23 December 2011

Margazhi Masam - The Month of Bhakti and Music

The Tamil Margazhi Month, is the month of Bhakti and Music. The importance of Margazhi Masam was proclaimed by none other than Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita when He says "Maasanam Margasheershoham" - among the twelve months, I am Margazhi. Rendering of Tiruppavai and Tiruvembavai, religious discourses and music festivals are the major highlights during the period.  Margazhi month begins on December 17 and ends on January 14.

'Tiruppavai' composed by Andal is a very beautiful collection of poems which women and unmarried girls read /sing during the Margazhi masam.  Andal prays to Lord Krishna in a variety of ways and calls her fellow devotees to worship. 

Tiruppavai belongs to the Pavai genre of songs, a uniquely Tamil tradition sung in the context of the Pavai vow observed throughout the month of Margazhi, originally by unmarried girls praying to the Pavai goddess [related to Parvati] for a blissful married life. 

Tirupavai is a composition of 30 songs, said to have been sung by Andal, in Sri Rangam. It is a work which even today is sung by girls of marriageable age, by waking early in the morning and then proceeding to Kaveri river for a early morning bath, whereafter, the girls go to the temple of Narayana, in Sri Rangam, for prayers.

It is similar to Tiruvembavai of Manikkavachagar which was sung in Tiruvannamalai. 

Sri Vaishnavas sing these stanzas every day of the year in the temple as well as in their homes. This practice assumes special significance during Margazhi: each day of this month gets its name from one of the thirty verses. There are references to this vow in the late-sangam era Tamil musical anthology Paripadal. 

Andal also known as Nachiar and also as Kodhai, was the daughter of Vishnu Chitta alias Nammazhwar of Srivilliputtur. She is one of the most important saints of Sri Vaishnavism. 

At an early age she well in love with Lord Krishna and because she used to wear the garlands meant for the deity before it is worn by the God, she was also called Chudi Kodutha Chudar Kodi. People believed that she was an avathara [incarnation] of Bhooma Devi. At the end of her life she left her ethereal body and mingled with her Lord.


maargazhi thingaL

maargazhith thingaL madhi niRaindha nannaaLaal *
neeraadap pOdhuveer pOdhuminO nErizhaiyeer *
seer malgum aayppaadic celvac ciRumeergaaL *
koorvER kodunthozhilan nandhagOpan kumaran *
Eraarndha kaNNi yasOdhai iLaNYsingam *
kaar mEnic cengaN kadhir madhiyam pOl mugaththaan *
naaraayaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvaan *
paarOr pugazhap padindhElOr embaavaay.


Thiruppavai extols the virtues of Lord Krishna and requests him for help and guidance in the worship of Goddess Pavai. The worship of this Goddess was very common in Tamil Nadu since ancient times. As said, the worship was done by unmarried girls. They all used to take bath in the rivers daily early in the dawn, in the month of Margazhi [December-January] and worship the goddess by dance and music and observe very strict penance during the day.This it was believed would get them good husbands and would lead to a very happy married life. On each day one of the hymns are being sung during this month even today.

Besides chanting of the Tiruppavai of Andal, another major highlight in the month is the drawing of kolams [Rangoli] daily in front of houses.

The most important festivals in the Margazhi month are Vaikundha Ekadasi, Hanuman Jayanthi and Arudara Darshan. The month also marks the end of the pilgrimage season in Sabarimala.

During Arudara Darshan[Thiruvadirai Festival], a special recipe called "Thiruvadirai Kazhli" is offered to Lord Shiva.  On Mukkodi Ekadasi day, Lord Vishnu is offered " Sorgavasal Thirappu".  

For the Recipe for "Thiruvadirai Kazhli" ...you may click on the link below:


To get to know more on Sri Andal, you may read my earlier Posting by clicking the Link below:


The month is also of great significance in the Srirangam Sri Ranganatha Temple. Apart from the Vaikunta Ekadasi, the Srirangam temple during the month witnesses the Pagal pathu and Rapathu – the chanting of Tiruvaimozhi.

Margazhi Masam is also the time of the winter solstice when the days are shorter and the nights are longer. This Margazhi month has another speciality also. This month is considered and should be considered as the divine and highly spiritual month because in all the other months, there are lots of festivals and happy occasions fall. The main reason why there are no festivals in this month is mainly because of mind and soul should completely think only towards the perumal and this is the only month in which all the 30 days should be dedication towards the Perumal.

MARGAZHI.....Another very special season dedicated to Music....

It's here again .....the Margazhi Season.......The time Carnatic Music enthusiasts world over wait for is this time of the year. 

While nothing can equal the excitement of sabha hopping - from attending those valuable lec-dems at Music Academy in the morning, the free junior concerts in the afternoon and to culminate a perfect day with a ticketed concert of an established artiste in the evening, with some rava khichadi, kasi halwa and filter kaapi at the sabha canteens....!  

One of the affirmations of India's civilisational sophistication is its evolving traditions of folk and classical performing arts, literature and crafts. The Chennai annual music and dance season held every December and January, known as the Margazhi festival, is a phenomenon of this affirmation.
It is believed that the Madras Music season, originated as a challenge to the British import of its own Christmas and New Year entertainment during the freedom movement of India. December 2011 will witness in about 30 days, morning, noon and night, about 1,000 concerts of music and dance, by about 300 artists in over 300 organisations known as sabhas. This is unparalleled worldwide. And what's more, no concert venue goes without an audience.

Even the unrelenting Madras sun seems to take a break in December - such is the magic of Margazh 

There is also a scientific meaning, which explains the greatness of the Margazhi month. During this month, the ozone layer will be lowered a little bit and because of this, any disease will reduce and gives a healthy body.

The main benefits of this Margazhi month and the Thiruppaavai are:
  • Ladies will attain a good husband who fasts during this month.
  • Since, this month's main Naamam is Sri Kesavan, by chanting this Naamam will lead us to great position.
  • Best to visit any Shivan temples during Thiruvadhirai [Aarudhra].
  • By putting kolam infront of our house will greet Sri Maha Lakshmi into our house.
Besides these, there are lots more that explains the greatness of this tamil month of Margazhi.  I am sure after reading my Posting, all the Bhaktas should make it a point to visit any Sri Vaishnavite temples near your house and get Sri Kesavan's complete blessings. 

Get drenched in Bhakthi and Devotion this Margazhi Season...!!!

21 December 2011

Sani Peryarchi - The Saturn Transit

Sani Peyarchi or transition of Saturn is the movement of Sani Bhagavan from one ‘rasi’ or zodiac to another. Sani is also referred as Shanaiscarya, Saneesvara and Sani Deva and is the son of Lord Surya and Chhaya. Sani Peyarchi 2011 is on December 21. 

In 2011, Sani transits from Kaniya Rasi [Virgo] to Tula Rasi [Libra] at 07.51 AM on Wednesday, December 21st [Indian Standard Time]. Lord Sani will remain there for next two and half years.

Sani Peyarchi 2011 - Saturn : The  most infulencial of the planets in one's horoscope, remains in a house for two and half year. On 21 st December 2011, Sani moves from Kanni rasi to Thulam rasi . All temples have made arrangements for a special Sani Peyarchi homam on this day.Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims participate in this homam to enhance the positive and minimize negative effects due to this transit

Sri Saneeshwara Bhagavan, Thirunallar
The Saneeshwarar temple of Sri Dharbarenyeswaraswamy Devasthanam attracts devotees not only from India but also from other Countries. This temple is unique in its kind and is the only temple dedicated to Lord Saturn where he is a blessing God having "Abhayahastham" . As per the history of the temple, the great King Nala of Puranic fame was relieved of the affliction of Lord Saturn or Lord Saneeswaran af ter worshipping the Lord consecrated in this temple. Whoever visits this temple and prays before Lord Saneeswaran is believed to have been relieved of all the curses and sufferings and gets the blessings of Lord for a happy and prosperous life.

The moolavar of Dharbarenyeswarar is Swayambu Lingam . The place was originally a forest of Dharba grass and it is stated that the Lingam even now has impressions left by the Dharba weeds within which it was situated. The Lord here is also known as "Adhimoorthy or Nallarar" . The great Saivite saints Thirugnanasambhandar, Sundaramurthy Swamigal, Thirunavukkarasar and Arunagirinadhar have worshipped at this shrine and sung about the glory of the Lord. "PachaI Padhigam" sung by the great saint Thirugnanasambhandar is very famous one.

Auspicious Offerings
Poojas are performed 6 times [6 kalams] daily. Poojas like Ashtothra Archana, Abhishegam, Sahasranama Archana and Navagraha Shanthi Homam are performed daily but Homams are not accepted on Saturdays. According to astrology, Saneeswaran moves from one sign (house) to the next in the Zodiac once in 2-1/2 years and the day of his transit is observed as a festival in Thirunallar. On the day previous to the day of transit, religious discourses and entertainments are arranged. On the festival day, Thiruppavai and Thiruvembavai are chanted at 5.00 a.m. An Abhishegam on a grand scale is performed for the Lord Saneeswara Bhagavan. Oil, Milk, Curd, Rose-Water, Tender Coconut, Fruit juice etc., are used for the Abhishegam .

In this connection, you may also read my earlier Posting on Saneeswara Bhagavan .  The link is given below:


Among the Navagrahas, Lord Saturn [Saneeswarar] occupies an important place. A malefic Saturn in one's horoscope is believed to cause miseries and hardships which can be mitigated by worshipping him. Saneeswaran resides in each Rasi for a period of 2 1/2 years. When Saneeswaran resides in the 12th, 1st and 2nd house, it is 7 1/2 Naatu Sani; when in the 4th house, it is Arthashtama Sani; when in the 8th house, it is Ashtama Sani. During these periods, he troubles the native. Problems from Govt., peers, wife, children, slowdown in business, loss of property, leprosy are caused by transit of Sani. Saneeswaran is reputed to be both, a giver and destroyer. A person who prays to Saneeswaran will be blessed with not only riddance from the problems and worries faced, but a life that one desires

Pooja Offerings:  

Saneeswara Bhagavan is attired in black colour the grain associated with him is sesame, the flower - vanni and blue kuvalai ; fabric - black cloth; gem - neelam [blue saphire]; food - rice mixed with sesame powder are offered during pooja.

How To Reach Thirunallar Temple:

Air : The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli, 168 Kms. away
Rail : The nearest Railway Station is Nagore, 10 Kms. away from here.
Road: Karaikal is connected directly from Chidambaram, Mayiladurai, Kumbakonam,
Thanjavur, Thiruchirappalli, Thiruvarur, Velankanni, Nagappattinam.

20 December 2011

Kula Deivam and its Concept

Kula Deivams or Kula Devatas is a form of worship the Hindus mostly down South India follow, and this has three principal Deities.  

  • The first is the Gramadevata [the god of the village or town],
  • The second the Kuladevata [deity of his family or Gotra], and
  • The third the Ishtadevata [personal deity]. 

Of these the first two are fixed for him at birth and the third he selects for himself from the many deities of the Hindu pantheon. Worship of the Kuladevata is generally performed daily in the family home, dedicated to this deity.  Mostly they belong to the Siva or Shakti cult.

You will find that in many villages of Tamil Nadu in South India,  people celebrate the God Karuppuswamy Muneeswaran as kaaval deiyvangal! All along the highways in Tamil Nadu we can see huge Ayyanar statues riding on the horse, standing at the entrance to the villages keeping guard as believed by the naive, innocent pious rural people as their life long Guardian God. Usually the idols of this God is situated at the entrance of every Hindu temple as security of other Gods present in the temples. 

According to the legend, it is told that Karuppaswamy is the other image of Lord Shiva and He is given the same importance as given to Lord Shiva. Many hundreds of Boothas are coming under the administration of Lord Karuppaswamy and Boothas are also adorned by His devotees. In every Karuppuswamy temple where Karuppuswamy is the prime God, you will find the gaint Bootha Statues standing on both sides of the temple. Lord Karuppuswamy has different images such as Muthu Karuppana Swamy, Punugu Karuppana Swamy and Sangili Karuppana Swamy,Sonai Karuppanasamy

It is said that Karuppusamy stands as a guard for the pathinettam padi in Sabarimalai [18 steps of Sabarimalai].

Lord Karuppuswamy is considered to be the guardian God of the village where His temple is situated. According to common belief not only do this Great God scare away evil spirits and protect villagers against evil diseases and ill fortunes but also punishing erring persons. Gods other than Karuppuswamy are Lord Ayyanar and Lord Madurai Veeran. The statues of these dieties are found at the boundaries of villages. It is common to find the statue of Lord Karuppuswamy riding on horse. It is also believed that Guardian Gods like Lord Karuppuswamy ride around villages on horse to protect people and His devotees. He has His peculiar image by having big crown made of cloth, big moustache and bright eyes. He is always equipped with spear and machete to protect His devotees from evil things.

Now coming to the worship of our Kula Deivam......

One thing which has through these years always fascinated me, was the concept attached to the worship of one's Kula Deivam.  

My Father-in-law was always in the practice of engaging his entire family members with regard to the sacredness in worshipping of our Kula Deivam, which is "Sri Kunniyur Kamakshi Amman Temple" situated in the village of Kunniyur near Manargudi, Tiruvarur Taluk in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu.  He made it a point that we as a family, make a visit to this temple at least once a year.  

You will find that I have shown in my Website the pictures of the Ayyanaar Koil, very near to our Temple and I am sure you will like the scenic beauty and enjoy reading about this calm, serene village of Kunniyur.  

As is said, these Kula Deivams are concidered as the ANCESTRAL God...meaning our fore-fathers and relatives have been worshiping that God for generations.  It is the unshaken belief of most of the Hindus that these family deities take care of our and save us from all harships and hindreances.  In south India, a temple to a Kula Deivam constructed in one's ancestral village/town, will have it as the main deity [Santum Sanctorium] while other Gods may also be present in the periphery.  The Kula Deivam can be  formless as well.  People who have migrated to other places still see to it that they visit their ancestral village/town and pay their respects by offerings [ animal sacrifices [ this is done only by certain section of people] / donations / charity / breaking coconuts] and feasting or what is termed as "Padayal".  

Coming back to my Kula Deivam.....

Our Kunniyur Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple is a "Swayambhu" Vigraham.  Though it is a small village...the surroundings are beautiful with lush green paddy fields every where and of course, laid with good roads.  The temple as you see it, is a small one but the deity inside " Sri Kamakshi Amman" is all-powerful and is sure to bestow all happiness in plenty for all those who visit her and pray for the well-being of one's family.  

 The whole village is picturesque and is sure to give the visitors plenty of peace and comfort which you will find missing in the busy city atmosphere!  

In our Kula Deivam Temple, we follow the rituals of "Pachai Poduthal" to the Amman -[ a big  platain leaf is laid before the God/Goddess and all types of food including vegetables is placed on it and offered to the Kula Deivam ina very grand manner].  This is usually done when there is an impending marriage in one's family or for any good cause that you pray for to the Amman. 

I have given details of this in my Website and you may get to know of it.  The list given herein is prepared based on the tradition that is followed  and maintained by  generations after generations. 

I am also very pleased to inform you all that the re-building of our Kula Deivam of our famous Kamakshi Amman Temple, administered by the K.B.S.S. Thiruppani Committee of Kunniyur Bakthargal Sath Sangam, is progressing well and the Maha Kumbabhishegam[Consecration] is to be performed on Sunday, January 29, 2012, with devotees congregating in large numbers to witness the Holy occasion.  

On account of the approaching Kumbabhishegam of our Kamakshi Amman Temple, a Sovenir is being proposed to be released by the K.B.S.S. Thiruppani Committee of Kunniyur Bakthargal Sath Sangam.  In this connection, the Appeal towards your contribution to meet the cost of the printing of the said Sovenir, is being attached in my below mentioned Website.  Request those of you who are willing to contribute towards this cause, to kindly send in their contributions accordingly, as mentioned in the Forms.  

To get to learn more on this Temple and the on-coming Maha Kumbabhishegam of our Temple, you may log on to my Website URL as given below:


Here are a few pictures taken on the work progress of the Temple for the Kumbabhishegam:

I am sure my posting and the Website on our Kula Deivam will inspire you all to make a visit to this serene and clam village of Kunniyur in Thanjavur District.  

May Sri Kunniyur Kamakshi Amman bestow all Happiness and Prosperity to one and all ..!! 

07 December 2011

The Festival of Karthigai Deeepam

Lord Annamalayar on Thiruvanamali Deepam 
Karthigai Deeepam, is the festival of lights in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In 2011, the date of Karthigai Deepam is December 8.  In Tamil Nadu, it is observed on the full moon day [or a day earlier] in the month of Karthigai [November-December]. In Kerala, the festival is known as Trikartika or Kartika Vilaku and is held in the month of Vrichikam [November –December]. Lighting traditional oil lamps in the evening after sunset is considered to be very auspicious on the day.

As you scroll down to read my posting...you may listen to the Video of our Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi 's concert.   

The recording was made when M.S. Subbulakshmi gave a charity concert at the Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, in about 1973 in aid of its renovation. This is accompanied by photos of Arunachala taken mainly by Dev Gogoi, and published in his book Arunachala Mountain of Light. 

M.S. Subbulakshmi sings at the main temple at Thiruvanamalai.  [Coutersy:YouTube]

Karthigai Deepam
Karthigai Deepam is the oldest festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu and Southern India, even before Deepavali and Navarathri celebrations. The reference of Karthigai Deepam can be found in many ancient Tamil literatures like ‘Ahananuru’ [200 B.C. to 300 A.D]) ‘Tolkappiyam' that dates back to 2,000 or 2,500 BC, 'Jeevakachintamani', an epic written by Jain poet, Thiruthakka Thevar, in the Sangam period, 'Karnarpadu', 'Kalavazhi Narpadu' dating around 1,000 BC and 'Pazhamozhi', even the famous poetess Avaiyyar, also mentions about the festival in her literary work.

Karthigai Deeepam is also observed as Bharani Deepam and Vishnu Deepam in Tamil Nadu and is an auspicious day for both Shaivites and Vaishanvites.

Bharani Deepam is observed at the famous Tiruvannamalai Temple in Tamil Nadu. It is an important ritual on the Karthigai Deepam day observed. As the name indicates, the day falls on the Bharani Nakshatra star in the Tamil Karthigai month. In 2011, Bharani Deepam date is December 8. This is an important ceremony before the big lamp is lit atop the Arunachal Mountain known as the Tiruvannamalai Maha Deepam. The flame for lighting the Arunachala Deepam atop the mountain is carried from the Bharani Deepam. A flame lit from five different lamps symbolizing earth, air, fire, water and ether is the Bharani Deepam. The Bharani Deepam is carried from the Tiruvannamalai Temple to theArunchala Mountain by a group of fishermen.

View of the Temple on Deepam -Thiruvanamalai
The full moon day in the Tamil month of Karthigai is observed as Vishnu Deepam by Lord Vishnu devotees [Vaishnavites]. The day is popularly known as Karthigai Deepam – when all houses and temples will be decorated with oil lamps after sunset. Vishnu Deepam is celebrated by lighting bonfire known as Sokkappanai in Vishnu shrines. The reason for the festival is based on Lord Vamana [Lord Thrivikrama] incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In 2010, the date of Vishnu Deepam is November 21.
Lord Vamana sending King Bali to the underworld is the basis of Vishnu Deepam. It is said that the two steps of Lord Vamana are the Uttarayan and vernal equinox. And the third step which sends Bali to the underworld is the autumn equinox. The bonfire lit on Vishnu Deepam remembers this event.

Arunachaleswarar - Thiruvanamalai

The lighting of the Bharani Deepam by the chief priest in theTiruvannamalai Temple marks the beginning of the Karthigai Deepam festival.

As is known, no South-Indian festival is without mouth-watering delicacies...You may click on the links below for the important Neyvedhyam items for this important festival:


Talk about Karthigai Deepam and the picture that comes to mind is that of rows and rows of lamps or ‘vilakku’. On this day, every Hindu home lights the traditional Vilaku [diyas] in the evening. Locally, these lamps are known as ‘agal vilakkus.’
The day is also highly auspicious for Lord Muruga devotees as he was taken care by the six Krttika stars and the celebrations on Karthigai commemorate his divine birth. In popular Tamil belief, Karthikai Nakshatra is the birthday of Murukan.

Karthigai Deeepam is celebrated as Tirukarttikai in Tamil Nadu, Kerala,Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and in other parts of the world which has Tamil population. People light lamps outside their home. 

Row of Lamps[Agal Vilakku] 

Especially in Tiruvannamalai, rows of lamps are lighted on the hill and this is most popular Karthigai Deepam.
The lighted lamp is an auspicious symbol and it is believed to usher in prosperity and joy.

The Significance of Karthigai Deepam Festival.
Kartikai Deepam is the lighting of lamps on the Krittika or Kartika Nakshataram day in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Karthigai month. There are several reasons or stories behind observing Karthigai Deepam. A popular belief is that the day is the birthday of Lord Muruga. The lamps are also lit for a happy married life and for the well being of children in the family.

Lord Karthikeya
Kartikai Deepam and Lord Muruga
Lord Muruga, also known as Skanda, Subrahamaniya and Kartik, was born as six different babies to Lord Shiva after he awoke from the deep meditation after Goddess Sati’s death. The six babies were looked after by the Six Krittika stars and the six children were later joined to a single force by Goddess Parvati.

Lord Muruga as Six Different Babies
Krittika is the six starts or the Pleiades cluster – when Muruga joins them as a child they make seven stars. As Muruga was born as six different babies and later joined into one He is popularly known as Aarumugan in Tamil culture.

Lord Muruga-"OM"
Lord Muruga as Kumaraguru Advising Lord Shiva
Another legend has it that the lamps lit symbolically represent knowledge, victory and peace. Muruga as Kumaraguru is believed to have taught the meaning of ‘OM’ to Lord Shiva. Thus the lamps lit on the day are in remembrance of sharing the ultimate knowledge of ‘OM.’ The knowledge of OM helps in enlightenment and emancipation.

King Bali surrendering to 
Lord Vishnu
King Bali Surrendering to Lord Vishnu
Another legend associated with Karthigai Deepam is that King Bali surrendered before Lord Vishnu. King Bali attained moksha by surrendering all his wealth and himself before Lord Vishnu. Special offerings made from puffed rice and beaten rice is believed to be due to this legend.

 Lingodhabhava Murti
Thiruvannamalai MahaDeepam and Shiva as Lingodhabhava Murti
Another popular legend associated with that of Karthigai Deepam is that of Lord Shiva appearing in the form of Lingodhbhava – a pillar of fire with no end and beginning. This is celebrated at the famous TiruvannamalaiArunachaleswar Temple as the Thiruvannamalai Deepam.
Other festivals and rituals on the day
Apart from this Lord Vishnu devotees observe Vishnu Deepam during the same period. Another ritual observed during the period is Shokka Pannai and Yaani Pandigai.
In neighboring Kerala, the day is observed as Thrikartika.

The 10-day Karthigai Deepam festival observed at the famous Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, culminates with the Maha Deepam lit atop the Annamalai Hills.  In 2011, the date of Tiruvannamalai Maha Karthigai Deepam is December 9. The Maha Deepam represents Lord Shiva, who appeared in the form of a pillar of fire with no end and beginning [Jyotirlinga] before Brahma and Vishnu. Karthigai Deepam festival, observed in Tamil month Kartika, is more than 3000 years old and is mentioned in the early Tamil scriptures.

Annamalai Deepam - Thiruvanamalai
Legend has it once Lord Vishnu and Brahma wanted to know who was the greatest. After an intense debate they sought the help of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva said that he who can find the origin or end of his form is the greatest. Lord Shiva appeared before Lord Vishnu and Brahma in the form of a pillar of fire with no beginning and end. This form is referred as Jyotirlinga.
Lord Brahma assumed the form of a swan and Lord Vishnu the form of a boar and conducted an elaborate search to find the end or beginning of the flame. Soon they realized that the Supreme Being has no end or beginning.

Maha Deepam - Thiruvanamalai
The Tiruvannamalai Maha Deepam atop the Annamalai Hills commemorates the appearance of Lord Shiva in the form of Jyotirlinga. 
On "Deepam", a special light floods the entire earth plane  with Karma dissolving light.  On the sages can see this light as it is of a different frequency than what the human eye can see/ detect.  To replicate this spiritual  happening, a huge lamp is lit on the top of the mountain with several thousands of gallons of oil, hand carried by pilgrims coming from all over India.   It is claimed that on the night of 'Karthigai Pournami', when the lamp is lit it can be seen across an area of 35km around the shrine.

Ardhanareeswarar appearing for a few seconds 
at the time-Rare photo
In the evening, the Pancha Murthis are brought to the Katchi Mandapam. At dusk [Pradosham], with the Karthigai day harmonizing with full moon day, the deity, Ardhanareeswarar, is taken in a grand procession on the decorated vehicle to this place with the five deepams, which are put in a big receptacle near the flag staff. 

It should be noted here that Ardhanareewarar comes out only once in the year, only for a few seconds, at the time of lighting the deepam. 

Annamalai Deepam atop the Hills 
At the same time, the guiding light on the hill is lit and huge crowd raise cry in a loud voice "Annamalaikku Arogara." It is a sight for the Gods! The lighting of the beacon on the top of the hill is the finale of ten days of merriment in the town. 

Lakhs of Devotees every year witnessing 
Annamalai Deepam
It is a noted fact that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, saints, siddhas, devouts and seekers of the truth flock to Thiruvanamailai to walk around the mountain and witness the flame on the summiteach year at Karthigai Deepam.  Arunachala is the mountain of Thiruvanamalai that comes alive once a year and becomes the light Bridge that spans the gap between the two realities, enabling you to move gracefully between mundane or low intelligence and derive intelligence.  This mountain is called the mountain of fire and has existed in all ages in deiiferent forms.  Fire symbolizes light, consciousness and intelligence.  

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