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Monday, February 15, 2010


To live in punya bhoomi is fortunate. To have darshan of Perumal often is more fortunate. Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple is an important Sri Vaishnava Divya desam dedicated to Lord Krishna – the name “Parthasarathi” in sanskrit means the charioteer of Arjuna. Legend has it that Emperuman offers darshan as sarathi, coming as he did after the great Maha Baratha war with scars all over his face. This is an ancient temple traced to the period of Pallavas of 8th century, then later renovated by Chola kings and Vijayanagara Kings. This temple finds a mention in the songs of Peyazhwar, Thirumazhisai azhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar – known as mangalasasanam.

The temple tank (I had written earlier on SYMA cleaning the tank and maintaining it) is Kairavani Pushkarini which would literally give the name for the place “Thiru Allikkeni” – tank consisting of sacred lily flowers. Thiruvallikkeni in course of time became Triplicane. The tank has added significance attributed to the birth of “Yathi Rajar” – Swami Ramanujar due to the penance undertaken by Kesava Somayaji and Kanthimathi ammal. Pushkarinis were developed closely associated with temples. The water from the tank was once used daily for thirumanjanam and all other religious functions of the Lord. The conclusion of Brahmotsavam would be by ‘thirthavaari’ the sacred bath at the tank.

Every year there would also be the ‘theppam’ – the float festival. A floating structure made up of drums, timber would be constructed and would be beautifully decorated. Perumal would come to the temple tank in purappadu and placed majestically inside the float. The beautifully lit theppam would be dragged around in water. Devotees in hundreds would converge and sit everywhere on the steps of the temple tank to have darshan of the Lord on theppam.

The annual float festival of the Sri Parthasarathy Swamy temple starts every year on Maasi Ammavasai day and is a 7 day affair. The first three days, Sri Parthasarathi would embellish the theppam; the rest four days are for Sri Narasimhar, Sri Ramar, Sri Ranganathar and Sri Varadarajar.

In my young days, the tank was much bigger and would brim with water – so the size of the float also would be much bigger. Now a days, it is much smaller in size, though the grandeur of the festival has only increased.

This year the Theppa Utsavam began on 12th Feb 2010 and yesterday was the second day. Here are some photos taken by me during the celebrations at temple tank.

Srinivasa Dhasan

the theppam
perumal in purappadu

ghoshti inside theppam

perumal inside the theppam

another view of theppam with neerazhi mandap in background

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