To view interactive maps of the various Prakarams of Arunachaleswarar Temple, visit my Website Arunachala Samudra at this link here.
This posting is in response to a reader who wants to know more about what happens on each day of the Deepam Festival. What Gods go on procession, what time do they give darshan, what is the route of their procession etc. Hope this posting gives enough information for readers who will be visiting Arunachala during this Festival to better understand the wonderful pomp and majesty of Arunachala Karthigai Mahadeepam.
The sequence of the five aartis are indicated by the numbering 1 to 5.
Map showing the 5 Aartis during Deepam Processions
|Aarti to the Gods during the Deepam Festival|
1. The beginning spot is at the back plinth in the Kalayana Mandapam. First Aarti.
2. The Panchamoorthies are then carried out of the front entrance of the Kalyana Mandapam, go left in the corridor between the outside of the Mandapam and the Shiva Sannidhi. Second Aarti.
3. At the end of the corridor, the procession turns right and the aarti is then performed in front of the Gods as they are facing the Hill (near the Arunagiri Mandapam). Third Aarti.
4. Continuing clockwise the procession passes the Shrine to the Goddess on its left until it reaches the Yagasala Mandapam. Where the fourth aarti is performed. Fourth Aarti.
5. The Panchamoorthies are then carried out through the various Prakarams and exit Arunachaleswarar Temple through the Thittivasal Gate. Inside the Alankaram Mandapam the Gods are decorated and put on their respective Vahanas. Afterwhich they receive their 5th Aarti. Fifth Aarti.
Thereupon the Panchamoorthies on their vahanas are pulled by tractor (except in the case of the Maha Radham i.e. giant wooden chariot which is pulled with chains by devotees . . . gents on the left and ladies at the right) around the perimeter streets of Arunachaleswarar Temple.
|Aarti at back of Kalyana Mandapam, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
|Aarti at Yagasala, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
|Aarti at Alankaram Mandapam, outside Raja Gopuram, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
Processions during Deepam Festival
On Day One of the Deepam Festival, all 5 Gods (Panchamoorthies) come out in procession. Afterwhich, in the daytime -- only Lord Chandraskehara and Lord Ganesha come out in procession. The timing of day processions vary and for more specific information check at Big Temple.
In the evenings all 5 Gods (i.e. Lord Shiva, Parashakti, Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and Chandikeswarar) begin their procession of the Temple Mada Veedhis. Starting from the Alankaram Mandapam (in front of the Raja Gopuram – East Gate) at approximately 10.30 p.m. It takes approximately 2-3 hours for the Panchamoorthies to perform circumambulation of the Temple Mada Veedhis.
Arunachaleswarar Temple has 7 Prakarams, each of which is associated to a specific centre (chakra) of the body.
1st and 2nd Prakarams (Central Shrine): The 2 contiguous Prakarams of the Central Shrine of Lord Annamalaiyar
3rd Prakaram: Includes Deepa Darshana Mandapam, Pidari Shrine, Temples dedicated to the Elements, Kalyana Mandapam, Unnumulai Shrine (Mothers Shrine)
4th Prakaram: Includes Shrine of the powerful Sri Kala Bhairava, Brahma Teertham, Puravi Mandapam with Ruku the Temple Elephant, unique Adi Mudi Shrine, Cultural Auditorium, famed Kili Gopura.
5th Prakaram: Contains Raja Gopuram main entrance to Temple, 1000 Pillar Hall, 2 shrines dedicated to Lord Murugan, Sivagangai Teertham, a large monolithic Nandi and the Temple Sthala Vriksha – the Banyan Tree.
6th Prakaram: The sixth Prakaram considered to be the mada veddhis (perimeter streets) of Arunachaleswarar Temple. These mada veddhis are: Car Street (east), Thiruvoodal Street (south), Pey Gopura Street (west), and Big Street (north)
7th Prakaram: The seventh Prakaram regarded as the 14 km girivalam roadway that circumscribes Arunachala Hill