|Annabishekam at the Big temple, Thanjavur, Tamil nadu. .thehindu.com|
|Thanjavur big temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Edutour|
In Southern India Annabishekam is performed every year in the Tamil month of Aippasi (October-November) Purnima (in local language Pournami) - full moon day. People generously contribute raw rice, dal, Jaggery, vegetables, etc to the temples for this ritual. The ingredients are collected in large quantities from wealthy people. On that day in the evening at the auspicious time, Abishekam is performed amidst of chanting mantas by the temple priests with devotion. The presiding deity - lingam (3.7m tall) is decoratively covered with cooked rice, different kinds of vegetables, fruits, etc. Devotees normally throng the temple on this day and taste the prasadam in the belief that the lord will take care of the welfare of their families.
|Shiva temple Gangaikonda Cholapuram TNwww.flickr.com|
|Thanjavur Shiva linga in natural form. Divya Darisanam|
Likewise, Annabishekam was done at the same time at other Saivite temples such as Aadi Kumbeswarar temple, Kumbakonam, Mahalingeswarar temple, Thiruvidaimaruthur, etc.
A large number of people witnessed Annabishkam of Bragadeswarar temple (built by Rajenrad Chola) at Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Ariyalur district. The Kanchi Sankaracharya mutt, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu provided 100 bags of rice every year for this purpose, a tradition that has been followed since 1986. Annabishekam is also considered as a way of sanctifying the presiding deity, so that it will absorb more positive energy.