Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chaitramasa Festival- Kochi Tirumala Devaswom temple

Continuing my post on Kochi Tirumala Devaswom temple I would like to take you through few glimpses of the Chaitra masa Festival held this March  which I was fortunate enough to attend..

 The Aaratt ( festival) is  for  8 days and it starts with the flag hoisting ceremony. Every temple has a dwajasthambha but in this temple a flag pole,( stem of an arecanut tree) is erected on the  first day and a flag with Garuda as the emblem is hoisted reciting Vedas.On all days there is  Seeveli (Procession carrying the deity on elephant accompanied by percussion instruments)  in the morning and evening and the temple gets crowded  with devotees.. Mahaprasad(Feast) is served to the devotees and it is known as samaradhana. Samaradhana  means all are considered equal here and every body sits together and partakes the Mahaprasad provided by the temple. The food is served on banana leaves and devotees sit on the floor for this. Enthusiastic youngsters vie with each other to serve food as they feel it is equal to serving the  God Himself. The process starts with a kadina (fire cracker) and ends with the same. The whole process is completed with in half an hour and it is really a sight to see this samaradhana as more than ten thousand people are fed in this short period.

There are Yagnas for the welfare of the humanity and for peace These are conducted in the afternoons and evenings. The Lord Venkatachalapathy is taken around the temple in his golden palanquin.There are also vahana poojas i.e the deity is  worshipped on different mounts like Hanuman, Aswa (Horse), Aadisesha,( serpent God) Surya( Sun ) and Chandra ,( Moon) Airavata the elephant)  Garuda (The Eagle).etc.

From fourth day onwards the Lord starts visiting the house holds of His devotees and blesses them..He is taken   around the temple streets and devotees welcome Him with fruits, flowers and various offerings they can afford. The grand procession carrying the deity comprises of priests, people carrying torches and lights, symbolic arms for protection, flag bearers , group of people playing on the drums-  Pancha Vadyam and the majestic elephant in the lead.   The seventh day is called as Nayattu  ( Mrigaya,- royal hunt)and God ,Goddess and the Chakra are brought in Aswa, Surya and Chandra Vahanas. The Lord visits the nearby Udyaneshwara temple where  Nayattu takes place.The Visits go on till the  eighth day .

The last day thousands converge in this temple and seek the Lord's blessings. Avabrata snanam (abhishekam) is performed for  the main deity of Venkatachlapathy .  After that the Utsava Moorthy and the Sudarshana Chakra of the deity leave for the temple pond in  a grand procession .Then deity  is taken around in a decorated float and then the Chakra is  given a Holy bath by the priest.  The deity is kept in the mandapam there till the evening and  after that the  Samaradhana takes place. In the evening the deity comes out in a palanquin goes around the pond with the accompaniment of Seeveli and reaches the  temple . Fire works  are a part of this evening ritual.  After that the Garuda vahana pooja takes place. The deity sitting atop the Garuda, blesses all his devotees and special aarti know as Khamba aarti is offered to the God. This Pooja goes on  till 2-3 a.m the next day. By around  6 clock in the  morning the flag is brought down which marks the culmination of the aaratt.

There are two aaratts in a year in this temple , one in March- April and the other one in November- December. The Gowda Saraswath Community scattered around the world try to come back to their roots to participate in this grand occasion which is a socio -religious affair .In fact many marriages get finalised during these eight days and it is really a treat to see boys and girls of marriageable age come decked up with new attractive attires of various hues and colours.
.
I would like to acknowledge  S. Krishna Kumar Pai, Kochi for his photographs on float festival and the Holy bath. As seeing is believing I have a few photographs for your viewing


37 comments:

  1. Thanks for the beautiful description of Chaitra masa festival. Every time we visit India, we go upto Guruvayoor, but never been to Kochi. Next, Kochi is a must on our visit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. chaitra massa festival arumaya soninga...fotos elam superngo...10k ppl ah... OMG!

    ReplyDelete
  3. SG
    Thanks for the comment. Except for the festival days these temples are not crowded.One can worship God here in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hary
    Nanri. Great coordination and team work goes into handling this 10k.

    ReplyDelete
  5. the festival looks colorful with all the elephant and the flags...Food looks yummy. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Insignia
    Thanks a lot for the comment.I participated in the feast. Sitting among so many people I felt so happy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mridula,thanks for the comment.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautifuuly written, I felt myself there. 8 days, now that is what I call a wonderful festival. Do the number of days signify anything?

    ReplyDelete
  9. fantastic writings. Keep writing. Keep sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. lemme repeat appu msg: fantastic writings. Keep writing. Keep sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I got to learn so much about the Aarath and everything else too.. Very Wonderfully described :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. If I ever go to a famous temple soon, I'm surely gonna think of you :) You make pilgrimages / festicals all seem magical. Really. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for that excellent description on Chaitra masa festival. Even though I am a Keralite I have never heard of Kochi Tirumala Devaswom temple.

    You made it so magical. I will try to visit next time I go on vacation. Thank you dear...

    When u are free, please feel free to visit my blog too. I dwell on fiction though...

    ReplyDelete
  14. PW
    I am afraid, I do not exactly know the answer for your query. In most of the Hindu temples it is followed as a norm. In a few temples it is for 10 days. I have asked a few elderly people and waiting for an answer.As soon as I have I would let you know.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Apu
    Thanks a lot for the appreciation.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ramesh
    Thanks,thanks and thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Arti,
    I think we have a lot to learn from each other.Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. lostworld
    Would you remember me, if you go to a temple?. I think I have done some punyam. God bless you dear.Let all good things happen in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi stranger
    Welcome to my blog.This temple is an ancient temple and Kochi has many other monuments which I have already written .Don't miss all this when you visit Kochi, See you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sushma
    Thanks for the comment.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful description about Chaitra maas festival. The pictures are absolutely marvellous. One of your best post.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Chitra, thanks for visiting me! Your blog is lovely and you have a nice style of writing. India is such a faszinating country - colorful, spicy and spiritual. One day, i want to go there myself. Meanwhile - it's nice to visit your and Artis blog!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Babli
    Thanks Babli. Long time since I saw any post from you...Waiting for it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Martina
    Welcome to my blog . Happy to see you here.Shall be in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dear Chitra,
    Good Evening!
    I have not heard about this temple before.Beautiful photographs and the festival and the rituals have been explained well.Real good work,dear!
    Keep informing about more temples and the details.
    If you can watch Amrita channel from 6.30 pm -7 p.m.Sandhya deepam programme is too good.
    Wishing you a lovely night,
    Sasneham,
    Anu

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anu
    Thanks dear for the comment. This temple is our community temple in my home town. I don't have Amrita channel:(. I have seen episodes of the same one. It is indeed a nice prog.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Chitra, i follow you now as well! Thank you for bringing the colours of india into my life :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. hello chithra
    Great work. So this temple encyclopedia is growing up !!
    All the best and continue with your good work!!

    subu

    ReplyDelete
  29. Subu
    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gosh.. so many memories flooding as I saw the slideshow.. thanks for the pics and the write-up.. it is almost a decade since I left kochi, but I could never take it out of my heart..

    ReplyDelete
  31. Arc
    I am happy to see that my post made you nostalgic.Nice to know that you are from Kochi. God bless you.

    Do visit when you find time.

    ReplyDelete

Friends ,Thanks for Leaving your comment .I have enabled comment moderation.
This website is not for posting free advertisements.