Maha Karthigai Deepam Festival

Many festivals are celebrated at Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai through out the year. Among them Karthigai Deepam is the most significant festival that is celebrated with pomp and gaiety at Arunachalaeswar temple every year in the month of Karthikai that falls between 15th November and 15th December. This festival always follows few weeks after Diwali the festival of lights. This Karthikai Deepam is celebrated as a ten day festival and it widely known as Karthikai Brahmotsavam.

Day - 1:-Karthika Deepam festival begins with the hosting of the flag signifying the commencement of the festival also known as Dwajaroghanam. In the morning and night Lord Arunachaleswarar will be taken out on the silver vahana for procession. The Panchamurthis are also taken out in the procession. The Panchamurthis are Lord Ganapathi, Lord Murugan, Lord Sandeswarar, Lord Arunachaleswarar and Goddess Parvathi. These processions are carried out on different vahanas after the Deeparadhana is done at the kalyana mandapam.

Day - 2:-Karthigai Deepam festival commences with the Lord Chandrasekhar coming in procession in the morning in the sun vahana and in the night Lord Periya Nayagar goes out on the Indira Vimanam the chariot of Lord Indira.

Day - 3:- Karthika Deepam festival the ceremony begins at night with the Lord Periya nayagar coming in procession majestically on the Simha vahana, the chariot of lion.

Day - 4:- Karthikai Deepam the Lord Periya Nayagar comes in the procession that starts at night on the kamadhenu vahanam. The auspicious tree Karpaviruksha is also on the side of the lord. This tree is believed to grant all the wishes that the devotees seek without fail.

Day - 5:- Karthikai Deepam festival begins at night. This procession on the silver rishaba vahanam is very appealing and splendid to witness. Lord Periya nayagar goes on this vahana that is about 25 feet tall. A big umbrella with about 17 feet in diameter is carried along in the procession.

Day - 6:- Karthigai Deepam festival commences with a night procession of Lord Periya Nayagar on the silver chariot that is beautifully crafted and simply imposing when it comes around the temple.

Day - 7:- Karthikai Deepam festival Lord Periya nayagar starts with the procession on the Maha ratham that is very huge and it almost occupies the full width of the road. This ratham is made of pure wood that is strong and rugged.

Day - 8:- Karthigai Deepam festival begins at night with the Lord Periya nayagar going out on procession on the huge horse vahana. The speciality of this horse is that all the four legs of this horse are in the air and they do not touch the ground.

Day - 9:- Karthigai Deepam festival the devotees can witness Lord Periya nayagar going out procession on the Kailasa Vahanam. This ceremony is mostly conducted on the ninth night.

Day - 10:-Karthigai Deepam festival starts at around four o clock in the early hours and the Bharani Deepam is lit at the temple. In the evening the Mahadeepam is lit on the top of the hill at around six o clock. This is a very important ceremony during the Karthikai Deepam festival at Tiruvannamalai. Arunachaleswarar is said to be visually represented in the form of agni on the hill top. There is a very mammoth gathering on this day at the Arunachaleswarar temple to witness this glorious and sacred event. The night ceremony starts with Lord Periya nayagar going out procession on the Rishaba vahanam that is made of gold. This is another spectacular event at Arunachaleswar temple at Tiruvannamalai.

Day - 11:-Lord Arunachaleswarar goes in the boat and this is called Theppam, since it carried out in the tank.

Day - 12:-The Lord Arunachaleswarar goes procession round the hill, known as Girivalam or pradhiksahana. With this ceremony the Karthigai Deepam festival at Arunachaleswarar temple comes to a grand conclusion with the devotees taking back home some divine blessings and memories from this ancient holy city Tiruvannamalai.