indra Vimanam - Silver Car, Etc.
Seventh Day Thiruvizha
Big Wooden Chariot
The Maha Radham around roads of town
Panchamoorthies reach Ashthana Mandapam
Eighth Day Thiruvizha
Sri VinayagarSri ChandrasekaraSilver Chariot Panchamoorthies start with Horse
Vahanams etc at night 4.p.m. Pichandavar in Golden Meru
Ninth Day Thiruvizha
Sri Vinayagar
Sri ChandrasekaraGlass Vimanam
Kailasa Vahanam,
Kamadenu - Cow of plenty
Raveneswaram Vahanam etc.
Tenth Day Thiruvizha
Mahadeepam Day
4 a.m. Maha Barani
Day time Tank Teertham
Ceremony 4.00 A.M.
Panchamoorthies in Golden Vimanams 6. p.m. Depam fire on top of Mountain.
Tank Ceremony
Sri Chandrasekara Boating Festival Panchamoorthies in Golden Rishaba Vimanams.
Tank Ceremony
Sri Parasakthi Boating Festival 7 p.m Sri Arunachaleswara
& Mother Apeethakuchalambal
Sri Chandikeswarar
Tank Ceremony
Sri Subramania Boating Festival  
Tank Ceremony
Sri Chandikeswarar Festival Sri Chandikeswarar Utsavam
Rishaba Vahanam
Silver Bull.