17 th March 2016 (Panguni Tiruvadhirai) was Day-1 of Panguni Uthiram celebrations at Kanchi Varadaraja Perumal temple. It is a seven day celebration at this temple and is dedicated to Malayala Nachiyar. When we come down Atthigiri in pradakshinam we cross Dhanvantri Sannidhi and as we turn right there is a sannidhi for Malayala Nachiyar. She is referred to as Serakullavalli in the temple literature. She was a devotee from Kerala(Cheradesam) who gave Her heart and soul to Varadan. So much so there is a sannidhi parallel to Sri Andal for Her and Panguni Uthiram celebrates Her vivaham with Varadan.
Varadaraja Perumal and His Consorts were in ‘kanadi-arai’ from the morning of 17.03.2016. In the morning Malayala Nachiyar was brought from Her sannidhi to ‘kanadi-arai’. She is short and slim and was dressed in leaf-green silk with meroon border and sported a long braid with beautiful hair ornaments. Her double strands of pearls caught our attention. Otherwise the head ornaments, karnapatram and odiyanam(waist-belt) were gem-studded. As if to match Her Perumal’s alankaram made Him appear slim and ubhaya-nachimars sported green garments. Perumal and His consorts sportted ‘thalluku-kondai'(globe-like golden crown with criss-cross designs) and as the procession emerged from ‘kanadi-arai the first stop was at swami Desikan sannidhi where srisathari was offered to swami. The Veda-parayanam starts at this point. Three umbellas were there – two for Perumal and one for Nachiyar. Besides there is a silver umbrella for Perumal and golden one for Nachiyar. The procession reached ‘Tiruvadi-koil’ where Srisathari maryadhai was accorded to Anjaneya swami while Perumal waited outside. The Arulichezal goshti started their rendering of pasurams at this point even as the vedic chanting was on.
After returning to the temple Malayala Nachiyar and Varadan with Consorts were placed on swings at the entrance of the hundred pillar mandapam. The swinging took place to the accompaniment of sweet notes of the nadhaswaram players. After this aradhanai took place at the hundred-pillared mandapam and everyone present got ‘Perumal Theertham, Srisathari and prasadams. It was then time to return to ‘kanadi- arai. While descending the steps of the kalyana-mandapam ‘Padiyetram’ took place that is ‘yechhirikai, swami yechirikkai’ is told loudly reminding everyone that Devadhiraja – The King of even the gods is on His Way so be alert. With this the first day of Panguni Uthiram festivity came to a close.
The following are the photos taken during the Utsavam:
Photos: Sri Elangadu Ranganatha Chakravarthy, Sri Sundararajan, Videos: Sri Sundararajan & Write – up: Smt Vyjayanthi Sundararajan