Morning Golden chapparam
Durmukhi Vaikasi Chitrai(19th May 2016) heralded the start of the famous Kanchi Vaikasi Brahmotsavam. The Garuda flag was hoisted at 2.30 a.m. Known as Dwajarohanam this ceremony announces the beginning of Brahmotsavam. Garudazhwar is a nityasuri like Vishvaksena who occupies pride of place infront of Perumal in temples. He is painted on the flag during utsavam in Vishnu temples. He serves as Narayana’s vahanam and Garuthman is the soul of The Vedas.
Then at 4.00 a.m. Varadan and His Consorts started in purappadu on a chapparam of gold. Chapparam is a mobile stage. As Varadan and His Consorts emerged out of the gopuravasal decked in fresh flowers seated on a stage of gold surrounded by bhattar swamis with bright Tirumankaapu the devotees lined up along the streets felt blessed to start their day so auspiciously. The two elephants leading the procession added to the auspiciousness. Tirumbakal that is Perumal’s return purappadu took place at about 8.00a.m. Those who missed the procession could have His sevai at ‘vahana- mandapam’ which is infront of swami Desikan sannidhi.
Tirumanjanam took place at ‘kanadi-arai mandapam’ in the morning.
Afternoon (Beri Thadanam)
At about 3.00p.m. Beri Thadanam ceremony took place at ‘kanadi-arai mandapam’ Varandan along with Ubhayanachimars witnessed the proceedings.
Beri is a kind of drum and is used for announcements in temples. Beri Thaadanam is a ceremony performed before the start of Brahmotsavam in temples. The drum is placed on the floor on spread out rice infront of Perumal. One swami did the reading of sanskrit verses inviting the 33 crores of devathas as also punyanadhis etc. for the Brahmotsavam. After every invitation the drum would be beated by a swami. At the end the rice was collected by the drummer who carried the blessed drum with him. Vardan and His Consorts wore yellow silk vastrams. Even dwarapalakas and dwarapalakis at Thayar sannidhi wore new silk vastrams. Varadan was then taken to vahana mandapam after puja was done. This was at about 5.00 p.m.
The evening vahanam’simham’ was waiting in readiness to be Perumal’s carrier that evening.
On the first day evening of Kanchi Brahmotsavam that is Durmukhi Vaikasi Chitrai Chitra (19th May evening) Varadaraja Perumal left in purappadu on Simha vahanam. The golden lion with bewitching eyes is a beauty to behold. Azhwars have always referred to Nrisimhan as Beautiful. He is Sundarasimhan. As Varadasimhan mounted the simhavahanam in the vahanamandapam and the purappadu began after the ‘kulukkal’ (Big shake when the vahanam leaves) everyone aboard holds on to a support and shake together. As Perumal left in purappadu with the two elephants leading the way everyone ran alongside with folded hands and offered their dandavat pranams to Devaraja (The king of gods) riding majestically on the king of the jungle.
To view the previous day Utsavam please visit: Kanchi Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple Selvar Utsavam & Vaikasi Brahmotsavam Ankurarpanam
The following are the photos taken during the Utsavam:
Photos: Sri Krishna Durai, Write – up: Smt Vyjayanthi Rajan