Aurbathimoovar Festival

Type :Cultural
Months : March/April
Location : Mylapore, Chennai

10 day Panguni Peruvizha in March-April including celebrations for 63 Saivite saints drawing a huge crowd of devotees. The devotee crowd in the temple is usually huge on New Moon and Full Moon days and Pradosha days. Some Shiva related festivals are observed in the temple each month.

During the Tamil month of Panguni, the traditional Brahmotsavam (annual festival) takes place when the entire neighborhood comes alive with a mela (carnival)-like atmosphere. Since this month corresponds to the mid-March to mid-April duration, the Kapaleeshwarar temple celebrates the nine day-long as Panguni Peruvizha (Spring festival).

The festival starts with Dwajarohanam (flag hoisting), includes the therotsavam, (Tamil, ther, "car/chariot"; utsavam, "festival"), Aurbathimoovar festival and concludes with the Tirukkalyanam (Marriage of Kapaleeshwarar& Karpagambal). In Brahmotsavam, the idols of Kapaleeshwarar and Karpagambal are decorated with clothes and jewels, are mounted on a vahana, and then taken around the temple and its water tank in a pradakshinams (a clockwise path when seen from above).

This is repeated with different vahanas over the next nine days. The more important of the individual pradakshinams are the Athigara Nandhi on the third day, the Rishaba Vahanam on the midnight of the fifth day, the ther (about 13 meters in height and pulled by people) on the seventh morning, and the Arupathimoovar festival on the eighth day.

The Aurbathimoovar festival is the most important procession.It is named after the sixty-three Nayanmar who have attained salvation by their love & devotion to the all-compassionate Lord Shiva. All sixty-three Nayanmar idols follow the Kapaleeshwarar idol on this procession. During the car festival, Kapaleeshwarar is depicted holding a bow while seated on a throne, with his wife Karpagambal alongside. Brahma is depicted riding the ther. The chariot is decorated with flowers and statues, and there are huge gatherings of devotees to pull the ther. The car festival of 1968 is documented in the documentary film Phantom India by Louis Malle.

How to Get There

By Air

The nearest airport of Chennai 15 Kms connects Mylapore with other major cities of India and the world by frequent flights.

By Rail

The nearest railway stations fromMylapore are ChennaiEgmore and Chennai Central just 5 Kms away/distance.

By Road

The good motor able roads connect Mylapore with nearby towns ,Chennai Bus Teminus 10 Kms away, Puducherry (Pondicherry) 148 Kms.