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Kodai Utsavam At Kanchi Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple – Day 3

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Durmukhi Aani Magham was the third day of Kodai Utsavam at Kanchi Varadaraja Perumal koil. Kodai refers to the summer season which is pretty harsh in India. But it is the season when jasmines bloom in plenty and mangoes fill the trees and markets. So also ‘kodai’ is welcomed by devotees as this is when ‘kodai-utsavam’ takes place in temples. Grishma-ritu is the sanskrit name for this season.

At Kanchi Perumal-koil at sunset Perumal with Ubhaya Nachimars goes in purappadu on Sannidhi Street lead by the horse and nadhaswaram players and followed by the Vedaparayana goshti. He waits outside ‘Tiruvadi-koil’where the prabhandham chanting begins. After entering ‘gopura-vasal’ He was joined by Thayar, because it was Sukravaram(Friday). Thayar was resplendent in a mustard saree with violet zari border. As Thayar and Perumal with Ubhaya Nachimars walked side by side together devotees kept gazing at them drowned by ‘Their Soundaryam’. Perumal sported a ‘kodali-mudichu’ while Thayar had a high hair-do and a long braid too. Thayar was taken to the four-pillared mandapam near the gopura-vasal while Perumal and Consorts went to the four-pillared mandapam near the dwaja-stambam. Oonjal(swinging) took place at both mandapams simultaneously and devotees did not know where to look. After this the screen was drawn for almost 20 minutes. Devotees used this time to worship at Chakrathazhwar sannidhi etc. When the curtain opened Perumal wore very few ornaments and one could enjoy His Tirumeni Saundaryam. The flower baskets arrived at the mandapam along with the silver crane containing rose-water. While Bhattar swami performed aradhana meticulously and gently, the paricharakas were tying flowers into circles and arranging strands of flowers in a particular fashion. There was a shawl of jasmines interspersed with pink flowers in the middle. Most of the flowers were from the temple nandavanam woven meticulously and artistically by women devotees. Saffron paste was smeared on Perumal's Tirumeni and sandal-paste was rolled and kept on His Chest. After this a flower circle was inserted down His Crown and strands and strands of jasmines were wound almost forming a jasmine turban. Then two garlands of vakula flowers(mazhiyam poo) were put around His neck followed by a garland of Shenkaineer flowers and then strands of jasmines in different combinations as also green marukozhundhu bordered by pink arali and finally a thick garland. Rose water was sprinkled liberally and then harathi took place.

After this Thayar aradhanai and ‘poo-saathu’ took place. Bliss it was to be in Kanchipuram on this day.

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Courtesy: Sri Elangadu Chakravarthy & Write up – Smt.Vyjayanthi Rajan

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