On Thai Poosam day Theppotsavam starts at Ananta Saras situated inside Kanchi VaradarajaPerumal temple. This year it was on 24/1/2016. The Float Festival is a three day celebration at Perumal koil. At about 9.30 a.m. tirumanjanam takes place for Perumal along with ubhaya nachimars and Perundevi Thayar at kanadi arai mandapam. Devotees assemble to partake of this beautiful spectacle of their Divine Parents lovingly and carefully bathed with pure water to the accompaniment of Vedic chants. Turmeric, sandal powder and garlands of different hues are offered but the Tulasi garlands wound round the crowns occupy pride of place as also the sahasradhara tirumanjanam. The kattiyam recital is wonderful and one can understand why swami Desikan says he did not even desire vaikuntalokam when He was with Varadan.
The Divya Dampathis then give darshan in the hall of mirrors till late evening. At about 5.30p.m.on 24th January Perumal left on Pournami purappadu to Sannidhi street after blessing swami Desikan. (25th and 26th purappadu was for Thayar and Perumal within the temple precincts.)
After returning He was joined by Perundevi Thayar. Together they came in pradakshinam of the pushkarni stopping by at Venugopal swami sannidhi, BhuVarahan sannidhi and Sri Ranganatha sannidhi. Actually this is the route we should follow while worshipping at the temple. They stop at Chakrathazhwar sannidhi and then descend the steps of the pushkarni to get on the beautifully decorated theppam. Before Their arrival bhattar swamis do the purificatory punyavachanm of the theppam.
The three white cloth umbrellas are left outside Chakrathazhwar sannidhi. Thayar goes under the golden umbrella and Perumal under the silver. Perumal and Thayar are surrounded by bhattar swamis, paricharaka swamis waving the chamarams continuously, the nadhaswaram players are seated behind the peshkar is in attendance with his silver rod and there are several policemen, devotees and people to manoeuvre the movement of the float with rods. The actual pulling of ropes is done by so many men young and old clothed in spotless white dhotis directing the Float. Perumal and Piraati who control the Universe are ready to be driven by devotees. Again Perumal and Piraati who Protect the entire Creation are protected by the Vedas chanted by the Veda parayana goshti who go round the steps of the pushkarni chanting Vedams. All the steps of the puskarni are filled with people. The fish in the pond get a lot of puffed rice to eat. As the float moved round devotees let camphor lights float before the Divya Dampatis. The notes of the Vedams and the nadhaswaram fill the air and the full moon looks from the skies and sends silvery cool rays below. The elephant lights on the Float seemed to do dandavath pranams again and again. The first day there were 3 rounds, on the second day that is on 25/1/2016, 5 rounds were done and on 26/1/2016 there were seven rounds. On the second day Senai Mudaliar sattrumurai took place and on the third day Tirumazhisai piran sattrumurai took place after theppam was over.
After completing the rounds the DivyaDampathis went round azhwar tiruchuttru accompanied by Arulchezhal goshti and stopped by Nammazhwar sannidhi, Manavala mamunigal sannidhi, Ramanuja sannidhi and swami Desikan sannidhi before returning to kanadi arai after the usual harathi and offerings at Tondaradipodi.
What a wonderful experience it was to be part of this beautiful festival and mingle with devotees of all ages and enjoy our Divine Parents on the Theppam!
Photos & Videos: Sri Sundararajan & Write – Up: Smt Vyjayanthi Rajan