|Tamil month of Margazhi (Mid Dec. to Mid Jan).facebook.com|
In the vicinity of Hindu temples, the soul stirring and soothing mystical sound of classical music and chants of divine hymns in Tamil and Sanskrit on God Vishnu and other deities normally will rant the dark, chilly and gloomy early winter morning across Tamil Nadu when people feel cozy and cuddle up under the thick blanket in deep slumber. Not to be disturbed, people normally would prefer catching up more sleep induced by the cool and congenial weather. Forgetting about the next depression in the Bay of Bengal, the euphoria of bhakti grips the ardent devotees relegating a sense of foreboding of heavy rains to the back stage. In the Tamil month of Margazhi, the atmosphere charged with religious fervor and spiritual exhilaration, is more pronounced in South India, in particular, in all Divyadesam shrines than others for two reason: 01. The long-drawn Vaikunda Ekadasi festivities falling during this period and 02. Chanting of holy hymns ''Thirupavai'' composed by Sri Andal Nachiyar, the foster daughter of Periyazhzwar and observation of Paavai Nombu by women.
Margazhi. a divine and an auspicious month for the Hindus, starts from mid-December to mid-January (also called Dhanur month; waxing phase of moon) encompassing Sukla Ekadashi and Makara Sankranthi. Sri Krishna (God Vishnu) is the prime deity in this month and the Lord said in the Bhagavad Gita, ''I m Margazhi among 12 months''. Obviously, divinity is imparted to this month.
|Sorgavasal Thirappu,Sri Parthasarathi temple, Triplicane,Chennai, TN.www.youtube.com|
|2019 ''Sorgavasal Thirappu'', Srirangam, TN. tamil.samayam.|
Besides Arudra Darshan (associated with Shiva temples), two important temple festivals are celebrated with pomp and bhakti in Tamil Nadu, Vaikunda Ekadasi festival is celebrated on a grand scale at Sri Ranganathar temple, Srirangam, TN and other Sri Vishnu temples at Tirupati, Kumbakonam and Kanchipuram. At the Bhadrachalam Sri Rama Temple, Andhra state, it is celebrated on a grand scale. At Vishnu temples in Kerala it is held as Swarga Vathil Ekadashi and the presiding deity (Utchavar) is taken in a procession around the shrine within the temple premises. This year the ''Sorgavasal thirappu'' - opening of the celestial gate to Heaven will be on Dec. 25th in the Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and elsewhere.
The Thirupavai festival assumes much significance at the popular Sri Villiputhur Andal temple ( about 81 km from Madurai city) in Virudhunagar district where Kodai Nachiyar was born and adopted by Peryazhwar, one of the Tamil Azhwar saints who had built the temple there. On the 16th of December, Thrumanchanam (abishekam) was done to Goddess Nachiyar Andal and God Sri Vatapatrasayi (Sri Vishnu).
Thiruppavai in Chaste Tamil was composed by Andal (Goddess Lakshmi) whom Periazhwar had found under the tulsi plant in the temple garden (hence the name Srivilliputhur Andal temple). The saint named her as “Goda”- meaning “gift of god”,
| Andal temple, Srivilliputhur,TN pinrest.com|
|Goddess Andal and Rangammar(Vishnu), Srivilliputhur, TN pinrest.com|
|Murals in the prakara,Sri Villiputhur Andal temple, Alamy.com|
For centuries, the Tamil month of Margazhi has been closely linked with some unique Hindu temple festivals. The same period marks the pilgrimage to the popular Sabarimala Ayyappan temple, in the state of Kerala located on the western ghat where the Mandala Puja and Magaravillakku events take place. Devotees, including VIPs from various parts of India observe strict Vratam (fasting, etc) and undertake the pilgrimage to the hill temple. Another religious event toward the end of the same period associated with the Sabarimala temple is the holy journey - "Thiruvabharana khosha yathra".
|Sri Ayyappan temple, Sabarimalai, Kerala state.indiatvnews.com|
|Thiruvabharana khosha yathra Kerala .newindianexpress.com|
Above image: The 3-day procession carrying the sacred golden jewelry - ''Thiruvabharanam'' ‘to the sabarimalai normally will take place toward the end of margazhi - January 15, from Pandalam Valiya Koyikkal Sree Dharma Sastha temple. The procession will begin from the Pandalam temple. Kept in three sandalwood boxes, the ornaments are being carried on head by 12 people accompanied by guards and security officers. The ornaments will be worn by the lord during the Puja protocol,.............................................
|Kollam in front of homes, Margazhi month.you tube|