New Page 1
Kartikai Deepam Festivals
addition to the various festivals, Tiruvannamalai
celebrates four annual Bhrammotsavams which go on
for a duration of 10 days. The most famous of them
all is the Kartikai Bhrammotsavam.
Annamalai deepam marks the conclusion of the ten day
Bhrammotsavam in the month of Kartikai. On each of
these days, the five murthies of Annamalayar,
Unnamulaiyaal, Ganapati, Subramanyar and
Chandikeswarar are brought in a procession in
decorated mounts. Noteworthy among these are the
Rishabha Vahana Utsavam on the fifth evening of the
festival and the Rathotsavam, on the seventh day.
Before kartikai deepam, Bharani Deepam is
celebrated. A a lamp is lit in the main shrine of
the temple. This is followed by a fire sacrifice
done in front of the shrine of Surya. A small bowl
of ghee lighted at this fire is used to light five
other lamps representing the five aspects of Shiva.
In the afternoon begin the celebrations of Kartikai
Deepam. A portion of this fire is kept inside a
container of baked earth and taken to the summit of
the mountain. Here, a large copper utensil filled
with offerings of ghee and pieces of cloth is kept.
Meanwhile, four of the decorated pancha murthies are
brought out from the main shrine of the temple. They
are housed in Vimanams in the 3rd prakaram of the
temple, facing the flag staff and the Annamalai
Hill. The last to arrive is Annamalaiyar who comes
out of the second prakaram, dancing with his
consort.The deepam is then brought out of the inner
shrine and taken towards the Utsavar Annamalayaar.
The deepam is brought out in a gait by the bearers
and a deeparadanai is offered to the Utsavar.
At the same moment, the lamp on the hill is lighted,
even as the crowd breaks into a frenzied cheer,
chanting the Lord's name. It is a belief of the
people that the deepam is a form of Lord Shiva
With the arrival of the deepam outside, the inner
sanctum doors are closed and Annamalaiyaar is to be
worshipped only as the beacon until the next morning
when the shrine is reopened.
Tens of thousands of devotees throng to this sthalam
on the event of annamalai deepam. Special buses and
trains are run to Tiruvannamalai and back, to help
the devotees who want to catch a glimpse of the
deepam on the auspicious day.
New Page 1