FESTIVALS

Srirangam is a place, where festivals are being celebrated all 365 days. As mentioned by Swaami Raamaanujar in Srinivaasa Gadyam, the different kinds of festivals celebrated throughout the year (365 days) are Nityotsava (daily festivals), Pakshotsava (festivals like Ekaadashi, that happen once in 15 days), Maasotsava (Monthly festivals), and Samvatsarotsava (yearly festivals). The list of festivals celebrated at Srirangam is given below:-

  1. Viruppan Thirunaal - This festival is called the Chithirai festival or Viruppan Thirunaal. It is celebrated in the month of Chithirai (April - May). This festival was initiated in the year 1383. In the Vijayanagara dynasty, a king named Viruppanna Udayaar has established the festival Viruppan Thirunaal. After the Muslim Invasions, Lord Ranganaatha was brought back to the temple in 1371 (13th day of Vaikaasi Month). During that time, this temple was in a tumbledown condition. In the year 1377, King Viruppannan donated seventeen thousand gold coins for the renovation of the temple. After 60 years of renovation, in the year 1383, Viruppan Thirunaal festival. King Viruppannan handed over nearly 52 villages for the Temple Welfare. The 8th and 9th day of this festival is grandly celebrated by the villagers. Villagers used to donate 'n' number of cattle and cereals from their field. This festival starts eight before Revathy star. The Chithirai car festival is celebrated on this day. The Gajendra Moksham is also being enacted by Lord Ranganaatha and the temple elephant 'Andaal' on the day of Chitra Pournami at the Kaaveri river bed.

  2. Vasantotsavam - This festival is celebrated in the month of Vaikaasi ( May-June). King Annappa Udayaar, who belongs to the Vijayanagara dynasty, built the Vasanta Mandapam in the year 1444. Mallidevan puthur village has been donated for celebrating the Vasanthotsavam. Vasanthotsavam starts 8 days before the Pournami.  Lord Ranganaatha comes in Equestrian Vaahanam along the Chithirai streets, then comes to the Vasanta Mandapam. Thirumanjanam (Abhishekam) will be performed in the Vasanta Mandapam. On the first and seventh day of the festival, Lord Ranganaatha is accompanied by Goddess Sridevi and Bhudevi (Ubhaya Naachimaargal). On the other days, the lord alone visits the Vasanta Mandapam. Every day, Lord returns to the sanctum sanctorum after visiting the Kambar Mandapam.

  3. Jyeshtaabhishekam - This festival is performed in the month of Aani (June-July), to get rid of all the accumulated impurities. On this day, the sanctum sanctorum is cleaned and a special herbal oil is prepared in the temple for Periya Perumaal and is applied to Periya Perumaal. More priests and devotees visit the river Kaaveri, to carry the holy water in silver and gold pots (Kudam). The Gold Pot is brought over the elephant. The gold pot was donated by Vijayanagara Chokka Naayagar in the year 1734. These inscriptions are engraved in the pot in Telugu. More silver pots with holy water, Kaaveri are brought to the temple. All the pots are placed on the western side and all the idols are installed in the " Thiruvennaiyali Praahaaram". The golden plates are removed from idols and are handed over to Jeeyar Swaami and Vaathula Desikar Swaami. The golden plates are then handed over to the goldsmith. After public worship, the plates are fixed on the idols.

  4. Pavitrotsavam - This festival is celebrated in the month of Aadi (July-August and is dedicated to the sacred thread worn by the lord and removes all the blemishes that occur during daily rituals. On the first day of the festival, the Thiruvaaraadhanam is performed to the utsavar Moorthy in the yaagasaalai 365 times and on the second day, the Thiruvaaraadhanam is being performed to all the deities in the temple 1008 times and all the deities are covered with sacred threads (Pavitram), also known as Boochaandi Sevai or Angobhaanga Sevai. This festival is performed at Pavitra Mandapam, also known as Cheranai Vendran Mandapam. This Mandapam was first established by King Jatavarma Sundara Pandian. The lord and goddess had returned to the temple, 60 years after the Muslim Invasion, according to the temple history. Sanctum sanctorum goddesses are installed in this mandapam. This festival was started by Brahma and that's the reason for all the deities to wear the Pavitram on this day

  5. Sri Jayanti - Following the Pavitrotsavam, Sri Krishna Jayanti is being celebrated at the temples within Sri Ranganaathaswaamy temple campus, in the month of Aavani (August-September). Especially, in the Krishnar sanctum present in the Kili Mandapam. On the occasion of Sri Jayanti, deities present in this Krishnar Sanctum ( Krishnar, Yashoda, Nandagopan, and Rohini) will be installed in the Kili Mandapam and Thirumanjanam will be performed all these deities using sacred waters of river Kaaveri. Krishna and Sri Namperumaal come on a procession in the four Chithirai streets. Uri-adi also takes place near the Paataala Krishnar temple (South Gate or Therkku Vaasal). Following which, Sri Namperumaal and Krishnar visit the Pandaaram and special Thirumanjanam is performed for them here.

  6. Navaraatri Utsavam- Navaraatri Utsava takes place in the month of Purattaasi (September-October). This festival takes place at Sri Ranga Naachiyaar Sanctum. Andaal (name of the temple elephant) will play tricks like dancing with one leg and will also play a mouth organ. Sri Namperumaal visits Kaatazhagiyasingar temple in the remembrance of killing Vanniyasuraa (demons living on the Vanni tree in Kaatazhagiyasingar temple) on the day of Vijayadasami, after Thirumanjanam and comes out on Horse Vaahanam (Kuthirai Vaahanam). This incident is enacted every year to signify the destruction of evil forces and the protection of devotees. 

  7. Dholotsavam - This festival is held in the month of Aippasi (October-November), to remove blemishes in the swing. This festival was first started by Kanthaadai Raamaanujar in the year 1489. It is celebrated for nine days. On the first and seventh day of the festival, Sri Namperumaal comes along with Ubhaya Naachimaargal (Sridevi & Bhudevi) to the Oonjal (cradle). The rest of the days, Sri Namperumaal alone comes to the Oonjal (cradle). In the presence of Sri Namperumaal, Arayar through music and hand gestures expounds the meaning of Tamil verses from 4000 Divya Prabandham, which consists of compositions given by 12 aazhwaars. On the last day of the festival, Sri Namperumaal visits Chandra Pushkarini and theerthavaari are being performed here. Later, Sri Namperumaal visits the Oonjal Mandapam, and Thirumanjanam is performed here for the lord. That night, lord returns to the sanctum sanctorum. This festival commences eight days before Ekaadashi during the dark fortnight of the month of Aippasi. The last day of this festival falls on Ekaadashi.

  8. Sokkapanai - This happens in the month of Kaartikai (November-December) on the day of Kaartigai. Kaartigai is a day of lamps, where all the houses are lit with deepam. Special Thirumanjanam is done for Sri Namperumaal and comes out of the streets of Srirangam in a carriage decorated with beautiful flowers. Sokkapanai or Blaze fire is an important festival that ends after perumaal hears the annual account read by Kanakkupillai (treasurer). Kaisika Ekaadashi - Kaisika Ekaadashi is celebrated in the month of Kaartigai (November-December). This festival is celebrated thirty days before Vaikunta Ekaadashi. Sri Namperumaal comes to Santhana Mandapam, and Thirumanjanam is performed. In the evening, Sri Namperumaal returns to sanctum sanctorum. Sri Namperumaal comes to Arjuna Mandapam, and 365 poojaas are being performed here for Sri Namperumaal. 365 garments are adorned to Sri Namperumaal. Kaisika Puraanam is being recited in the midnight. While Sri Namperumaal returns to sanctum sanctorum, Karpoora Padi Yetra Sevai is being performed for the lord, where refined camphor (Pacchai Karpooram) will be sprinkled, after which the lord enters the Sanctum.

  9.  Vaikunta Ekaadashi - The most important festival, that is celebrated in the month of Maargazhi (December-January). This festival is celebrated as Pagal paththu and Raa paththu, each for ten days, with all pop and pageantry. On the day of Vaikunta Ekaadashi, Sri Namperumaal wears a muslin cloth (Lungi), Kili maalaai,  and visits Bibi Naachiyaar Sanctum (near Arjuna Mandapam) first. Then with a magnificent procession, Sri Namperumaal proceeds to Paramapada Vaasal arrives at Thirumaamani Mandapam which is inside Thousand Pillared Mandapam to the thrill and joy of the devotees who gather in lakhs (from abroad and within the country) to worship lord on this day. This festival is the peak festival in all the temples, and on this Sri, Namperumaal is called Sri Rangaraajaa, the virtual king of Srirangam. He is also being addressed as 'Ranga Bhu Ramana' by Swaami Vedaanta Desikar, in his Abhitheesthavam. He holds his Durbaar in this beautifully decorated Mandapam, which is further extended by beautifully decorated Pandhal. Throughout the day, 4000 Divya Prabandham is being recited, and lord reaches the sanctum sanctorum only by late night. All the devotees sing, dance, fast, and stay vigil throughout the night. Its a paradise on Earth indeed.

  10. Thai Ther - This Thai Ther or Bhupathi Thirunaal is celebrated in the month of Thai (January-February). The Pongal festival also called the festival of Tamilians, is celebrated this month.

  11. Teppotsavam - This festival is celebrated in the month of Maasi (February-March), and is known as Maasi Teppotsavam. During this festival, Lord Sri Namperumaal is installed on the Teppam (boat) in the tank situated to the west of the temple.

  12. Aadi Brahmotsavam - This festival is conducted in the month of Panguni (March-April) and is known as Panguni Aadi Brahmotsavam. During this festival, a couple of important occasions occur. They are -  

  • Panguni Aayilyam Serthi - ​On this day, Lord Sri Namperumaal visits Sri Kamalavalli Naachiyaar temple at Woraiyur, celebrates a feast, and blesses his devotees in Serthi sevai with Sri Kamalavalli Naachiyaar. Lord there is known as Azhagiya Manavaalan (beautiful groom). Panguni Aayilyam is the Thirunakshathram of Sri Kamalavalli Naachiyaar. 

  • Panguni Uttiram Serthi - This festival happens after Panguni Aayilyam. Panguni Uttiram is Sri Ranganaayaki Thaayaar's Thirunakshathram. On this day, Sri Namperumaal returns from Woraiyur, after completing Serthi sevai with Kamalavalli Naachiyaar. Here, at Srirangam, Lord Ranganaayaki Thaayaar is a bit upset as Sri Namperumaal has visited Sri Kamalavalli Naachiyaar's sanctum without informing her. So when Sri Namperumaal enters Srirangam temple, he immediately visits Sri Ranga Naachiyaar's sanctum and tries to convince but doesn't succeed in doing it. Swaami Nammaazhwaar on hearing this visits Sri Ranga Naachiyaar's sanctum immediately and convinces both of them. This incident is enacted as Pranaya Kalaham, where Pranayam means 'false anger' and Kalaham means 'fight', so Pranaya Kalaham means 'false fight'. After this, Sri Namperumaal and Sri Ranga Naachiyaar bless their devotees in Serthi Sevai in the Panguni Uttiram Serthi Sevai Mandapam (located next to Sri Ranga Naachiyaar Sanctum. This Serthi sevai is known as Panguni Uttiram Serthi sevai. On this day, Swaami Raamaanujar had written Gadya Trayam (Sharanaagati Gadym, Sri Ranga Gadyam, and Vaikunta Gadyam) and had read it in front of Sri Namperumaal and Sri Ranga Naachiyaar, while, they were blessing their devotees in Serthi Sevai. Even today, this is enacted on the day of Panguni Uttiram by Araiyars at Srirangam temple. At this festival, Sri Namperumaal is decorated with 18 types of Alankaaram. At the end of this festival, Sri Namperumaal is taken in a procession on a chariot through the four streets of Uthirai Veedhi and then returns to the sanctum.

  • Rathasaptamai also happens on this month.