Kanchi Brahmothsavam – Aal Mel Pallakku-Mattaiyadi-Theerthavari


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Allmal Pallaku

Ninth day of the Brahmotsavam is a wonderful day packed with lots of activities. The events start with Allmal Pallaku followed by Mattaiadi mahotsavam and culminating with Theerthavari.

Perarulalan left the kovil in the morning on Allmal Pallakku, this type of Pallakku is quite unique as Perarulalan is carried on pallaku by four dolls. When leaving the kovil, Perarulalan wears nine silk duppatta instead of malais. When Perarulalan reaches the Gangai kondan mandapam one by one all the duppatta’s are removed this event is known as porvai kalaidhal. After this Perarulalan wears malai and heads back to kovil. All the while our Ubhaya Nachiyars are in the kannadi arai mandapam eagerly waiting for their (our) lord’s arrival. As Perarulalan passes the dwajasthambham, the doors are shut.For the next hour Pranaya Kalagam utsavam (household quarrel between Perarulalan and the Nachiyars) takes place to our pleasure. During the whole episode our Nachiyar’s would be standing in the kannadi arai mandapam and Perarulalan would be standing below.

First Nachiyar’s demand the reason for Perarulalan’s outing. Perarulalan answers by saying he had gone to rescue of rishis, who were troubled by asuras. Since he was going for battle he went alone.

Nachiyar’s are not convinced and demand the answer for the scratch marks on His Thirukkazuthu (neck) and that why His Thirukkangal (eyes) are so red. They also ask why He has kungumappoo (Saffron) and chandanam all over his Thirumeni (body). Perarulalan explains that the rishis prayed for his protection against the asuras, and as Aapathsakan it is his duty to protect devotees in distress. As He left early in the morning so His eyes were red. As He had to pass through thick forest His Thirukkazuthu was scratched by thorns. Finally the kungumappoo and chandanam all over His body is because the rishis praised Him after His victorious campaign.

Even with all this Nachiyar’s are not convinced and wanted more proof. Our Lord offers to jump into ocean, jump in to fire or to put his hand in a vessel full of snakes. Nachiyar’s instead of being convinced were annoyed and stated that all His claims are unjust. He being the creator of the whole universe would not be harmed by the oceans. His avirbhavam was from the fire of Brahma’s aswamedha yagam so fire would not hurt Him. As regard the snakes, as He sleeps on Adhi Seshan, no snake would ever hurt him. Seeing this going nowhere, Perarulalan states that as He is the lord of Sathya Vratha Kshethram all he has said is sathyam. Finally our Nachiyar’s are convinced and they step down from the mandapam to join Perarulalan. All the while Archakar swamy on behalf of Nachiyar’s threw poo pandhu (flower ball) three time at the Lord.

Varadarajar kovil in Kanchipuram is also known as Thyaga boomi, prasiddham for the sacrifices that our Perarulalan has done for our sampradayam. The Mattaiadi utsavam here is very simple and not as grand as in Srirangam (Bhoga boomi), where Namperumal has the luxuries like Arayars.


After the Mattaiadi mahotsavam Perarulalan along with Nachiyar’s would proceed towards the 100 kaal mandapam. By this time the Nithya Thirumanjana moorthy, Pranatharthihara Varadan, would come down from Hasthigiri to join Perarulalan and NAchiyar’s. ThiruAradhanam is performed for Perarulalan, Nachiyar’s and Pranatharthihara varadan. During ThiruAradhanam, Ubhaya Nachiyar’s would not by either side of Perarulalan but both of them would be by his right side, this sevai is quite unique to this day of the Brahmotsavam.
After this mariyadai is done for archakar. followed by punyavajanam for pushkarani. The archakar, who had his mariyadai, would have dip in the pushkarani with the nithya thirumanjana moorthy. This is unique as in all the other temples theertha vari is done with chakrathalwar only.After this Nitya Thirumanjana moorthy would head back to his asthanam on top of Hasthigiri. Perarulalan and Nachiyar’s got back to the kannadi arai.

Text writeup- Thanks to Shri Kousik Sarathy, Photos thanks to Shri Kesava Bhasyam

Some of the photos taken during the utsavam can be seen below: (Click on the first image to view it as as slide show)

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