Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala:
|Padmanabha Swamy Temple,Thiruvananthapurm, Kerala,Alamy com|
|Padmanaba swami templeVishnu, view thru' thee doors epuja.co.in|
In Kerala Vaikunta Ekadashi festival is called Swargavathil, meaning Passage to Heaven and is observed in the Malayalam month of Dhanu. As in Tamil Nadu, the processional deities from the sanctum -Srikovil are taken reverentially in a procession through the Vaikuntha Dwara ( similar to Paranapada vassal). It a colorful and vibrant event here and people in thousands walk through the Vaikuntha Dwara in the belief, Namperuman will
Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple, Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh:
|Sita Ramachandraswamy temple, Bhadrachalam, AP.exploretemples.in|
|Sri Ramachandra swamy temple, Badrachalam, AP. Pinrest.com|
The temple with presiding deities as Lord Rama, his consort Goddess Sita and brother Lakshmana is a popular center of pilgrimage in Andhra Pradesh. On the day of Vaikunta Ekadashi festival, the utchava deities of Lord Rama, consort Sita and brother Lakshmana are taken out in a religious procession through the Vaikunta Dwara, quite similar to the temple tradition being followed in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Quite interesting is the fact that the Vaikuntha Ekadashi celebrations held here are based on the traditions of Srirangam Ranganathar temple, TN.
As per the Bhadradri Kshetra Mahatyam (Importance of Bhadradri) in the Brahma Purana, devotees who visit the temple here and seek the blessings of Vaikuntha Rama on the annual festival day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi, shall be granted Vaikuntha propthi - salvation in the shadow of Sri Vishnu's abode. The Agama text Paramapurusha Samhita has mentioned that the devotees should pray to Sri. Vishnu seated on the Garuda Vahana while taken with reverence and devotion in the procession through the Vaikunta Dwara - North gate to fulfill their wish of gaining salvation. On the day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi in the early morning, the utsava idols of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana on the Garuda vahanam will be carried by the Vaishnavites through the Vaikuntha Dwaram- Sorgha vassal. Later devotees are allowed to pass through the Vaikuntha Dwaram.
Yet another event as part of prelude to Vaikuntha Ekadashi, is Teppotsavam (the float festival) that is celebrated with pomp and religious fervor. A boat shaped like swan named Hamsa vahanam is used for the procession of the utsava murthies (idols) on the waters of the near-by Godavari River. During the Teppotsavam the entire place is well-lit, using flood lights for the benefit of devotees to enjoy this annual event and there will be fascinating, colorful fire-works at night The decorated boat carrying the idols makes five long circles in the water and normally about 26 devotees, including temple priests accompany the float procession. As at Srirangam temple, the festivities last for 21 days and Goda Kalyanam and Rathotsavam (the chariot festival) form important activities of the annual celebrations; the latter event coincides with the Makar Sankranti festival. This unique festival draws people in thousands from near-by districts as well.