Showing posts sorted by relevance for query madurai. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query madurai. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Madurai Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Swamy Temple, Madurai

Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar:-

Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple (often called Meenakshi Amman Temple) is situated in the heart of the Madurai City, covering an area of 17 acres, the entire city being built around it.
Lord Shiva as Sundareswara or the Lord of beauty. The other sanctuaries is dedicated to Meenakshi, the wife of Shiva. Meenakshi is seen holding a parrot and a bouquet in her hand. The original temple created by Kulasekara Pandyan in the early years was in ruins. The present temple was reconstructed in the early 17th century by Tirumala Nayak. The temple is surrounded by Aadi, Chittiraj and the Massi streets.

Meenakshi (Meena meaning fish and akshi meaning eye) is the principal deity of the temple, and not Sundareswarar - this is unlike most Shiva temples in India where usually Shiva is the principal deity. And legend has it that Madurai is the actual place where the wedding of Shiva and Meenakshi took place. The Meenakshi temple complex is one of the largest and certainly one of the most ancient in the world. In fact it was in the list of top 30 nominees of the “New Seven Wonders of the world”. The temple is situated in the heart of the city covering an area of 17 acres, the entire city was built around it.

       Contrary to the custom followed in all the major temples of Tamil Nadu Goddess Meenakshi (meaning fish eyed) is worshipped first by the devotees in this temple. In other temples the male deity will be worshiped first. Here Arti/Deeparadhana is done to Meenakshi first.
        Meenakshi was born with three breasts. The Pandya king and the queen, who were her parents, were told that the third breast will disappear when she sees the right man. This happened when she met Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva). Even today a statue with three breasts can be seen in Pudumandapam opposite temple.
The lady goddess Meenakshi is the principal deity of the temple and not Sundareswarar - this is unlike most Shiva temples in South India where Shiva is the principal deity.


 The central shrine of Meenakshi and her consort Sundareswarar are surrounded by three enclosures and each of these are protected by four minor towers at the four points of the compass, the outer tower growing larger and reaching higher to the corresponding inner one. The Sundareswara shrine lies at the centre of the complex, suggesting that the ritual dominance of the goddess developed later. Both the Meenakshi and Sundareswarar shrines have gold plated Vimanam (tower over sanctum). The area covered by the shrine of Sundareswarar is exactly one fourth of the area of the temple and that of Meenakshi is one fourth of that of Sundareswara.


 Devi Meenakshi, the fish-eyed Goddess, who stands with a parrot and a bouquet, radiating love and compassion. The sublime grace of the divine Mother and her infinite mercy are beyond words.
The Meenakshi’s idol is beautifully carved and her diamond nose ring dazzles in the glow of the oil lamps. She is always dressed in bright silk and looks gorgeous.


Lord Sundareswarar's shrine is situated in the Northern side of the Kilikoontu Mandapam. There is the idol of Lord Sri Ganesh called as the Mukkurini Pillaiyar. It is believed that the idol was found when the king Thirumalai Nayakar planned to built a tank about 3 kms from the temple. He found the idol and brought the same to the temple and erected it there.

The kadamba tree is present in the outer pragaram of the Lord Shiva's shrine. There is a dancing posture of the Lord present in the Shrine called as the Velli Ambalam which is covered with Silver all over. This is the one of the idol of Nataraja which is called as the Velli Sabhai. There is many Sabhai's present in the temples of Lord Shiva all over the state.
In the next sanctum is the shrine of Lord Nataraja where the Lord is worshiped in the dancing pose with his right foot raised. Adjacent to it is the sanctum of Sundareswarar, which is supported by 64 boothaganas (ghostly hosts), 8 elephants and 32 lions. The Sivalinga, which bears the names of deities such as Chokkanathar and Karpurachockar, inspires deep devotion.


·        There is big statue of Lord Ganesh inside the temple. This 6 X 4 feet statue was discovered when the Nayak king was digging the earth for sand and stones for the temple. A big (Mukkuruni) kozukkattai or modak made up of 18 kilo rice and several kilos of jaggery/sugar is offered to it every year on Ganesh Chathurthy day. Kozukkattai or Modak is a steamed rice offering inside which is Puranam made of coconut or other grains.

History of the Meenakshi Temple:-

The shrine of Meenakshi at Madurai, popularly known as the Meenakshi Temple, was built during the reign of Chadayavarman Sundara Pandyan in the 12th century. The imposing 9-storey tower was built between the 13th and 16th century. During the 200-year reign of Nayakka rulers, many Mandapams (covered structure with pillars) were constructed in the temple premises, like the Hall of Thousand Pillars, Puthu Mandapam, Ashta Sakthi Mnadapam, Vandiyoor Theppakulam, and Nayakkar Mahal. The temple, as it stands today, was built between 12th and 18th century.

Mythology of Meenakshi Temple:-

The divine marriage where brother Vishnu hands his sister Parvati to Shiva (from left, Vishnu, Meenakshi, Shiva).

According to Hindu legend, Shiva came down to earth in the form of Sundareswarar to marry Meenakshi, an incarnation of [Parvati]. Parvati had earlier descended to earth in the form of a small child in response to the great penance of Malayadwaja Pandya, the ruler of Madurai. After growing up to adulthood, she began ruling the city. The Lord appeared on earth and proposed to her. The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Vishnu, the brother of Meenakshi, was traveling to preside over the marriage from his holy abode at Vaikuntam. Due to a divine play, he was tricked by god [Indra] and delayed on the way. Meanwhile, the marriage was presided over by a local god [Koodal Azhaghar]. This is celebrated anually as ‘Chitirai Thiruvizha’ in Madurai. During the period of Nayakar rule in Madurai,in order to link the ‘Azhakar Thiruvizha’ and the ‘Chitirai Thiruvizha’ a story was added that Vishnu was angered and swore he’d never cross ‘Vaigai’ Later he was pacified by the other lords. Hence born the ‘Azhaghar Thiruvizha’.

Modern History of Meenakshi Temple:-

The history of the original structure is not properly known, but Tamil literature speaks about the temple for the last couple of millennia. [Thirugnanasambandar], the famous Hindu saint of [Shaiva] philosophy, has mentioned this temple as early as the 7th century, and describes the Lord as Aalavai Iraivan. The temple was believed to have been sacked by the infamous Muslim invader Malik Kafur in 1310and all the ancient elements were destroyed. The initiative to rebuild the structure was taken by [Arya Natha Mudaliyar] , the Prime Minister of the first Nayak of Madurai (1559-1600 A.D.), the founder of ‘Poligar System’. Then came the most valuable contributions of Thirumalai Nayak circa 1623 to 1659. He took considerable interest in erecting the Vasantha Mandapa of the temple complex.

About Madurai:-

The city of Madurai has been constructed in the form of a lotus and is built around the temple. Owing to its rich cultural heritage and architectural splendor, the city is often referred to as the 'Athens of the East'. The origin of Madurai dates back to the Sangam period, the golden period of Tamil Literature.According to mythology Madurai was earlier a forest called Kadambavanam. Once a merchant passing through the forest saw Indran, the King of Gods worshipping a Swayambhulingam under a Kadam tree. This was immediately reported to King Kulsekarer Pandayan. The king cleared the forest and built a splendid temple, known as the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarer Temple, around the holy Lingam and later built a beautiful lotus-shaped city surrounding the temple.In 302 BC, Megasthanes visited Madurai and was followed by Marcopolo and Ibn Batuta, all of whom mentioned about their visit in their travelogues. There were many others travelers, from countries like Rome and Greece, who visited the city and established trade with the Pandya Kings. Madurai was captured by the Cholas in the 10th century AD and was ruled till the end of the 13th century. In 1223 AD, Pandyas came to power again and patronized the Tamil language. The city became prosperous during the reign of the Pandya Kings.Many master-pieces or "Silapathikaram" were created during that time.


According to Hindu legend, in order to answer the prayers of the second Pandya king Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai, Goddess Parvati appeared out of the Holy Fire of the Putra Kameshti Yagna performed by the king.

According to another legend, the goddess herself had given a boon to Kanchanamalai in one of her previous births that she will have the privelege of mothering the goddess. This girl, who came out of the holy fire had three breasts, to the king's shock. A voice from the heavens told him not be worried and that the third breast will vanish as soon as the girl meets her future husband. The happy king named the girl as 'Tadaatagai' and brought her up.

The girl does not have any realization of her birth and she grows up as a normal human girl. Being the heir to the throne after Malayadwaja, Tadaatagai was trained carefully in all the 64 fields of knowledge, which includes warfare, too. As the time came when Tadaatagai should be coronated, according to the customs, she had to wage war on the three worlds across eight directions (Digvijayam).

After conquering Satyaloka (Lord Brahma's Abode), Vaikuntha (Lord Vishnu's Abode) and Amaravati (the Divine Abode of the Devas), she advanced to Kailasha (Lord Shiva's Abode). She very easily defeats the Ganas and Nandi, the celestial bull, she headed to attack and conquer Shiva, the owner of the place. No sooner she looked at the Lord, the third breast vanished immediately.

Tadaatagai, realizes the reason and understands that Lord Shiva is her destined husband, and she realizes that she is the incarnation of Parvati. Then both of them return to Madurai and the king arranges the coronation ceremony of his daughter, followed by her marriage with Shiva, the next day.

The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Vishnu, the brother of Meenakshi, was traveling to preside over the marriage from his holy abode at Vaikuntam. Due to a divine play, he was tricked by God Indra and delayed on the way.

Meanwhile, the marriage was presided over by a local god from Thirupparankundram Pavalaakanivaai Perumal. This is celebrated annually as 'Chitirai Thiruvizha' in Madurai.

During the period of Nayakar rule in Madurai, the ruler Thirumalai Nayakar then linked the 'Azhakar Thiruvizha' and the 'Meenakshi Wedding'. Hence born the 'Azhaghar Thiruvizha' or 'Chithirai Thiruvizha'.

Story of Kannagi:-

In fact, the Madurai that we know today is not the Madurai of ancient times, for it is said that the entire city was once destroyed in an all-consuming fire. The story behind that fire is told in the 5,270-lined epic poem Cilappatikaram ["The Story of the Jewelled Anklets"] written by a Jain monk by the name of Ilango Atikal in the 5th century C.E. According to the author of the poem, it is a story about the importance for kings following dharma, the glory of a chaste woman and the effects of past-life karma.

Although Cilappatikaram was written only 1,500 years ago; the story itself is much older. The poet-monk only learned of the story when visiting the countryside near the Periyaru River with his brother, Senkuttuvan, a Chera King. On the banks of the river, villagers told the king and Ilango the story of Kannagi, a woman with a single breast who sat down under a tree and did austerities for 15 days, without food or water, until she died. The villagers worshipped Kannagi as the Goddess of Chastity, and her story so inspired the king that he asked his brother to immortalize it in poetry for the benefit of mankind.

Rather than retell the story, here are lines extracted from the translation by Professor A.L. Basham from the original Tamil.

Kovalan, the son of a wealthy merchant in Kaverippattinam, married Kannagi, the lovely daughter of another merchant. For some time they lived together happily, until, at a festival at the royal court, Kovalan met the dancer Madavi and fell in love with her. He bought her favours and in his infatuation forgot Kannagi and his home.

Gradually he spent all his wealth on the dancer. At last he was penniless, and returned repentantly to his uncomplaining wife. Their only fortune was a precious pair of anklets, which she gave to him willingly. With these as their capital they decided to go to the great city of Madurai, where Kovalan hoped to recoup his fortunes by trade.

On their arrival at Madurai, they found shelter in a cottage, and Kovalan went to the market to sell one of Kannagi's anklets. But the queen of Nedunjeliyan, the king of the Pandyas, had just been robbed of a similar anklet by a wicked court jeweller.

The jeweller happened to see Kovalan with Kannagi's anklet, and immediately seized it and informed the king. Guards were sent to apprehend Kovalan, who was then killed on the king's orders. When the news was brought to Kannagi, she went out into the town, with her eyes ablaze with anger, carrying the remaining anklet in her hand as proof of her husband's innocence. [The city caught ablaze from the fire in her eyes.]

At last the patron goddess of the city [Meenakshi] interceded with Kannagi, and she agreed to withdraw her curse, and the fire abated. Weak with loss of blood from her self-amputated breast, Kannagi struggled to a hill outside the city4, where after a few days she died, and was reunited with Kovalan in Heaven. Meanwhile the news of her death spread throughout the Tamil Land. She was deified, temples were raised and festivals held in her honour, and she became the patron goddess of wifely loyalty and chastity.

About Temple:-

Meenakshi temple has a total of 12 Gopurams inside among which South Towers is largest with 170 m. It houses 1511 idols with postures describing the legends associated with them. The most amazing thing to be noticed is that sculptural work and paintings are very delicate, detailed and  artistic.
The Raja Gopuram of the Meenakshi Amman Temple, the Pudu Mandapam and the Thirumalai Nayakar's Palace are living examples of his passion for art. Later, Madurai slipped into the hands of the British's East India Company. In 1781, British appointed George Procter to look after the city. He was the first collector of Madurai.After independence, Madurai became one of the major commercial districts of Tamil Nadu. It is surrounded by several hills, mainly Annamalai, Pasumalai and Nagamalai, named after their resemblance to an Elephant, a Cow and a Snake respectively. The city is a major exporter of Jasmine flowers. Due to its historical background, the temple city of Madurai attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors every year from India and abroad. “

The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is commonly referred to as the Meenakshi temple.The main deity Sundareswarar means the Beautiful Lord and His divine wife Meenakshi means One who rules the world through her eyesight[citation needed] and Koil means temple in Tamil. The temple forms the heart and lifeline for the 2500 year old city of Madurai that is believed to be the home for the classical language of Tamil.

 According to the Hindu legends, Lord Shiva with his divine group of followers appeared here in this city of Madurai, to marry the daughter of the Pandya ruler, Meenakshi, who is believed to be a form of Hindu goddess Parvati. This temple is one of the most sacred abodes of Parvathi, others being Kamakshi of Kanchipuram, Akilandeswari of Thiruvanaikaval and Vishalakshi of Varanasi.Both the marriage and the Vishnu's passification are still celebrated as the biggest festival in Madurai, name Azhakar Thiruvizha (the festival for the beautiful lord). A detailed article on the divine marriage can be found here.The divine couple are believed to have ruled the region for a long time and it is not clear what happened to the place after they left. Another legend says that the Shiva's deity in the form of Linga was discovered by the god of heaven, Indra who built the original temple. This tradition is still followed in the temple with the deity is accompanied by a model of Indra's vehicle, during festive processions.

The temple has a stunning architecture and was a frontrunner in the election for the modern seven wonders of the world for its architectural importance. The complex houses 12 magnificent gopurams or towers that are elaborately scultptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built only in the early 17th century. According to Hindu legend, the Lord Shiva came down to earth in the form of Sundareswarar to marry the goddess Meenakshi, who is a form of Parvati, Shiva's divine consort. Parvathi had earlier descended to earth in the form of a small kid in response to the great penance of Malayadwaja Pandya, the ruler of Madurai. After growing up she starts ruleing the city and the Lord appears on earth and proposes to marry her. According to Hindu mythology, the marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Lord Vishnu the divine brother of Meenakshi was traveling to preside over the marriage from his holy abode at Vaikuntam. Due to a divine play, He was tricked by god Indra and delayed on the way and the in the meanwhile marriage is presided over by a local god Koodal Azhaghar. This angers Lord Vishnu very much and he swears never to enter the city and settles in the outskirts at the beautiful hill of Alagar Koil. He was later convinced by other gods and he proceeded to bless the divine couple - Shiva and Parvati.Many majestic towers (gopurams), small and big, beckon one and all to this historic temple. As it is a common practice to worship Devi Meenakshi first and then Lord Sundareswarar, devotees enter the temple through the Ashta Sakthi Mandapam on the eastern street, named after the figures of eight sakthis represented on the pillars on two sides. At this Mandapam, one can see the vivid scriptural representation of Devi Meenakshi's wedding with Ganesha and Subramanya on either side.A three-storied 'gopuram' stands at the entrance of the shrine and on the outer sanctum, the golden flagstaff, Thirumalai Nayakar Mandapam, brass images of Dwarapalakas, and shrines of Vinayaka can be seen. The Maha Mandapam or the inner sanctum can be reached through the doors in Arukal Peedam where the shrines of Ayravatha Vinayakar, Muthukumarar, and the celestial bedroom is extant. In the shrine, Devi Meenakshi is depicted as the fish-eyed goddess who stands with a parrot and bouquet, emanating love and grace.In the next sanctum is the shrine of Lord Nataraja where the Lord is worshiped in the dancing pose with his right foot raised. Adjacent to it is the sanctum of Sundareswarar, which is supported by 64 boothaganas (ghostly hosts), 8 elephants and 32 lions. The Sivalinga, which bears the names of deities such as Chokkanathar and Karpurachockar, inspires deep devotion.Lord Siva appeared on the naming ceremony of the city and blessed it. The divine nectar (madhu) from the tangled locks of Siva fell on the blessed city and so, the city came to be known as "Madhurapuri". It is also said that centuries ago Lord Siva himself performed sixty-four wonders, called "Thiruvilaiyadals", in Madurai. Thus, the holy city finds reference in the great Indian epics - Ramayana, Kautilyas and Arthasastra. Madurai also served as the capital of Pandayan Kings.

In the next sanctum is the shrine of Lord Nataraja where the Lord is worshiped in the dancing pose with his right foot raised. Adjacent to it is the sanctum of Sundareswarar, which is supported by 64 boothaganas (ghostly hosts), 8 elephants and 32 lions. The Sivalinga, which bears the names of deities such as Chokkanathar and Karpurachockar, inspires deep devotion. This hall is a testimony to the excellence of Dravidian architecture. The hall has 985 pillars and is so arranged that from every angle they appear to be in a straight line. At the entrance is the equestrian statue of Ariyanatha Mudaliar who built this consortium of art and architecture. The 'chakram' (wheel of time) engraved on the ceiling denoting the 60 Tamil years is truly spellbinding. The images of Manmatha, Rathi, Arjuna, Mohini, and the Lady with a flute are nonetheless awe-inspiring. There is a unique exhibition of rare artifacts and idols in this hall.The Famous Musical Pillars & Mandapams,

 The Musical Pillars are near the northern tower, and there are five musical pillars each consisting of 22 smaller pillars - carved out of a single stone - that produce musical notes when tapped.Hundreds of devotees catch hold of the two big ropes by which the float is drawn and they await the signal to start. One rope is pulled by men standing on the central island and second by those on the bank of the lake. After the final ritual of worship the priests give the signal and the men strain at the ropes.Slowly, the great float moves away from the shore and begins its circuit. As the men on the rope run along the bank of Teppakulam the thousands of spectators crowding there enjoy by shouting the names of the deities in great joy. The float itself moves around the lake at slow, steady pace. After a couple of rounds, which take more than three hours, the ornamental raft is mooved to the central island and remains there till the evening. All through the day, a number of boats ply to the island bringing thousands of devotees to worship.

Both these temples of Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar are connected with a beautiful corridor. Inside the Sundareshwarar temple there is a beautiful idol of Nataraja. This is one of the Pancha sabhas of Nataraja called Velli Ambalam (the deity is adorned with silver kavacham) the other one I have visited was Nellaiappar Kovil (see my earlier post on Nellaiyappar Kovil Tirunelveli). The idol here is beautiful and around 10 foot high. Unlike the other Nataraja’s idols in a dance posture with their left leg raised the one here is having right raised which is a unique feature. It is really wonderful to watch the cosmic dance form of Lord Nataraja. It is believed that a sincere devotee requested the god to change his posture as it would be stressful to use the same leg posture always and the Lord obliged. The Siva lingam here is also beautiful.

As we come out of the Sundareshwa sannidhi we can see Dakshinamoorthy, Lingodbhavar, Durgai Amman sub shrines and Chandikeshwarar. While praying to Chandikeshwarar we have to clap our hands while praying as he is supposed to be sleeping.

When we come out of Sundarehwarar temple we can see small shrines dedicated to Danda yudhapani, Siva, and Navagrahas etc. and out side is a Nandi mandapam and the flag post in front. Nandi mandapam has beautiful carvings on all four sides.

 The four outer Gopuras in the four directions are marvellous works of art. They are of perfect proportions, though they were built at different time and though, moreover, they have been repaired and renovated from time to time. The Gopuras of Tamil Nadu, by themselves, form a chapter in the history of Indian Art. Some of the brightest pages are due to the towers of Madurai.

 West Gopura:-

The west Gopura was built in the fourteenth century, a troubled period in the history of the temple and the city following the Muslim invasions. It is difficult to believe that a venture of this magnitude could have been possible in that time of travail. But the sources of information are clear. They attribute the Gopura to a Parakrama Pandya. There were many kings of that name in the century. Since the famous Pandya crest of two carps appears on this Gopura, it may be accepted that the Pandyas did build it. This was their swan song in the temple, which will always be associated with their piety, munificence and glory. It is 48m high, rising on a base that is 31m by 14m. Like the three other Gopuras, it is of nine tiers.

 Southern Gopura:-

The most beautiful and the most artistic of the four, the southern, frequently photographed for its lovely eminence over the Golden Lily Tank, is also the tallest, 49m. Its stone base measures 32.9m by 20.4m. The tower sweeps in a graceful curve. It was built about the middle of the sixteenth century by Siramalai Sevvanthi Murti Chettiar, a scion of a family of Tiruchi, which has contributed much to the temple.

Northern Gopura:-

The latest in date is the northern Gopura, which was built by Krishna Veerappa Nayak (1564-72). For some reason, it was without a Sikhara and was not plastered. Therefore, it was called the "Mottai" Gopura. The deficiencies were supplied in renovation about the end of the last century.

Such an ancient and renowned fane has attracted considerable literature and many beautiful traditions, apart from those narrated above. It is said for example Rous Peter, a Collector in the early decades of the last century, was so beloved of the people that they called him "Peter Pandya". Every day he would go round the temple on horseback. One night when he was asleep, there was heavy rain. A little girl woke him up and beckoned him outside his house. The girl then vanished. Peter, convinced that She was Goddess Meenakshi, presented valuable jewels to the temple.

Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam:-

Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam is a huge hall, adjoining Ashta Shakthi Mandapam. It comprises of 110 pillars, which are adorned with the figures of a peculiar animal called Yalli, with the body of a lion and the head of an elephant.

Potramaraikulam (Golden Lotus Tank):-

Potramaraikulam is a huge tank, where devotees take bath in the holy water. The area surrounding the temple used to serve as the meeting place of Tamil Sangam, the ancient academy of poets. The works of its members were judged by throwing them in the water. The ones that did not sink in the tank were considered worthy of attention. A pillared corridor surrounds the holy tank.

Oonjal Mandapam and Killikoontu Mandapam:-

The western side of the tank houses the Oonjal (swing) Mandapam and Killikoontu (parrot cage) Mandapam. The golden idols of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are placed on the swing in the Oonjal Mandapam every Friday. The parrots kept in the Kilikoontu Mandapam recite Meenakshi's name.

Thousand Pillar Mandapam:-

There is a massive hall in the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which comprises of 985 magnificently sculptured Dravidan columns. Known as the Thousand Pillar Mandapam, this hall also houses an art museum, with a rich collection of icons, photographs, drawings, etc.

Musical Pillars:-

To the west of the Thousand Pillar Mandapam are the Musical Pillars. The specialty of these pillars is that each one of them produces a different musical note, when stuck.

Kalyana Mandapa:-

Kalyana Mandapa lies to the south of Thousand Pillar Mandapam. It serves as the venue of the marriage festival of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, held every year during the Chitirai Festival in mid-April.

Vasantha Mandapam (Pudhu Mandapam):-

Thirumalai Nayakkar built the Vasantha Mandapam, also known as Pudhu Mandapam. Every year, the hall plays host to Vasanthosavam, the Spring Festival, held in the Hindu month of Vaikasi (April/May). The pillars of the hall are adorned with elaborate sculptures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi, scenes from their wedding, along with the figures of ten of the Nayak Kings and their consorts.

Temples around Madurai:-

Koodal Alagar Temple:-

 A famous temple, situated of the city. The sanctum sanctorums of this temple are seen one above the other, it is unique to this temple. Convenient steps have been provided to reach the top floors. Just like the Peria koil tower of Tanjore, the shadows of Astanganga vimanam do not fall on the ground. The stone walls on the 3 sides of the Athittanam are full of artistic works. Sun's rays reach the sanctum sanctorum through the 7 windows in this wall. There are beautiful sculptures made of lime mortar on the Vimanam (structure over the sanctum sanctorum). In the third floor, the scenes of "Dasavatharam"(the ten Incarnations) are depited with lime mortar sculptures around the shrine. The shrine of goddess thayar Maragathavalli, built with granite stones and carved with sculptural works is seen here. There is an unjal mandapam (swinging mandapam) full of artistic wooden works.

Kallalagar Temple:-

 Kallazhagar temple is one among the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu. It is located 20 kms from the Temple town of South India, Madurai. The presiding deity of this temple is also known as Meenakshi Amman's brother. The temple is situated in a scenic milieu with Vrishabhadri hill at the backdrop for this temple. There are 2 forts near the temple.The temple gate is guarded by the deity Karuppannasami.


 Nestled 20 kms from Madurai in the town of Tiruvedakam, lies the Shiva temple of Edakanatheswarar. This temple is on the banks of Vaigai river and is very closely associated with Tirugnanasambandar.


 One of the most enchanting temples in my Madurai trip. A huge temple with only a very few people around. This is one of the favorite temples I would like to go back and spend time in.


 Thiruparankundram is one of the 6 adobes of Lord Karthikeya. The sanctrum santorum here is constructed out of one huge rock. The temple resides in a mountain which takes different shapes when seen from different directions. The majestic hill of Thiruparankundram is the first Aarupadaiveedu (out of the six) abode of Lord Murugan. This is the place where the Lord married Devasena the daughter of Lord Indra (King of Gods).


 When the asuras tried to stand among the devas, in order to get a share, Surya and Chandra identified them, where by their heads were replaced by snake's heads and they became rahu and kethu. So this is a place where pariharams may be offered to rahu and kethu. The puranic name of Thirumohur.


The holy shrine of Pazhamudircholai is nestled 13 miles away from Madurai. Pazhamudircholai was earlier known as Solai malai. This pilgrim abode is one of the six Arupadaiveedu (six abodes) of Lord Murugan. The town of pazhamudircholai is known to be very rich in vegetables, flowers and fruits. Hence it derive this name pazhamudircholai: Pazham -fruit, udir - shake and cholai - garden. The temple is located on top of Azhagar Malai Hill. At the foot of this hill is the Vishu Temple, Azhagar Koil.
Murugan. This is the place where the Lord married Devasena the daughter of Lord Indra (King of Gods).


When the asuras tried to stand among the devas, in order to get a share, Surya and Chandra identified them, where by their heads were replaced by snake's heads and they became rahu and kethu. So this is a place where pariharams may be offered to rahu and kethu. The puranic name of Thirumohur .

Vandiyur Thepakaulam Mariamman temple:-

Mariamman Teppakulam is a huge 16-acre water tank situated at about 5 km distance from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Located in the region of Vandiyur, the tank has a Vinayaka temple at the center, which can be accessed only by water. Near the tank is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Mariamman and hence the name ‘Mariamman Teppakulam' (Teppakulam meaning water tank in Tamil).

Temple Timings:-
 04:00 to 12:30 and 16:00 to 21:45
Pooja Timings:-
    Thiruvanandhal Pooja
    05:00 - 06:00
    Vilaa Pooja
    06:30 - 07:00
    Kaalasandhi Pooja
    07:30 - 08:30
    Thirikaalasandhi & Uchikkaala Pooja
    10:30 - 11:30
    Saayaratchai Pooja
    16:30 - 17:00
    Arthajama Pooja
    19:30 - 20:40
    Palliyarai Pooja
    21:00 - 21:30

There are close to 50 priests in the temple who perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to Shivaite to the Adishaivas, a Brahmin sub-caste. The priests live in a closed area north of the temple.The temple has a six time pooja calendar everyday, each comprising four rituals namely abhisheka (sacred bath), alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai(waving of lamps) for both Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. The puja (worship) ceremonies are held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast.


 The most important festival associated with the temple is the "Meenakshi Thirukalyanam" (The divine marriage of Meenakshi) that is celebrated in April every year. The marriage of the divine couple is regarded as a classic instance of south Indian female-dominated marriage, The marriage brings together rural and urban people, deities and mortals, Saivas (those who worship Shiva) andVaishnavas (those who worship Vishnu) in order to celebrate Meenakshi as the royal monarch. During the one month period, there are a number of events including the "Ther Thiruvizhah" (chariot festival) and "Theppa Thiruvizhah" (float festival). As per the tradition , even today every evening, before closing the temple, a ritual procession led by drummers and a brass ensemble carries the image of Sundareswarar to Meenakshi's bedroom to consummate the union, to be taken back to his day setting the next morning at dawn.

How to Reach:-

By Air:-
 Madurai is well-connected by domestic flights with Mumbai and Chennai. The Airport is 10 km away from the main city.

By Rail:-
 Madurai is well-connected by direct trains with cities like Coimbatore, Kollam, Chennai, Bangalore, Rameshwaram, Tanjore, etc.

By Road:-
Madurai is well-connected with all the major cities of Sough India. the city has 5 major bus stands - Anna Bus Stand, Palanganatham Bus Stand, Periyar Bus Stand, Mattuthavani Bus Stand and Arapalayam Bas Stand.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Pazhamudircholai Murgan , Vallis Garden


This is the sixth abode of Lord Muruga which lies about 19 km away from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Lord Muruga stands on the top of the hill which can be reached by the motarable road, and he is called “Solaimalai Murugan” here. This very beautiful shrine is surrounded by green woods, shrubs and hills. At the foot of hills is the, “Alagar Kovil” temple which is one of the important temples of Lord Vishnu.

Pazhamudircholai is the abode where Lord Muruga stands with both his consorts Shri Valli and Shri Deivanai. Though the temple is the simplest of all, it is the most beautiful one amidst natural sceneries.

At the entrance of Pazhamudircholai there is a temple called Azhagar Kovil, the deity being Lord Vishnu in the form of a protector, safeguarding Lord Muruga. Pazhamudircholai is a hill, which is rich in fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is a dense forest where "Valli" is supposed to have lived. It is a small temple with Valli, Deivanay, and Lord Muruga in a separate shrine. Lord Ganesha is also present in a separate shrine.

Pazhamudircholai is a hill rich in fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is a dense forest where “Valli” is supposed to have lived. There is a temple tower and monkeys abound around the area. It is a fertile hill with many natural springs and herbs.

Although there are hundreds of temples in Tamil Nadu for Lord Muruga, these six temples called the “Arupadaiveedu” are very famous, and devotees throng them throughout the year. It is in these places the legends of Lord Muruga are associated.

About Legend:-

This Pazhamudircholai Lord Murugan is praised in old Tamil literature such as Silappathikaram, Ettuthokai, Pattupattu etc. The great Tamil poet and saint Avvaiyar had been tested by Lord Murga here.

In order to play with Avvaiyar who was one of the very famous devotees of Lord Muruga, the Lord played a drama. One day Avvaiyar became tired while travelling because of very hot summer and so came under the shadow of a fruit tree. She was very hungry and thirsty. At that time, a small boy who was sitting on the tree asked her whether she wanted fruits from the tree. Avvaiyar told that she wanted fruits. At that time the boy asked Avvaiyar whether she wanted roasted fruits or unroasted fruits. Avvaiyar who was a famous Tamil poet, litterateur and having indepth knowledge in Tamil thought,"Is there any roasted fruit in the world?" and decided that the small boy didn't have knowledge even about a fruit.

But, as she was very tired, she didn't want to argue with the small boy and asked him to pick roasted fruits for her. The boy shook the tree and so fruits fell under the tree. The mud under the tree had stuck on the fruit. Avvaiyar took the fruits and blew on the fruit to remove the mud. It was observed that as the fruits were roasted and had become warm, Avvaiyar had blown the fruits to cool them. At that time, the small boy asked Avvaiyar whether the fruits were warm? Avvaiyar was astonished, "How had a small village cowboy played such an intelligent drama? She had thought that the small boy had no knowledge about fruits and how the fruits in the tree may become roasted fruits. But blowing the air on the fruit to remove the mud is like blowing air to reduce the heat as the fruit is roasted. What a beautiful comparison.

Such a beautiful comparison would not have risen in her mind even though she had gained rich knowledge in Tamil." She asked the small boy, "Who are you actually?" At ,the small boy disappeared and in his place, Lord Muruga appeared. Now Avvaiyar realized that it was a play of God and she understood that there were more and more things that she had to learn. She bowed to Lord Muruga and requested him to bestow her with bountiful knowledge.

About Temple:-

This temple is mentioned as the sixth Arupadai veedu. The place is full of natural beauty and sylvan surroundings. This hill is also known as Virshabhadri or Idabagiri. Most scholars , priests and devotees identify this as the pazhamudircholai , twelve miles north of madurai in the alagar hills.
And this temple is not as large or bustling as the other five recognised shrines , it is just as incredible to visit. At the top of the hill is Noopura Ganga , a perennial waterfall with a temple dedicated to Rakkayi amman . the Noopura Ganga is said to be orignated from the anklet of Tirumal or Vishnu and hence the name of the spring.

Though the stala is of ancient origin , the temple as in existence today was constructed only recently. From days of Yore Vel has been worshipped as the moolavar or main deity. The idol of Lord Muruga in a standing posture has a single face and four hands with Vallu and Teyvayanai on both sides. The vel made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with great veneration by devotees.
The sthala Viriksha is a rose apple tree. The fruits of this tree ripen during skanda Sashti festival. The temple that was in existence during sangam period no longer existed in Arunagirinatha's time. The recently constructed temple is considered as Pazhamudircholai and worshipped by devoteed.

About Deity:-

Here Murugan is worshiped along with his consorts Valli as Iccha Shakti and Devayani as Kriya Shakti and  himself as Jnana Shakti. The idol of the lord in standing posture with a single face and four hands is kept between the idols of his consorts. The Vel (spear) of the lord made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with a great veneration by devotees.

A natural spring called Noopura Ganga with a temple dedicated to Raakkayi Amman is located at the top of the hill. Pilgrims to the temple take a dip in this small, sacred spring which is said to have originated from the anklet of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the devotees who worship at this shrine are blessed with wealth and health. The Silambar river flows near the temple.

At the down hills, there is a Vishnu Temple, called Azhagar Kovil.
There is beautiful stone image of Vishnu, called Soundara Rajan, the Azhagar in Tamil.  He is with Soundara Valli, Sri Lakshmi, the consort.  This is a later construction,.after  Muruga's temple.  This is praised by Azhwars, the Vaishanava Tamil Saints.  In Vaishnva Tamil works, it is called Tirumal Irum Cholai, the garden where Vishnu rests.

  Special Days In Pazhamudircholai Temple:-

    Panguni Uthiram-It is celebrated in the month of March
    Vaikasi Visakam-Clebrated in the month of Vaigaasi. Visakam is Lord Muruga’s birthday star.
    Kandha Sashti-Kanta Shasti Vratam is observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi' (October–November) starting from the ‘piratamai' the 1st phase of the brightening moon.
    Aadi Krithigai-This is celebrated in the month of May/June.

 Nearest Major Town/City:-

    Madurai - 9 km from Madurai to pazhamudhircholai

How to Reach:-

    By Air:-

    The nearest airport to Pazhamudhircholai is in Madurai
    By Train:-
    The nearest railway station is Madurai
    By Road:-
    Regular buses are available from Madurai.

Murugan Devasena Married place ,Tirupparankundram


Tirupparankundram, a hill five miles southwest of Madurai, is the fourth pilgrimage site of Muruga. A cave temple dedicated to the element of earth and mentioned in various classical Tamil texts as the 'Southern Himalaya' where the gods assemble, Tirupparankunram is also mentioned in legend as 'the place where the sun and moon abide'. Murugan was married to Devasena upon the hill and for many centuries the Tamil people have considered it the most auspicious place for their own marriages, especially during the time of the Pankuni Uttiram, the festival of marriage held in late March. Besides the fantastic temple to Murugan on the hill, there is also a Muslim shrine dedicated to 'Sekunder' who is associated with Murukan by the Muslim pilgrims. "Sikandar was a friend of Murugan at the time when Murugan was King here," they say.


 Subramanyar is said to have married Devasena (Devanai) here, and is said to have worshipped Shiva - Parangirinatheswarar.  

 Tirupparankunram is also mentioned in legend as 'the place where the sun and moon abide'. It is regarded as the sacred temple for marriages. People believe that marriages done here are succesfull due to the blessings of lord Muruga. The temple is surrounded with many trees and green lands.
Tirupparankundram is one of the Aru Padai Vedugal of lord subramaniyam.

Tirupparankundram is situated three miles southeast of Madurai on the main railway line. It is one of the Aru padai veedugal or six sacred places selected by Lord Subrahmanya for his abode. The importance of this temple is that here was celebrated the marriage of Lord Subrahmanya with the daughter of Indra, Devayani.
Long, long ago, when Lord Subrahmanya was staying at Kanda Verpu, the two daughters of Lord Maha Vishnu, Amrita Valli and Sundara Valli, cherished the desire of becoming the consorts of Subrahmanya. With this aim in mind they both went to Saravana Poigai and commenced austere penance to fulfil their desires.
Pleased with their prayer and worship, Lord Subrahmanya appeared before them and told Amrita Valli, "You will be brought up by Indra as his daughter and I shall marry you in due course." Her younger sister Sundara Valli was also graced with a similar blessing. She was born to sage Sivamuni and brought up by Nambi, the headman of Veddas.
Amrita Valli took the form of a female child and went to Mount Meru, the abode of Indra, and told him, "I am the daughter of Maha Vishnu and the responsibility of looking after me has been entrusted to you." On hearing this, Indra became very happy and directed Airavatam, his white elephant, to take care of the child.
The elephant with all love brought her up and affection and she attained the age of marriage in course of time. Hence she came to be known as Devayanai, one who was brought up by the heavenly elephant of Indra (yānai in Tamil means elephant).
The six sons of sage Parasara were cursed to become fishes in the Saravana Poigai. On request for redemption, these six boys were ordered to pray to Lord Subrahmanya.
When they got his darshan, they could get redemption. It was also made known to them that Lord Subrahmanya would come to Tirupparankunram after vanquishing the demon Surapadma. Anxiously they waited for the arrival of Subrahmanya.
When the mission of Subrahmanva to vanquish Surapadma was over at Tiruchendur, on his way, he came to this spot followed by all the devas and heavenly beings whom he had released from the untold miseries caused by Surapadma.
On his arrival at Tirupparankunram, the sons of Parasara received Subrahmanya and, at their request, he consented to stay there. He at once ordered Viswakarma to construct a beautiful abode for himself, for the devas and for others.
He also suggested to the heavenly architect to build roads and erect a city around them. Indra, the king of the angels, desired to get his daughter Devayanai married to Subrahmanya, as a mark of his gratitude for relieving him and the devas from the depredations of the demon Surapadma.
He expressed his desire to Brahma and Vishnu who were present there. They were only too glad to hear the proposal. When they communicated the desire of Indra to Lord Subrahmanya he readily agreed to it and said: "Devayanai has been praying at Saravana Poigai in the Himalayas for this happy marriage. Now the time has come for its being solemnised." As Subrahmanya agreed to this marriage, Indra sent a messenger to bring his wife Indrani and daughter Devayanai from Mout Meru.
The marriage took place at Tirupparankunram, after the victory of Subrahmanya over Surapadma. All arrangements for marriage were made and the marriage was performed at the Tirupparankunram Temple. All the devas, Siva and Parvati attended the marriage and blessed Subrahmanya and Devayanai. Since then, the temple has become a very famous abode of Subrahmanya.

Short history of the temple:-

According to another tale King Harichandra worshipped Shiva from this hillock and gained eternal wisdom. Thus he built a temple here - temple was complete with Praharams (ambulatories), walls, Gopurams (gate towers) and steps.

The "real history" (who can differentiate myths and reality in Indian past?) of the temple may start with 8th century AD when Pandya rulers built rock-cut temple.

Later, during the reign of Nayaks of Madurai (1559 - 1736 AD) the temple was supplemented with beautiful gopurams and beautified. There was built extensive and beautiful front part (mugha mandapam) with 48 ornate pillars carved during the rule of Pandya and Nayaks.

About The Temple:-

          Thiruparankundram Subramanya Temple is considered to be one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya or Murugan.

Thiruparankundram temple is dedicated to the Lord Subramaniya. It is situated 8km south from Madurai district. These six abodes of the Lord are popularly referred to as Arupadai Veedu.  This is cave temple, One of the sangam poet Nakkirar has sung a log poem about this Temple is called Thirumurugatrupadai. Devayanai Marriage, Thirumalai Nayak and Mangammal Sculptures are there in this temple. The most important sculputure is Lord siva with flag of Rishaba in his hand cannot be found anywhere else. The important festival in this Temple is Vaigasi visagam, which is celebrated as Lord Subramaniyar’s birthday, and Surasamharam, which is celebrated in the month November or December every year.
Presiding deities of the temple are Lord Muruga and Goddess Devasena. Other deities – Shiva, Vishnu, Durga and Ganapathy – are represented as well.

       The 48 massive square pillars with beautiful carvings and lotus-shaped medallions made during Nayaka period adorn the entrance of this ancient cave temple. The most impressing feature of this temple is the idol of main deity which is carved from a single rock.  The temple tower is of seven tiers and displays magnificent carvings and sculptures. The Brahmi inscriptions found in the Thiruparankundram Temple are of significant archeological and historic value.  The Sivathandavam scene made as a sculpture is a piece of great artistic value that should not be missed.

White peacoks:-

 We know peacocks in their natural colours only. White peacocks can be seen in Tiruparankundram. According to tradition, the Devas are here in the form of white peacocks to worship Lord Muruga.

Rudrabishekam to Lord Dakshinamurthy:-

 Lord Dakshinamurthy graces with His left hand on a snake under His feet. Those afflicted with bad effects in their horoscopes, those suffering from prolonged illness offer Rudrabisheka worship in the shrine. They personify Lord Dakshinamurthy in a silver pot and engage Vedic scholars to chant the powerful and effective Rudra, Chamaha mantras for relief. The worship yields huge benefits to the devotee.

Goddess Devanai Sannidhi:-

 In the Thiruparamkundram Temple, there is a Goddess Devanai Sannidhi in the northwest corner. Other shrines found in this prakaram are Lord Sankara Narayanar, Lord Kasi Viswanathar, Vadhapuriswarar, Vedhapuriswarar, Ekambara Nathar, Mayuranathar who is facing north and Lord Chandeswarar facing south. There are also sannidhis for Lord Nataraja and Lord Baihravar. Lord Saneeswara is found facing south. Golden Kodi Maram is seen on the south.

Devi Lingam:-

While Lord Shiva was teaching the Pranava Mantra to Mother Parvathi, Muruga sitting on the lap of Mother also was also listening. Any lesson should be learnt from the Guru in a proper way. To make amends for the mistake, Lord Muruga performed penance here. Lord gave darshan to His beloved Son on a Thaipoosam day. This Shiva shrine is in a separate shrine in the name of Aadhi Sokkanathar. Those visiting Tiruparankundran should worship this Shiva first according to tradition. But as the temple is the first army camp temple of Lord Muruga, traditions changed in later days.


Demon Mahishasura was harassing the Devas in many ways. Mother Ambica took the form of Navanayakis, fought with him and destroyed him on the nineth day. The killing of the demon brought her the Brahmmahati dosha. She worshipped Lord Shiva for release from the sin. Lord advised Her to worship Him from here for result. Ambica followed Lord’s advice and worshipped installing a Linga on the mount which itself was but a Linga. Shiva granted darshan to Durga and relieved her of the dosha.

Today too, the presiding deity is Lord Shiva only in the temple. He graces from a Kundru –Mount, and is praised as Parankundranathar and the place Parankundram. He is also praised as Sathyagiriswarar. As it is here that Lord Muruga married Deivanai, importance is more attached to Lord Muruga and the temple became Muruga Temple in the days that followed. On the full moon day – poornima in Aani month (June-July) three fruits – mango, plantain and jack – are offered to the Lord with special pujas.

Nandi with His consort:-

 Nandi, the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva graces with His consort Kalakandi in the Maha Mandap of the temple. There are twin Vinayakas by His side. While there will be prakaras-corridors in the temples with other deities, Tiruparankundram temple is different without these formalities. As the Mount itself is in the form of a Linga, only Girivalam is possible. In Pillayarpatti, though the temple is the cave type, there are prakaras within the temple.

Correcting the mistake:-

 When Lord Shiva was teaching Pranava Mantra to Mother Parvathi, Muruga being there, also listened and learnt the Mantra. As it was against the rules, Muruga wished to correct Himself of the mistake, performed penance here seeking Lord’s pardon. Lord Shiva graced His darshan to the Beloved Son on a Thaipoosam day. He graces as Aadhi Sokkanatha from a shrine opposite to the Subramaniar temple. According to tradition, those visiting Tiruparankundram should worship here first before proceeding to the present main temple.

The Son in place of Father:-

 During the festivals, flag hoisting is performed for Lord Shiva only while Lord Muruga is taken in procession. As Muruga is not different from Shiva, this procedure is followed. Muruga also bears the name Somasubramaniar representing both Shiva and Muruga.

While Durga is a sub-deity in other temple, She has Her own Kodimaram (Flag Post) and a Main Tower-Rajagopuram in this temple. After killing Mahishasura, Mother Durga worshipped Shiva installing a Linga also here. Lord Shiva graced Her with His darshan and asked Her to stay in Tiruparankundram itself. Hence, more importance is attached to Mother Durga.

Special Days In Temple:-

    Panguni Uthiram-It is celebrated in the month of March

    Vaikasi Visakam-Clebrated in the month of Vaigaasi. Visakam is Lord Muruga’s birthday star.

    Kandha Sashti-Kanta Shasti Vratam is observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi’ (October–November) starting from the ‘piratamai’ the 1st phase of the brightening moon.

    Aadi Krithigai-This is celebrated in the month of May/June.

    Thai Poosam-It is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Thai.

Temple Pooja timings:-

Eight-kala pooja is performed at this temple.
Pooja Schedule *
1.     Thiruvananthal     -     05.30 A.M
2.     Vila pooja     -     07.30 A.M
3.     Kaalasanthi     -     08.00 A.M
4.     Thirukaalasanthi     -     10.30 A.M
5.     Uchikkaalam     -     12.30 A.M
6.     Saayarathcai     -     05.30 P.M
7.     Arthajaamam     -     08.45 P.M
8.     Palliarai     -     09.00 P.M
Worship Time *
From 05.30 A.M – 1.00 P.M
From 04.00 P.M – 09.00 P.M.

How to reach:-


 The nearest airport is at Madurai.
 The nearest railway station is at Madurai, which is an important railway junction on southern railways.
 Tourists can access Thiruparankunram from Madurai, which is well served by Tamil Nadu government and private bus operators.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Magha Pournami - A Holy Dip

                                                     Magha Pournami

Magh Purnima or Magha Pournami, also known as Maha Maghi, is one of the auspicious Purnima days according to the Hindu calendar. This is the full moon day in the month of Magh (mid-January to Mid-February of the Gregorian calendar). Full moons (Purnimas) and new moons (Amavasyas) have special significance in Hindu religion. The month of Magh is considered to be sacred because at the commencement of this month the sun sets on its northern path. Magh Purnima also marks the conclusion of Magha month in North India. So the day of the full-moon falling in this month is highly revered by devotees.
This day is venerated in different ways across the country. This is a very auspicious bathing day and is of the same significance as that of karthik purnima. Maghi Purnima is revered as a ‘bathing festival’ across the country.

The full moon day of Magha (January-February) is known as Magh Purnima. It is a great bathing day, and as important as Kartik Purnima for the practice of piety and devotion. On this day a fast is observed and charities are done. Early in the morning, after ablutions, the dead ancestors are offered libations, and the poor are given dakshina according to one's means and capacity.

The month of Magha is known to be an auspicious day among the Hindus, as the sun sets in the north western direction. Maghi Purnima usually falls on the last day of the month of Magh. This day is perfect taking a holy bath in Holy River of the Triveni Sangam. This auspicious festival, as said above, marks the end of Magh in the northern parts of the country. Hence, Hindus of these parts of India revere this day as extremely holy for worshipping the great Lord Vishnu, as well as the Sun god.

History and Legends:-

According to Brahmavaivartpurana, Lord Vishnu himself resides in the Ganga River during the month of Magh and therefore even a touch of this holy water can cure all sins and all diseases of a devotee.
Another legend states that Lord Vishnu resides in the Kshir Sagar during the Magh month and the Ganga River is a form of Kshir Sagar.
It is also believed that Vishwamitra also performed the holy bath in the Kumbh Mela in 2382 BCE on the day of Magh Purnima.
Even astrologically, Magh Purnima is regarded as auspicious because the Sun is in the Capricorn sign and the Moon in the Cancer Sign. Thus, taking the ritualistic bath can cure a person from all problems related to the Sun and the Moon.
According to the Matsya Purana, anyone who donates the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana on this day finds abode of Lord Brahma.

Fairs during Magh Purnima:-

Every year, a fair is organized in Prayag during Magh month. It is believed that residing in Prayag (Kalpvas) during this period is considered to be very auspicious. Devotees stay near Prayag till Maghi Purnima. A lot of devotees from all across India can be seen taking baths and performing religious activities during this period. Kalpvas extends upto the end of Magh month. On the day of Magh Purnima, devotees take a bath, make donations and perform yagnas etc. It is believed that Lord Vishnu blessed everyone who takes a bath in Ganga river on this day. Taking a bath in river Ganga on the day of Magh Purnima provides a person with success, peace of mind and salvation.

Float Festival in Madurai:-

On Magh Purnima, the ‘float’ festival is celebrated at Madurai in Tamil Nadu. On this day, the ornately decorated idols and images of Lord Sundeshwara and Meenakshi are mounted on the floats and are taken to Mariamman Teppakulam Sarovar which is a large sacred tank in Madurai. The procession is accompanied by music and chanting devotional songs.
Magh Purnima is the birthday of King Tirumala Nayak who constructed the Mariamman Teppakulam which is a few kilometres to the East of Madurai.
There is a special significance of this day in Buddhism as well. It is believed that Gautam Buddha announced his impending death on this day. There are religious ceremonies held at Viharas, prayers are dedicated to the Buddha. Religious flags are hoisted on all the monasteries at dawn and sacred verses are chanted from the Tripitaka. –

Bathing Festival:-

Grand festivals take place along the banks of the holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Sarayu, Narmada, Tapti, Kaveri, Krishna, Godavari etc. Taking a holy dip on this day in Kumbakonam, Kannyakumari and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan is also considered to be very meritorious.

Bathing in India is a ritual, a ceremony, a festival and a great purifying act. A bath on such auspicious day as Purnima, is all the more significant. On this day great bathing festivals are held at various places along the banks of the holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Sarayu, Narmada, Tapti, Kaveri, Krishna etc. People walk miles and miles to have a holy dip in the sea, or river or a lake on this day. A bath in the sea at Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram, is also considered to be highly rewarding. In the same way a dip at Pushkar Lake is also considered auspicious. At Kumbhakonam near Madras, there are great shrines of Sarangpani, Kumbeshwara and Nageshwara near which there is a large sacred tank, where devotees take a holy dip on this day. It is believed that Ganga flow into this tank on this day. Once every 12 years, Kumbha Mela is also held here.

 Magha Purnima Worship:-

Magha Purnima is an auspicious day to worship the ancestors. Prayers are offered to Lord Vishnu on this day in order to liberate the souls of their ancestors. Giving alms and donations to poor and priests on this day is believed to win the blessings of the ancestors. Donating cows is a sacred act on this day and can bless the individuals with a lot of merits including freedom from sins.

Worship of Lord Vishnu:-

Magha Purnima day is one of the most auspicious days to perform Satyanarayan vrat. This vrat is observed in the evening after moon rise and the puja consists of worshipping Lord Vishnu as Satyanarayan along with Mahalakshmi. This puja is believed to bring prosperity and happiness in families.
The materials offered to Lord Vishnu on this day include sandal paste, fruits, betel leaves and nuts, panchamrit and different delicacies. The special dish made on this day is sourced from wheat and sugar. Tulsi water is distributed at the end of the puja.

Products to perform the puja :-

Worshipping Lord Vishnu is considered very auspicious on this day. Lord Satyanarayan, Lord Bruhaspati and Goddess Parvati are also worshipped on this last day of the month of Magha.
Besides, religious significance, the day of Magha Purnima is also holds importance in the science of astrology. It is held that on this day Sun enters into the Capricorn Sign and Moon moves in the Cancer constellation. Hence it is believed that taking a holy dip on Magha Purnima can put an end to all the problems correlated with Sun and Moon. The month of Magha is also beneficial from scientific point of view. It is believed that this month helps the human body to adjust with the changing seasons. Therefore taking a bath on Magha Purnima will provide strength and power to the body.

Mantra Chanting:-

While bathing on this day a person should chant ‘Om Namah Bagvate Vasudevaya Namah’. It is a mantra of Lord Krishna an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The mantra is also termed as a Mukti Mantra that promises freedom  from the cycle of birth and rebirth. It also forms the main mantra of ‘Srimad Bhagvad Geeta’. While some devotees may chant it like the Gayatri mantra others may sing it like a Bhajan.

Fasting rules on Magha Poornima:-

On the day of Magha Purnima, the devotees observe a day long fast in atonement of their sins. The fasting starts early in the morning and concludes in the evening after Puja. While the strict version of the vrat enjoins the devotee to desist from any form of eating and drinking, a lighter version allows consumption of fruits and milk.

The puja on this day includes:-

•Alms in the form of food, clothes and money are distributed to the poor.
•Saints and Brahmins are fed and given ‘daan’.
•Fasts are observed and prayers are offered to Lord Satyanarayan.
•A holy dip in the name of Lord Vishnu is the real puja of this day.
•Donations in the name of Ancestors are also done.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Significance Of Vaishaka Masam

                                                       Vaishaka Masam

The greatness of vishaka masa was first put across by sage narada to king ambarisha..Vaishaka masam is said to be the most dearest to lord vishnu.If a person takes a holy bath in karthik masam they incur 10 times benefit than taking bath in other months, if a holy bath is taken during margarshira month they incur 100 times benefit, if taken during mag masam they incur 1000 times benefit, if taken during vaishaka masam the benefit occurred cannot be described in one's life time.
Just as there is no yuga equal to that of krta, there is no masam equal to that of vishaka for holy bath. For a period of 144 minutes from 4:000 am all the tirtha dieties enter into rivers, lakes, etc. as commanded by the lord. Their only sole purpose is to purify all the beings that take bath during that time.

A person who bathes in the morning during vaisaka masamam in any river or lake shall be liberated from the sins committed ever since the birth. If a person bathes in either one of the seven gangas namely ganga, budhi ganga, yamuna, sarasvathi, kaveri, narmada and krshna is liberated from sins acquired during crore of births.
One who donates water sheds to the needy during this month elevates a crore of the memebers of his fmily, and is honoured in abode of Vishnu.If cool water is given to disciplined brahmin oppressed by thirst; that act incurs the merit of more than thousand rajasuya yagans.If upon the request of a brahmin, a person gives a footware during this month, is born as a king during next birth.
As said earlier the greatness of vishaka month cannot be told completely, therefore a devtoee of vishnu, who with his control over their senses and food takes holy dip, spend most of their time chanting the Lord 's name and by giving charitable gifts during the vishaka masam is said to be very dear to Lord Vishnu.

Legend Of Vaishaka Masam :-

According to Narada muni, Kartika(Tulam-Vrischikam), Magha(Makaram-Kumbham) and Vaisakha(Medam-Idavam) are the finest months, but of these three, Vaisakha is supreme. Vaisakha has the capacity to remove the sins of past births and liberate the worshipper from worldly bondage. It is the best month for dharma, yagna, rituals and tapasya, as it is the most suitable compared to other seasons. Vasant (some write basant) or spring is conducive for worship for the common man ( householder) and during this time, from Meena to Karkata ( Pisces to Cancer) i.e. from Chaitra Sankranti to Shravana Sankranti, Vishnu roams the celestial woods and gardens with Rama. During Vaisakha, Vishnu tests his devotees, as those who sit idle during this month, without any puja or dAna, suffer a fall in dharma. The four purusharthas, namely, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are attainable with Vaisakhadharma, i.e., worship and rituals during this month will yield nothing less than the fruits of these highest goals. At a more mundane level, it grants ayu (longevity), yash (fame) and pushti (sustenance) and the unending blessings of Vishnu.
Vaisakha is the month par excellence for doing dAna (charity), yagna (fire sacrifice some write yajna), vrata (fasting ritual) and snan (bathing).

According to sacred scripts it is said that, Tretha Yuga had commenced on 3rd day of the bright fortnight (sukla Thrutheeya) in the Hindu lunar month Vaisakha Masam; Krutha Yuga on the 9th day of the bright fortnight (sukla Navami) in Kaartheeka Masam; Kali Yuga on 13th day of the dark fortnight (Trayodasi) in Bhaadrapada Masam and Dwaapara Yuga on the New Moon day (Bahula Amaavaasya) in Maagha Masam.
As per the above Time schedule Akshaya Thrutheeya can be assumed as the day when Tretha Yuga had commenced known as Tretha Yugaadi. It is also believed to be the day when one of the Kalpas’ had begun.

Auspicious Day:-

Akshaya Thrutheeya is the sacred day Lord Parashuraama (Lord Vishnu’s Avathara) was born celebrated as Sri Parashuraama Jayanthi.
According Simhachala Kshethra Mahatmya, Akshaya Trutheeya is the sacred and auspicious day; Lord Vishnu manifested in dual form (Varaaha + Naarasimha) at Simhachala Kshethra during Krutha Yuga.

Quote From Mahabharatam:-

In Mahabhaaratha, Lord Sri Krishna is said to have enlightened Dharmaraja about the significance of Akshaya Thrutheeya. Sacred scripts like Vishnu Purana; Bhavishyottara Purana are said to have described the prominence of Akshaya Thrutheeya.
Special celebrations are held at all Vishnu related temples on this sacred day of Akshaya Thrutheeya, also known as Maadhava Trutheeya occurring in the holy and meritorious month Vaisaakha maasam during Vasantha Ruthu. Vaisaakha maasam is also known as Maadhava maasam in the name of Lord Vishnu who is also known as Maadhava.
We find even the Brundavanas of Sri Raaghavendra Swamy including the Moola Brundavana at Mantralayam will be adorned with Chandana on the day of Akshaya Thrutheeya.

Change In Planetary Consetellation:-

Astrologically Akshaya Thrutheeya is the day the royal planets (luminaries) Sun and Moon will be in their signs of exaltation; Sun in Aries (Mesha Raasi) and Moon in Vrushabha Raasi (Taurus). If the day is also coinciding with Wednesday and Rohini constellation it is considered to be highly meritorious.

Customs & Traditions Of Akshaya Thrutheeya:-

(What is to be done on this day?)
On this auspicious day one should take head bath early in the morning. Taking bath in the river Ganges on this sacred day is said to be highly meritorious.
Giving Thila Tharpana to fore fathers is prescribed on this sacred day which is considered to be meritorious.
Lord Sri Maha Vishnu should be worshipped in the form of Sri Varaaha, Sri Lakshmi Naarasimha, Sri Krishna and Sri Lakshmi Naaraayana.
Worshiping Lord Sri Krishna with Chandana (sandalwood paste) on this day is given lot of significance and merits. It is said that, one who worships Lord Sri Krishna with Chandana on this day will attain Vishnu Loka.
Ya: karothi thruteeyaayaam Krushnam
Chandana Bhooshitham!
Vaisaakhasya sithe pakshe
sayaachyuta mandiram!!
Reciting Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram; stothras related to Lord Varaaha and Lord Lakshmi Naarasimha; on this day are prescribed.
Reading/Listening Sri Venkatesa Mahaatmya (Srinivasa Kalyaanam) Puraana for a week days starting from this day is highly meritorious.

Charity (Daanam) Of This Day:-

Giving charity on this auspicious day is given lot of significance; which is said to be highly sacred; celestial that will give multi-folded meritorious results. Though there are many types of charities that can be given; giving Udaka Kumbha Dana on this day is given lot of prominence.
Udaka means water, Kumbha means pot. Giving charity of water stored in a pot made up of Copper, Silver, or at least earthen pot (made up of mud) covered with a new cloth to a Brahmin on this auspicious day is said to be sacred and highly meritorious.
Yesha DharmaGhato Dhattoh Brahma Vishnu Sivathmaka
Asya Pradhanathsakalam mamasanthu manoratha
Meaning: Let this water pot called Dharma Ghata signifying the trinal lords (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) bring unto me fulfillment of all desires. This can be given either in memory of fore fathers or to please the deities.
Apart from Udaka Kumbha Daana; giving charity of wheat; curd rice; umbrella; paada raksha (chappals); vasthra (clothes); Gho-Daana (cow), Bhoodana; Hiranya Daana (Gold/silver/Cash) on this day is considered to be sacred, punyadayaka which will produce multifold and everlasting (Akshaya) merits.
Yava homa, Yava Daana (charity), Yava Bhakshana is prescribed on this day that is highly sacred that helps in getting the sins diluted. Only one time meals is prescribed on this day.
Vaisakha Masam is considered as one of the most sacred months among the Hindu Lunar Months. According to Skandha Puraana; Krutha Yuga among the ages; Holy river Ganga (Ganges) water among the Theerthas; Jala Daana (donating water) among charities; and Vaisaakha maasam among the months are said to be the best.
It is the sacred month in which three of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations’ viz. Parashuraama (sukla Thrutheeya); Naarasimha (sukla Chaturdasi) and Kuurma (sukla Pournami) avatharas have taken place.

Akshaya Truteeya:-

Vaisaakha Sukla Trutheeya is celebrated as Akshaya Thrutheeya one of the most auspicious days in Hindu calendar. According to sacred scripts it is said to be the day Tretha Yuga had commenced reckoned as Tretha Yugaadi.

According Simhachala Kshethra Mahatmya, Vaisaakha maasam is the sacred month Lord Vishnu manifested in dual form (Varaaha + Naarasimha) at Simhachala Kshethra during Krutha Yuga.
Among the incarnations of Lord Vishnu; Naarasimha avathara has attained a rare significance and unique importance. All His avatharas are generally in a single form. But Nrusimha avathara is that of a dual form; Nara + Simha.
According to sacred scripts, Naarasimha-avathara occurred in Krutha Yuga during Vaisaakha maasam on the lunar day of sukla Chaturdasi in the constellation of Swathi during Pradosha time. To commemorate incarnation of Lord Naarasimha, special celebrations are held every year on this day called Nrusimha Jayanthi.
Vaisaakha maasam is the sacred month Lord Venkateswara (Sreenivaasa) married Goddess Padmavathi Devi on the auspicious day of Vaisaakha sukla Dasami according to Bhavishyottara Puraana. Commemorating this event a three day festival of Sri Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam is performed on this day at the sacred Tirumala hills.
At the famous temple of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy at Annavaram in Andhra Pradesh; Kalyaanotsavam celebrations are held on the sacred day of Vaisaakha Sukla Ekaadasi.
Electional astrology considers Vaisaakha maasam as one of the most auspicious months for performing auspicious ceremonies like marriage; upanayanam; gruha pravesa etc.
Seventh day in Vaisakha maasam (Sapthami) is known as Ganga Sapthami or Gangotpatti the day Holy Ganga came out of Sage Jahnu’s ear and thenceforth came to be known as Jaahnavi.
According to certain calendars it is the sacred month in which Lord Hanuman said to have born on Vaisaakha Bahula Dasami celebrated as Sri Hanuma Jayanthi on.
Vaisaakha Bahula Amaavaasya is celebrated as Sri Sanaischara Jayanthi the day Lord Shani Mahaatma (Saturn) was born.
Sri Badarinaath temple at the famous Badari Kshethra gets opened for public darshan during Vaisaakha maasam.
Full Moon day during Vaisaakha maasam is known as Mahaa Vaisaakhi when the Moon will be at or nearer to the constellation of Visaakha star and hence the name Vaisaakha maasam. Vaisaakha maasam is the month in which Sun’s transit into Vrushabha raasi takes place known as Vrushabha Sankramana.

Austerities-Customs & Traditions during Vaisakha maasam:-

Praathah Snaana (taking bath early morning) starting from Chaithra Sukla Pournami to Vaisaakha sukla Pournami; Thila tharpana and donating water (Udaka Kumbha daana) are prescribed during Vaisaakha maasam.
Worshiping Lord Vishnu with Krishna Thulasi; Chandana (sandalwood paste) during Vaisaakha maasam is considered as highly meritorious and mukthi daayaka.
Watering of Banyan tree; performing circumambulations around the Aswatta Vruksha; Go-Seva (caretaking of/service to cows) are some of the austerities recommended during Vaisaakha maasam considered to be meritorious.
Paaraayana (reading) or Listening or sponsoring of Sri Venkatesa Mahaatmya (Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam) starting from Akshaya Thrutheeya for a week days up to the sacred day of Vaisaakha Sukla Dasami is highly meritorious.
Performing or participating Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam on the day of Vaisaakha Sukla Dasami is highly meritorious.
Thila daana; Thila Snaana; Thila Homa; Thila-thyla Deepa Daana; Thila Tharpana are prescribed on the day of Vaisaakha Sukla Pournami.

Charities prescribed for Vaisaakha maasam:-

Vaisakha Masam is the most sacred and celestial month for giving charities. Among charities to be given during Vaisaakha maasam; donating water (Udaka Kumbha Daana) is given high prominence.
It can be given throughout the month and most important days for giving Udaka Kumbha daana are; on the day of Akshaya Thrutheeya; Vaisaakha Pournami; on the day of Vrushabha Sankramana;
Other charities prescribed for the month.
Apart from Udaka Kumbha Daana; charity of
are prescribed to be given during Vaisaakha maasam.
With so much of sanctity and auspiciousness assigned to the meritorious Vaisakha Masam; it is one of the most favourite months of Lord Sri Hari referred to as Maadhava Masam and Lord Vishnu known as Madhusuudana is the presiding Deity of this month.
We find a reference to the words Maadhava and Madhusuudana in sloka #8; 18; 78 of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram. Maadhava means one who is consort of Goddess Lakshmi Devi; one who is the bestower and Lord of superior knowledge.
Madhusuudana means the one who has killed the demon Madhu; one who is a great nourisher and who is as sweet and delicious as Honey; one who directs an individual towards performing good deeds, attaining true knowledge and the one who was born in the clan of King Madhu.

Cultural Beliefs:-

According to the skanda puranam, vaisakha masam is the best month. In this month the Lord Vishnu has three incarnations as Sage Parushurama, Lord Narasimha and kurma. It is also believed that treat  yuga is formed on sukla tritiya.
In simhachalam, Lord Vishnu is in the form of “Varaha Narasimha”, two forms varaha and Narasimha. Usually he will have only one form but in this month he is in two forms. Special celebration called “chandanavostavam” is performed every year on akshaya tritiya.
People believe that Lord Vishnu tests in this month and helps them to attain the aims of life (dharma, artha, kama and moksha) with following the rituals of vaisaka masam. This helps them to get good health and wealth. Good deeds such as poojas, yagna and homam have to be conducted.

Pooja Procedure for Vaisakha Masam:-

    Daily wake up and do bath in the brahma muhurta time.
    Workship Lord Vishnu with Krishna Tulasi and sandalwood paste.
    Recite Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram.
    Do parayanam of Srinivasa Kalyanam on Vaisaka Sukla Dasami.
    Read Vaiska puranam daily a chapter to know the details.
    Try to water a banyan tree and do pradakshina.
    Give service to cows.
    Donating water and Tila Tarpanam has to be done.


The important festivals of Vaisaka masam are
    Akshaya Tritiya or Parasurama Jayanthi: Akshay Tritiya comes on the third day of Vaisaka Masami e vaisaka sukla tritya. “Akshaya” is inexhaustible and “Tritiya” means third day. It is also called as Akha Teej. The day is very auspicious for starting new ventures, marriages, business, new constructions, investing, property, applying for jobs etc.
    Sri Padmavathi-Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam: This comes on the tenth day ie Vaisaka Sukla Dasami. SriVari Kalyanotsavam(Padmavathi Srinivasa Kalyanam) is performed.
    Sri Nrusimha Jayanthi: This comes on Vaisaka Sukla Chaturdasi. Lord Vishnu is incarnated as Lord Narasimha and killed King Hiranyakashyap to establish dharma and protect the mankind.
    Sri Sanaischara Jayanthi: This comes on Vaisaka Bahula Amaavaasya. Lord Shani was norn on this day.People effected by the Elinati shani, Ashtama Shani and who are under the shani dasha or antardasha has to do powerful prayer Sri Narasimha Stuthi to overcome the difficulties.
    Vaisaka saptami is known as Ganga saptami as the holy river Ganga came from the ears of sage jahnu.
    Full moon day of vaisaka masam is known as Maha Vaisakam because the moon will be near to the visakha Nakshatra(star) chitta so the masam is called as Vaisaka Masam.
 Interesting Facts:
    Performing charities is the good aspect in this masam.
    Donation of water, food and clothes are considered as the most frequent charities.
    Bathing in the brahma muhurtam time at the sacred rivers and worshiping Lord Vishnu.
    Observing Vishnu Pooja before sunrise will help to remove all the sins committed.
    During Vaisaka Masam in tirumula Srivari Kalyanotsavam and a special three day festival called as Padmavathi Srinivasa Kalyanam is performed.
    Preforming the kalyanam or participating is very much meritorious.
    Tila Daanam has to be done on Vaisaakha Sukla Pournami.
    Charities like food, water, clothes, chappals, umbrella, cow, Land,gold and silver and honey are prescribed.
    Donating water is given high preference from the month starting to till Vaisaka Sukla dasami.
 Scientific Reasons:
    Vishaka month comes in high Summer in India. Every where people face water scarcity and people suffer with heavy thirst. Here comes the tradition to save life's of living organisms in the name of charity.
    Water in rivers and sea will have many medicinal benefits.
    Bathing tightens the blood vessels and all the exhaust blood and the waste products.
    Doing charity will the people in need and some self-satisfaction and helps us to relive from stress.

Special Days in Vaisakha Month:-

Akshaya Tritiya is the most important day in Vaisakha month. Other important days of this month are Sree Shankara Jayanthi, Buddha Jayanthi (Vaisaka poornima), Subrahmanya Jayanti (Vaikasi Visakham), Narasimha Jayanti and Dattatreya Jayanti. The Vaisaka Festival of Kottiyoor Perumal Temple in Kannur district(Kerala) also begins in this month.

Akshaya Tritiya:-

Akshaye Tritiya, falling on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar, is one of the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus.
The word Akshaya, a Sanskrit word, literally means one that never diminishes, and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is widely celebrated in all parts of India by different sections of the society irrespective of their religious faith and social grouping. The day is particularly considered auspicious for buying long term assets like gold and silver, including ornaments made of the same; diamond and other precious stones; and the real estate. The legend states that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya shall continue to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, it is normal to see many of the new ventures, like starting a business, ground breaking for construction etc on the Akshaya Tritiya Day. According to Hindu mythology, on this day the Krita yuga began.

It is believed that by doing a good deed on this day one can earn Punya for life. Every minute of this day is considered sacred. It is considered to be one of the most auspicious days of the Vedic Calendar. Every moment on the Akshaya Tritiya day is auspicious and there is no need to look for a muhurat on the day.Hindus, Buddhists and Jains celebrate this day. It is believed that Satya Yuga (Krita yuga) and Treta Yuga started on this day. On this day the Sun and Moon are at their peak of brightness. Veda Vyaasa dictated and Lord Ganesha started to write the Mahabharata on this day.
New beginnings like weddings, business ventures, new deals, new audit books, business trips are considered to bring luck. Valuables bought on this day, such as gold is deemed auspicious. It is believed that gold multiplies if bought on this day. Akshaya Tritya is an occasion known for bringing communities together. The day is considered auspicious by Hindus and Jains for the purchase of gold, an expression that in some ways is indicative of wealth, beauty and joy. In Rajasthan, the day is called Aakha Teej and is considered very auspicious for weddings as well. With the mass media and marketing, this day has been taken over by marketers to promote sales and bookings for Gold jewellery, houses, consumer electronics.

Akshaya Tritiya, the third day of the bright-half of the lunar month of Vaisakha is considered as one of the most sacred days of the year. The word, "Akshaya" means one that never diminishes. Hence, starting a new activity or buying valuables on this day is considered to certainly bring luck and success. The religious merit that is acquired by giving gifts on this day becomes inexhaustible. Many buy new gold jewelry on this day. Most Jewel stores stock in new jewelry models for this occasion. "Lakshmi-inscribed" gold coins, diamond jewellery and golden dollars with the pictures of many gods and goddesses. The day is generally observed by fasting and worship Lord Vasudeva with rice grains. The day gains more importance when it falls on a Monday or under Rohini Star. A dip in the Ganges on this day is considered to be very auspicious. Akshaya Tritiya is also called Navanna Parvam. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star day is considered more auspicious. Lord Kubera, considered to be the richest, is one amongst the Astadikpalakas. Lakshmi Tantram says that this Lord will himself pray to Goddess Lakshmi on this day.
The pujas we have to perform on Akshaya Tritiya include Kubera Lakshmi Puja. This puja has to be performed on this day only. The puja should commence in the morning and end in the evening. From the next day onwards, one has to perform the puja regularly for 108 times by reciting the moola mantra. A photo of Goddess Lakshmi Devi along with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra could be used for the puja. Light with pure ghee should be used. Also light dhoop sticks with Kumkum and turmeric can be used.
The day is generally observed by fasting and worship Lard Vasudeva with rice grains. The day gains more importance when it falls on a Monday or under Rohini Star. A dip in the Ganges on this day is considered to be very auspicious. Akshaya Tritiya is also called Navanna Parvam. This day also happens to be Balarama Jayanti. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star day is considered more auspicious. Lord Kubera, considered to be the richest, is one amongst the Astadikpalakas. Lakshmi Tantram says that this Lord will himself pray to Goddess Lakshmi on this day. Most of us are already aware of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Out of these, Artha plays an important role. Artha here means money. Even decades passes by, the importance of Artha remains the same. Without Artha, nothing can be achieved. Here Artha merely does not only mean money but also includes honour, happiness etc. " A child can survive without his mother but he cannot survive without Lakshmi" says Shri Devi Bhagavatha Maha Puranam.
Lord Surya gave Yudhishtira a bowl called Akshaya Patram (meaning inexhaustible vessel) on Akshaya Tritiya day. It was a wonderful vessel, which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day. When the Pandavas began their exile in the forest, Yudhishtra was despondent at his inability to feed the holy sages and others who accompanied him. At this, Dhaumya, the priest of the Pandavas, counselled him to pray to Lord Surya. Pleased with Yudhishtira's prayers, Lord Surya blessed him with the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that would give unlimited food every day till Draupadi finished eating.Lord Krishna also once partakes food from the Akshaya Patra, when sage Durvasa arrived at the Pandavas' place with his disciples. When Durvasa arrived, there was no food left to serve him, since Draupadi had already finished eating. The Pandavas became anxious as to what they would feed such a venerable sage. While Durvasa and his disciples were away at the banks of the river bathing, Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna for help. As always, they were once again saved by Him, who partook of a single grain of rice from the Akshaya Patra and announced that He was satisfied by the meal. This satiated the hunger of Durvasa and all his disciples too, as the satisfaction of Lord Krishna meant the satiation of the hunger of the whole Universe. Akshayapatra, in current usage, refers to any store that is inexhaustible. On Akshaya Tritiya the Pandavas unearthed weapons, which helped the latter to gain victory over the Gandharvas to save the Kauravas in Kamyaka Vana.
The Ganga river, the most holy and sacred river of India, descended to the earth from the heaven on Akshaya Trithiya day. There are several Hindu beliefs that give various versions of the birth of Ganga. According to one version, the sacred water in Brahma's Kamandalu (water-vessel) became personified as a maiden, Ganga. According to another (Vaishnavite) legend, Brahma had reverently washed the feet of Vishnu and collected this water in his Kamandalu. According to yet a third version, Ganga was the daughter of Himavan, king of the mountains, and his consort Mena; she was thus a sister of the goddess Parvati. Every version declares that she was raised in the heavens, under the tutelage of Brahma. Several years later, a king named Sagara magically acquired sixty thousand sons. One day, King Sagar performed a ritual of worship for the good of the kingdom]. One of the integral parts of the ritual was a horse, which was stolen by the jealous Indra. Sagara sent all his sons all over the earth to search for the horse. They found it in the nether-world (or Underworld) next to a meditating sage Kapila. Believing that the sage had stolen the horse, they hurled insults at him and caused his penance to be disturbed. The sage opened his eyes for the first time in several years, and looked at the sons of Sagara. With this glance, all sixty thousand were burnt to death. The souls of the sons of Sagara wandered as ghosts since their final rites had not been performed. When Bhagiratha, one of the descendants of Sagara, son of Dilip, learnt of this fate, he vowed to bring Ganga down to Earth so that her waters could cleanse their souls and release them to heaven. Bhagiratha prayed to Brahma that Ganga come down to Earth. Brahma agreed, and he ordered Ganga to go down to the Earth and then on to the nether regions so that the souls of Bhagiratha's ancestors would be able to go to heaven. Ganga felt that this was insulting and decided to sweep the whole earth away as she fell from the heavens. Alarmed, Bhagiratha prayed to Shiva that he break up Ganga's descent. Ganga arrogantly fell on Shiva's head. But Shiva calmly trapped her in his hair and let her out in small streams. The touch of Shiva further sanctified Ganga. As Ganga travelled to the nether-worlds, she created a different stream to remain on Earth to help purify unfortunate souls there. She is the only river to follow from all the three worlds - Swarga (heaven), Prithvi (earth) and, Patala (neitherworld or hell). Thus is called "Tripathagā" ( one who travels the three worlds) in Sanskrit language. Because of Bhagiratha's efforts Ganga descended on to earth and hence the river is also known as Bhagirathi, and the term "Bhagirath prayatna" is used to describe valiant efforts or difficult achievements.
Akshaya Trithiya is the wedding day of Goddess Madhura Meenakshi and Lord Sri Sundareswara. In order to answer the prayers of the second Pandya king Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai, Goddess Parvati appeared out of the Holy Fire of the Putra Kameshti Yagna performed by the king. According to another legend, the goddess herself had given a boon to Kanchanamalai in one of her previous births that she will have the privilege of mothering the goddess. This girl, who came out of the holy fire had three breasts, to the king's shock. A voice from the heavens told him not to worry and added that the third breast would vanish as soon as the girl meets her future husband. The happy king named the girl as 'Tadaatagai' and brought her up. The girl did not have any realization of her birth and she grew up as a normal human girl. Being the heir to the throne after Malayadwaja, Tadaatagai was trained carefully in all the 64 sastras (fields of sciences), which includes warfare, too. As the time came when Tadaatagai should be coronated, according to the customs, she had to wage war on the three worlds across eight directions (Digvijayam). After conquering Satyaloka (Lord Brahma's Abode), Vaikuntha (Lord Vishnu's Abode) and Amaravati (the Divine Abode of the Devas), she advanced to Kailasha (Lord Siva's Abode). She very easily defeated the Bhoota ganas and Nandoi (the celestial bull of Lord Siva) and headed to attack and conquer Siva. No sooner than she looked at Lord Siva, she was unable to fight and bowed her head down due to shyness; the third breast vanished immediately. Tadaatagai realized the reason and understood that Lord Siva is her destined husband. She also realized that she was the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Both Lord Siva and Tadaathagai return to Madurai and the king arranged the coronation ceremony of his daughter, followed by her marriage with Lord Siva, the next day. The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Vishnu, the brother of Meenakshi presided over the marriage function and did the Kanya Dana.
Jagad Guru Sankaracarya during his Brahmacari Bhikshatana one day visited the house of a poor Brahmin lady, whose husband also went to the village for Bhiksha and nothing was available in the house to offer. She was very much upset and worried that she could not offer any thing to such a great person who came to her house. She earnestly searched for some thing to be given in her house. At last she found an Amla fruit (Nellikka - Emblic myrobalan). She was feeling very shy to offer but she gave it with all humility and respect in the bowl of Sankaracarya. Sri Sankaracarya was very much moved at the sight of the poverty, stricken woman and immediately in an extempore way started imploring Goddess Lakshmi to be merciful towards this poor Brahmin lady to drive away her poverty. He recited twenty two slokas in praise of Goddess Lakshmi Who was very much pleased and appeared (Satkshathkara) before Sankaracarya and asked for his cause and all of prayer. Sankaracarya pleaded her to grant riches to the Brahmin lady. Goddess Lakshmi said that this Brahmin lady did not qualify to get any riches in this life as she did not to do any charities in her previous life and carry consideration and she deserves sufferance and justified her stand of not confering any wealth on her. Sankaracarya while accepting her sand replied that in this life she gave him Amla fruit with very great reverence inspiteof not having any thing due toher extreme poverty and this act ofher alone will justify to shower riches on her. Hearing upon this Goddess Lakshmi was greatly moved and immensely pleased with the advocacy of the argument of Sri Sankaracarya and showered instantly golden rain of Amla fruits (Emblic myrobalan). Thus the stotra of Sankaracarya towards Goddess Lakshmi was sacred, famous and popular known as Kanakadhara Stotra. Bhagavatpada Sankaracarya’s Kanakadhara Stotra also called by him as Surarnadhara Stotra studded with Anugraha Bijakshar as aiming at Sri Lakshmi. This event happened on an Akshaya Trithiya Day and the home of that brahmin lady is now famous as Swarnathu Mana. Remembering this incident, Akshaya Tritiya Kanakadhara Yajnam is performed on this day at Kalady Sree Krishna Temple, the family temple of Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya.

Akshaya Tritiya: Revealing the Importance of Daana Mahima:-

Akshaya Tritiya, commences on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar. This day is considered as one among the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus. Akshaya Tritiya is gaining much reputation during the past decade. It is alleged that gold multiplies if bought on this day. Highlighting this belief, the jewelries attract customers with vivid discount features and presents. Most of the people have only limited knowledge about this day, as they consider Akshaya Tritiya, the day for buying gold so that prosperity will come to them. The name implies that whatever endeavor we do in this day will become auspicious and perpetual.
The Sathyayuga( Kirtha yuga) begins on Akshaya Tritiya .The incarnation of Vishnu, Balarama, brother of SriKrishna incarnated on this day. MadhuraMeenakshi Devi and Sundaraswara Siva got married in the presence of Lord Vishnu in this day.During Akshaya Tritiya, Saint Bhageeratha , meditated to bring Ganga Devi to earth ,for attaining Mokhsa to the souls of Sagaraputhras, who were cursed by Kapila Maharshi.It is believed that in this day, Aadi Shankara ,recited Kanakadhaara Sthothram to create golden showers of Gooseberry for a poor Brahmin mother who gave Shankara a small berry fruit as Bhiksha. In North India , during this day any virtuous activities can be done without noting Muhoortha. Hence marriages and house warming ceremonies are celebrated more on Akshya Tritiya.
The Matsya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishya Purana describes the importance of Akshya Tritiya emphasizing the Daana Mahima and Vishnu Pooja ,that to be done on this occasion.
In Matsya Purana chapter 65, Lord Mahadeva describes the importance of Akshaya Tritiya and Akshaya Tritheeya Vratha Vidhi. Lord Says - “Oh Narada, I will explain all the rules and procedures of Tritiya day so as to flourish all the noble wishes. You have to do Dana, Havana, and Japa so as to get immense and uncountable prosperity and whoever do Vratha and fasting, will be blessed with good results. Akshaya Tritiya with Karthika Nakshathra is considered to be a divine day. The Homa-Havana-Japa rituals done on this day is stated as Akshaya (eternal). Akshaya Santhana ( virtuous children) and Punya will be showered on to those who undergo Vratha on this day. In this day one should worship lord Vishnu with Akshatham (dry rice and Paddy grains). Hence the name Akshaya Tritiya orginates. The Padmapurana prohibits using Akshatham for Vishnu Woirship(nakshathairarchayeth vishnum - Padmapurana 6:16:20). Akshya Tritiya is the only day in which Akhsatham can be used for Vishnu Pooja. Rest of the days white gigelly must be used. On this day take bath in Akshatha mixed water, worship Vishnu idol using Akshatha, and with Akshatha, do Dana Karma for knowledgeable Bhrahmins. After that eat the Nivedya. Oh! Maharshi Narada, who ever human, following this rituals will be blessed with eternal providence. Whoever done this vratha once in a year gets equal benefits of doing all the Tritiya Vrathas all over the year. Whoever human worship Janardhana Swamy Vishnu during this day following all the rules and regulations of Akshaya Tritiya, will get the prosperity of Raajasooya Yaga and finally attain abode of Lord Vishnu.
The Uthara Parva chapters 30 to 33 of Bhavishya Maha Purana says the significance of Akshya Tritiya. Lord Sri Krishna describes the importance of Akshya Tritiya to King Yudhishtira. Sri Krishna says, “ Oh King Yudhishtira, listen to the story of Shukla paksha Tritiya of Vaishakha Month. Any Karma, Snana, Japa, Homa, Swadhyaya done on this day will become eternal. Sathya yuga has begun in this day. Hence this Thithi is also named as Kritha Yugaadi Tritiya. This day washes all the Papas and brings in endless peace and prosperity. You please hear a famous story about Akshaya Thritheeya.
In Shaakala city, there lived a merchant named Dharman, who was very truthful, righteous, and respectful towards Bhrahmanas, whom he worshipped too. He came to know about the importance of Akshaya Tritiya commencing along with Rohini Nakshathra and Wednesday; that whatever Dana made in this day will become eternal and prosperous. On that day, he bathed in Ganga River and paid homages to his forefathers. After that he offered Dana in the form of food, cloth, water, gold etc to Brahmins very piously. He completely believed in the significance of this date. After some years Dharman died and reborn as King of Kushavathi. Due to the Punya made in previous birth, the King received no scarcity for wealth and affluence, which was immensely showering on him. The King made many Danas, but his wealth didn’t decline and increased countless.
Oh King Yudhishtira , understand the result of Akshaya Tritiya as interminable. Now hear the Vratha Vidhi during this day. Offer Dana to those who deserve, in the form of food( with all the “rasa”), Jala Kumbha, various fruits, cows, land, clothes and gold. All these should be beloved to you also. Whatever Karma (deed) done in this day will not become terminated. That’s why Saints consider this day as “Akshaya Tritiya”
In the 23rd chapter of Skandapurana; Vaishnava khandam; Vaishakha mahaathmyam, Shruthadeva explains the importance of Akshaya Thritheeya.Whoever undergo Snaana (bath) during sun rise; worship Lord Vishnu and hear Bhagavan’s stories in this day will attain Moksha. And whoever does Dana karama on this occasion, will receive eternal prosperity for his deeds, under the supreme command of Lord Vishnu.
All these references from Puranas on Akshaya Tritiya portray the implication of Dana Karma. The Puranas advices not to buy your favorite items during this day, but to donate them so as to perceive eternal prosperity and peace.

Balarama Jayanti:-

The Vaisakha Shuklapaksha Tritiya or Akshay Tritiya is also traditionally celebrated as the birth day of, Lord Balarama or Sankharshana the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. He is also known as Halayudha and Balabhadra. Balarama is described as being physically very strong, in fact 'bala' in Sanskrit refers to 'strength'. Balarama is the elder brother of Lord Krishna. Also he is acknowledged as a manifestation of Anantha or Adishesha, the divine serpent on whom Vishnu rests. Balarama Jayanti is celebrated in many Balarama Temples in Kerala like Aluva Srikrishna Balarama Temple, Mazhoor Balarama Temple, Nenmini Balarama Temple and Balarama Shrine in Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Chant Balarama Sahasranama Stotra on this day.

Sree Sankara Jayanti:-

Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Panchami is the birth day of Jagadguru Adishankaracharya. Shankracharya was one of India's foremost philosophers. Shankara was born on Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Panchami in a Nampoothiri Brahmin family in 788 AD in a village named Kaladi on the banks of the river Poorna (now Periyar) in Eranakulam district of Kerala. His parents, Shivaguru and Aryamba, had been childless for a long time and the birth of Shankara was a joyous and blessed occasion for the couple. Legend has it that Aryamba had a vision of Lord Shiva and promised her that he would incarnate in the form of her first-born child on Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Panchami. Shankara Jayanti is celebrated with utmost fervor in Shankara Maths all over India. Shringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka, Shankar Math in Hyderabad, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha in Kanchipuram are some places where the celebrations attract a large number of devotees. In Kerala Shankra Jayanti is celebrated at Vadakkunnatha Temple, Brahmaswom Madams, Kalady Sree Shankara Janmasthanam etc.

Narasimha Jayanti:-

Lord Narasimha ("man-lion") is the fourth incarnation (Avatara) of Lord Vishnu. He is worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups throughout India (especially in the South) and is primariliy known as the 'Great Protector', being a form of Vishnu who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. The most famous story regarding Narashima is described in the Bhagavata Purana : In his previous avatar (incvarnation) of (Varaha), Vishnu killed a rakshasa known as Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha's brother Hiranyakashipu, greatly angered by this, started to abhor Lord Vishnu and His followers. Further, he decides to put an end to Vishnu by gaining mystical powers through performance of a great penance for Brahma, the chief among the demigods (devas). Brahma, pleased with his austere penance, then appeared before Hiranyakashipu and granted him a boon. Hiranyakashipu asked for the following:That he would not die on Earth or in Space, nor in fire or water, neither during the day or at night, neither inside a building nor outside, not by a weapon of holding (i.e a sword) or throwing (i.e an arrow), nor by anyone created by Brahma. Thus being granted this boon, Hiranyakashipu then believed himself to be immortal and decided it was now time to avenge the death of his brother Hiranyaksha.
Meanwhile, while Hiranyakashipu had been performing his penance, the divine sage (rishi) called Narada protected Hiranyakashipu's wife Kayadhu after her home had been overtaken by a war party. While under the guidance of Narada, her unborn child (Hiranyakashipu's son) Prahlada, was affected by his transcendental instructions even at such a young stage of development (through the sound vibrations). Thus, Prahlada when born was gradually recognised as being a very devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment.As Prahlada grows in age, his father Hiranyakashipu becomes upset at his devotion to Vishnu, who he sees as his mortal enemy. Eventually his anger leads him to attempt to kill the boy Prahlada in many ways, but each time Prahlada is protected by Vishnu's mystical power. When asked, Prahlada refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu is omnipresent.
Finally in disgust Hiranyakashipu points to a particular pillar and asks if his Vishnu is in it? Prahlada answers, He was, He is and He will be. In an alternate version of the story, Prahlada answers He is in pillars, and he is in the least twig. Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, and then following a tumultuous sound, Vishnu in the form of Narasimha appears from it and in defence of Prahlada moves to attack his father. In order to kill Hiranyakashipu and not upset the boon given by Brahma, the form of Narasimha was chosen. Hiranyakashipu could not be killed by human, deva or animal, Narasimha is neither one of these, as he is a form of Vishnu incarnate as a part-human, part-animal. He comes upon Hiranyakashipu at twilight (when it is neither day nor night) on the threshold of a courtyard (neither indoors nor out), and puts the demon on his lap (neither earth nor space). Using his nails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons, he disembowels and kills the demon. This day (Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Chathurdasi) is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanti.

Vaikasi Visakham - Subrahmanya Jayanti:-

Vaisakha Pournami (full moon day in Vaisakha month) is also famous as Vaikasi Vishakam or Vaigasi Vishakham. It is the birth day of Lord Subrahmnaya or Muruka. Vaikasi Visakam is a major festival observed in Lord Muruga temples. The asterism Visakam is the birth star of Lord Muruka. So Muruka is called Visaka.
Sati, the consort of Shiva immolated herself at Daksha Yaga, which was later destroyed by Shiva. Shakti was reborn as Uma, or Parvati the daughter of the mountain king Himavaan (the Himalayas). Shiva withdrew himself from the universe and engaged himself in yogic meditation in the Himalayas. In the meanwhile, the demon Surapadman ravaged the earth and tormented its beings. It was realized by the gods that only the son born of Shiva and Parvati could lead the gods to victory over Tarakasuran, Surapadman and their demon companions. They plotted with Kaama, the lord of desire, to shoot a flower arrow at Shiva, as he sat in meditation, so as to make him fall in love with Parvati. When Kaama aimed his arrow at Shiva, he opened his third eye and burned him to ashes instantly. Upon hearing the pleas of Kama's wife Rati, he brought back Kama to life, in flesh and blood for her sake, and in a formless state for others. The Devas manage to get Shiva married to Parvati (who was Dakshayani, reborn) by having Manmatha (also known as Kama), the god of love awaken him from his penance, incurring his wrath by opening his third eye of destruction, and being destroyed and resurrected. Shiva hands over his effulgence of the third eye used to destroy Manmatha to Agni, as he alone is capable of handling it till it becomes the desired offspring. But even Agni, tortured by its heat, hands it over to Ganga who in turn deposits it in a lake in a forest of reeds(Shara). The child is finally born in this forest(vana) on Vaisakha Pournami(Vaikasi Vishakam) day with six faces (hence Muruka is also called Shanmugha and Sharavanabhava). He was raised by the six Kartika damsels. He thus got the name Kartikeya. Worship Lord Muruka on vaikasi vishakam day.

Visakha Poornima (Vaisakha Pournami) - Buddha Pournami:-

Visakha Poornima (Vaisakha Pournami) - Buddha Pournami or Buddha Poornima, the principal annual ceremony for all the Buddhists, which falls on the full moon night in the month of Vaisakha commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, founder of Buddhism. His life from birth, through marriage, renunciation, enlightenment to maha samadhi is fascinating. Even though he had left his mortal coil over two thousand five hundred years ago, the spirituality created by him has not diminished - it is timelessly ancient. Buddhists celebrate this day with prayer meets, sermons on the life of Gautama Buddha, religious discourses, continuous recitation of Buddhist scriptures, group meditation and processions, worship of the statue of Buddha.
In Hinduism, Lord Buddha is viewed as an Avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Bhagavata Purana, Buddha is the twenty-fourth of twenty-five avatars, prefiguring a forthcoming final incarnation (Kalki). Similarly, a number of Hindu traditions portray Buddha as the most recent (ninth) of ten principal avatars, known as the Daśāvatāra (Ten Incarnations of God). The Buddhist Dasharatha Jataka represents Rama as a previous incarnation of the Buddha as a Bodhisattva and supreme Dharma King of great wisdom. So hindus also worship Buddha on Buddha Poornima day.

Periyalvar's Jayanti:-

Vaiksakha or vaikasi Pournima is also Periyalvar's jayanti. Periyalvar was one among the 12 Alvars. The Alvars (alvar means "one immersed in God") were twelve Vaishnava saints, who during the early medieval period of Tamil history (between the seventh and the tenth centuries CE) helped to revive devotional Hinduism (bhakti) through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his incarnations. Periyalvar was born into a Brahmin family in Srivilliputhur, near Madurai in the 6th or 9th century(conflicting reports) and was named Vishnuchittar meaning "one who has Vishnu in his mind". Legend says he rejected the vedic philosophical debates of his upbringing to focus on Bhakti, especially on doing simple tasks for God. He would make garlands of flowers for the deity of the temple. One day the Pallava king of the land had a competition between scholars to find one who would explain philosophical principles. Vishnuchittar won the competition by explaining that the path to moksha is by service to God. Legend goes that the king honored Vishnuchittar and God himself came down to earth to see this. Vishnuchittar composed a couplet called "pallandu"(also called Thirup-Palandu out of respect) translating to "Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years!" to God. This is a very important prayer in Srivaishnava liturgy today. Vishnuchittar composed some pasurams in the 4000 Divya Prabhandham called Perialvar Tirumozhi where he explores a devotee's love for God through the metaphor of Yashoda's motherly love for Krishna. He was the adopted father of Kodhai or Andal, the only woman alvar.

Dattatreya Jayanti:-

Dattatreya or Datta is the son of Sage Athri and Anasooya Devi. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words - "Datta" (meaning given) and "Atreya" referring to the sage Atri, his physical father). Various Hindu sects worship him differently. In the Nath tradition, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. Although Dattatreya was at first a "Lord of Yoga" exhibiting distinctly Tantric traits, he was adapted and assimilated into the more devotional Vaishnavite cults; while still worshiped by millions of Hindus, he is approached more as a benevolent god than as a teacher of the highest essence of Indian thought. Dattatreya is credited as the author of the Tripura Rahasya given to Parasurama, a treatise on Advaita Vedanta. Dattatreya was born on Vaisakha Krishna Paksha Dasami day and is celebrated as Dattatreya Jayanti.
The sun is a natural giver, giving freely to one and all. Those born in Vaisakha are natural social reformers since they have an integral part of the sun within them. They stand out brilliantly in life, easily overshadowing others. Basaveshwara,Ramanujacharya, Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Chinmayananda and Gautam Buddha were born in this month . Thus, between Akshay Tritiya and Buddha Poornima, there is a celestial gathering and many Mahatmas are born. Almost all social reformers are born during this period and they believed in one thing, Change yourself. The world outside will change dramatically when you change yourself.     As the month is summer donating water to the needy helps them.

Shanishchara Jayanti :-

Shani Jayanti is considered to be the day on which Lord Shani was born or appeared on earth. This day is also known as Shanishchara Jayanti or Sani Jayanthi.

Lord Shani is one of the nine planets (Navagrahas) of Indian astrology. Navagrahas are the nine celestial deities in Hinduism. Lord Shani is also called as 'Shaneeswaran', 'Sani dev', 'Sanischara bhagwan' or 'Chaya Putra'. Lord Shani is the god of Shanivar (Saturday). Lord Shani is the son of Surya (Sun God) and his wife Chaya.

Shani Jayanti or Sani Jayanthi is observed on Amavasya (New moon day) in Vaishakh month or Vaisakha masam. This day is also observed as ‘Shani Amavasya’.

This year Shani Jayanti has immense impact and spiritual significance as apart from Amavasya, there is also a Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan)!

The Hindu religious devotees can do ordinary prayers at Shani Temples or Navagraha Temples.They can visit Lord Ganesha termples as it is regarded as very fortunate.

It is to be noted that Shani Jayanti is celebrated in a grand manner in many temples such as all Navagraha Temples in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Sri Kalahasti Navagraha Temple, Mandapalli Mandeshwara Swamy Temple, Wargal Shaneeshwara Temple in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh. It is to be remembered that Sani Jayanthi is the most important festival in Shani Shingnapur Shaneshwara Mandir. In these said temples, a lot of rites and rituals are performed on Shani Jayanthi day so all the devotees can participate in these activities.

The Hindu religious devotees can observe fasting on this particular day. They can do fasting as observed on a saturaday as Shanivar Vrat (Fast on Saturday). It is to be remembered that during Shani Trayodashi, Shani Amavasya and ‘Shani Jayanthi’ days the devotees can perform ‘Shani Shanti puja’ and ‘Shani Thailabhishekam’.

The devotees can perform Shani puja. This particular puja can be done by those who are having Shani dosham. They can also conduct Shani homam or yagya with the assistance of an acharya or purohit on these days. They can also indulge in Shani Shanti puja in order to solve the affect of Saturn in their horoscope. The devotees can fix the horse shoe ‘U’ shaped on the main entrance door of the house, wear the horse shoe ring on the middle finger and install Shani Taitisa and mala in the chapel.