13 September 2013

Palayam Puja -- Durga Amman Temple, September 2013

A Palayam Puja was performed at Durga Amman Temple on September 11, 2013 in connection with restoration and renovation work that is to be undertaken at the Temple. After the renovation work is completed next year, it will be followed by an elaborate Mahakumbhabhiskeham. 

Homam being conducted, Palayam Puja

Head Priest of Big Temple (in gold centre) in charge of Function

Blessing areas that are to be renovated, restored

The Durga Amman Temple is the only Tiruvannamalai Temple that actually participates in functions with Arunachaleswarar Temple during Karthigai Deepam. 

One reason for this is supposed to be because of the battle beween the Goddess Durga with the demon Mahishasura (see ‘The Fight with Mahishasura'). Before her battle the Goddess appointed four noble Bhairavis (celestial damsels) to keep watch on all four sides of Arunagiri. She ordered: 

"Admit only those who have come to worship Arunachala and are tired, hungry and thirsty. Others should not enter. She then appointed strong men to guard the boundaries of Arunachala and continued Her penace at Her ashram." [The Glory of Arunachala] 

For this reason, the first day of Deepam Festival is always a celebration of the Goddess, who is recognised as a Guardian of Arunachala. 

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