Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam 2011 details

Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam Garuda Seva

The wonderful Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam Utsavam is set to take place from 4th June 2011 to 13th June 2011. The following are the details of the Utsavam. My sincere apologies for not posting it well in advance.

1 4th June 2011 Indhira Vimanam
2 5th June 2011 Pushpa Pallaku
3 6th June 2011 Punnaimara Vahanam
4 7th June 2011 Thirupulli Vahanam
5 8th June 2011 Garuda Seva of 9 Navatirupathi Perumals
6 9th June 2011 Yanai Vahanam
7 10th June 2011 Chandra Prabhai
8 11th June 2011 Kudhirai Vahanam
9 12th June 2011 Sri Krishna Thirukolam
10 13th June 2011 Swami Nammalwar Thirunakshatram. Theerthavari & Saathumurai

Photos of previous year Garuda Seva can be found here – Part 1 & Part 2

Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam Garuda Seva Photos (Part 2)

As said in the earlier post, here is the 2nd part of  Alwarthirunagari Garuda Seva photos.

The entire village and especially the streets around the temple wear a festive look, awaiting the Lords. A dance troupe which initially had only a few onlookers, immediately gathered the attention of the people around and within moments a huge crowd gathered around to see the wonderful performance.

Wonderful performance by a dance troupe had the people mesmersied.

For the Bhaktas; a vendor selling savouries

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Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam Garuda Seva Photos (Part 1)

Sriman Narayana & Swami Nammalwar once again blessed me with an opportunity to witness the grand Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam. I always wanted to shoot the 10-day event in High Resolution & good aesthetic quality. This year, I was blessed with a good DSLR camera and I did the best the shoot the Garuda Seva day in all its Glory. Due to materialistic commitments I wasn’t able to witness all the 10 days, and I had to be content with just shooting the Garuda Seva day. This first part has the snaps taken in the Garuda Seva day, when the Perumals of NavaThirupathi Divyadesams are welcomed by Swami Nammalwar. The second part (to be posted soon) will have the Garuda  Seva that takes place at the night.

The very purpose of shooting the event is to share the Photos with all the people. Anyone who would like to have the High Resolution originals can always e-mail me (RamanujaDasan@live.in) or Leave a Comment indicating your requirement.

Navathirupathi Perumals in a Mandapam before entering Alwarthirunagari Temple

An old woman praying one of the Navathirupathi Perumals

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Vaikasi Visakam 2009 info

For the year 2009, Vaikasi Visakam utsavam at Alwarthirunagari starts on 28th of May. The Nava Thirupathi Perumal Garuda Seva falls on 1st of June. Here is the itinerary / details of the Utsavam (click the image for a bigger sized one).

Vaikasi-Visakam-2009-Info_s

Vaikasi Visakam : The Vaikasi Visakam of Alwarthirunagari is one of the most well known festivals of Sri Vaishnavam. It is celebrated to mark the birth of Swami Namalwar, who was born in the month of Vaikasi and the star of Visakam, hence the name. Vaikasi Visakam is a 10 day festival. The Garuda Seva on the 5th day, where all the NavaThirupathi Perumals take part is the highlight of the Utsavam. Devotees from various parts of the country throng this village during these 10 days and the 5th day Garuda Seva attracts the maximum number of devotees. The entire village wears a very festive look during the 10 days.

Travel Info : Alwarthirunagari is very easily reachable from Tirunelveli, which is also the nearest well connected Railway Station. Madurai is the nearest Airport. From Alwarthirunagari you can hire a cab and visit all the NavaThirupathi stalams in half a day. The following are the trains and timings to Tirunelveli from Chennai.

Trains-from-Chennai-to-Tirunelveli

Thirumangai Alwar Thirunakshatram

Today is the Thirunakshatram of Thirumangai Alwar {also known as Neelan & Thirumangai Manan}, the youngest of all Alwars. Thirumangai Alwar was born in a small town by name Thiruvaali Thirunagari {Near Chidambharam}. Thirumangai Alwar’s Thirunakshatram is grandly celebrated as a 10 day Utsavam here. During the 10 days Utsavam, a Garuda Seva of 11 Perumals from nearby DivyaDesams takes place. This is the highest number of Perumals for any DivyaDesa Garuda Seva {Alwarthirunagari Visakam Garuda Seva has 9 Perumals}. This Garuda Seva has to be seen by every Sri Vaishnava.

Prior to becoming a Alwar, he was known as Thirumangai Mannan. He was a landlord under a Chola King. He was very brave and fought many wars and won them. His change from a Landlord to Alwar was due to his wife, Sri Kumudhavalli Devi. Thirumangai Mannan met Sri Kumudhavalli at Thirunangoor and immediately lost his heart. He requested Devi to marry him for which she put certain conditions. The conditions were that, he should become a Sri Vaishnava and daily feed Sri Vaishnavas. He accepted to this and became a Sri Vaishnava and began to feed devotees daily. Though he was a landlord under a Chola King he soon ran out of money to feed Vaishnavas. Left with no other way, he decided to loot the rich & wealthy and use the money to feed Vaishnavas and the poor. Perumal wanted to change his actions and played a small act. Perumal and his divine consort Lakshmi themselves came down as a newly wed couple, fully adorned with jewels. Thirumangai Mannan stopped them and asked them to give him all the jewels they had. Perumal and Sri Maha Lakshmi gave him the jewels and when Mannan checked for other Jewellery, he found a Kanaiyaazhi {ornament worn in legs} in Perumal’s leg. Perumal said that it was too tight for him to remove it and that Mannan can remove it if possible. He tried to remove it, but in vain. He decided to leave it and ordered his man to pick up the sack of Jewels they had taken from Perumal. Amazingly, neither his man nor Thirumangai Mannan himself could lift the bag. He was flabbergasted and got angry at the Bride {Perumal} and said that he had used some Magicial power to trick him. Perumal replied that he can tell him the Magic {Mantra} and asked him to come closer. Perumal said him the Ashtaakshara Mantram. Thirumangai Mannan at once realised that the Couple were none other than Sriman Narayana & Sri Maha Lakshmi themselves. With tears in his eyes he praised Perumal in 10 Pasurams.

After the 10 Pasurams, Perumal gave Alwar his Divine Darshan along with Sri Maha Lakshmi. He asked Alwar to go to various DivyaDesams and sing Pasurams in his praise, after which he would attain Moksha and come to Sri Vaikuntam. Hadn’t it been for Thirumangai Alwar, we wouldn’t have 108 DivyaDesams. Thirumangai Alwar travelled to the most number of DivyaDesams and he alone sang on nearly 60 DivyaDesams. Thirumanga Alwar also lived the longest amongst the Alwars.

Written with reference from - http://www.divyadesamonline.com/alwars/tmangai.asp

Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam Theerthavari

For starters, Alwarthirunagari is the birthplace of Sri Nammalwar. Its one amongst the 108 Divyadesams & NavaThirupathi stalams. We already had posts on the Garuda Seva where the Perumals of all the NavaThirupathi Stalams participate in the grand Vaikasi Visakam utsavam.

On the 9th day of the Utsavam, Thiruthear {Car} is taken around the Temple & the Village. Devotees pulled the car with pomp and gaiety. Its humbling to see the Lord of Universe allowing himself to be pulled under the love and affection of the devotees. Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swamywas also present and pulled the car with hundreds of other devotees. Swami did an upanyasam in the evening in the temple premises and also on the next day.

On the last day {10th day} of the Vaikasi Visakam, Swami Nammalwar is taken to the Thamarabharani River for Thirumanjanam {Theertha Vaari}. This day is actually the Thirunakshatram of Nammalwar, i.e Vaikasi Visakam. Hundreds of devotees took the holy dip along with Swami Nammalwar. It is a once in a life time opportunity to take a dip with Swami Nammalwar on his Thirunakshatram. Sri Velukkudi Krishnan swami was also present and took the holy dip.

Alwarthirunagari Thamarabharani

Alwarthirunagari Thamarabharani

Vaikasi Visakam ends with a Theertham & Prasadam in the evening. Its a really wonderful experience being with Swami Nammalwar for 10 days in the small, but charming village of Alwarthirunagari. My great grandmother used to say that every Sri Vaishnava should visit Alwarthirunagari at least once in a lifetime. I whole-heatedly thank Sriman Narayana and Swami Nammalwar for making me visit the place many times.


From Alwarthirunagari you can hire a cab and visit all the NavaThirupathi stalams in half a day. Alwarthirunagari is around an hours drive from Tirunelveli. Most buses going to Thiruchendhur go via Alwarthirunagari. Madurai is the nearest airport. Though there is a Railway Station in Alwarthirunagiri, trains are less frequent and the station is far away. Accomodation is easily available at various Mutts like the Uttrathi Mutt and many more.

Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam Garuda Seva

Continued from…

After the Thirumanjanams of the Navathirupathi perumals, alankaram is done, after which the Garuda Seva begins. Generally the Thirumanjanams are over by around 7PM and the Garuda Seva starts at around 10 PM. During this time, people move around the streets of Alwarthirunagari and the entire village wears a festive look. Every corner has happy people, kids playing, elderly people sleeping wherever there’s a place… seeing these is an expereice by itself.

When its time for the Garuda Seva to start, the Alwarthirunagari Perumal leads the procession. After him the other Perumals of the NavaThirupathi stalamas slowly come out from the temple. After all the Perumals, Nammalwar comes in Hamsavahanam and joins the Alwarthirungari Perumal at the front.

Alwarthirunagari Vaikasi Visakam

 

Madurakavi Alwar comes at the last.

 

All Perumals have wonderful alankarams and its a treat for the eyes.

And there was something for the child in us too… fireworks, a lot of them. After all the Perumals & Alwars had arrived a volley of fireworks lit up the dark sky. There were fireworks of all sizes and colours. And someway this wonderful snap with Perumal, Nammalwar & the firework ended up with me.

All in all, its a wonderful expereince to attend the Garuda Seva. Every Sri Vaishnava should see this Utsavam at least once in their life time. There are more images of the Temple & the remaining days Utsavam, which will be posted soon.

The images are of mediocre quality with lens flares in many photographs. Kindly bear the inconveneince.