Ninra Narayana Perumal Temple, Thiruthangal – Festivals & Religious Practices
The temple follows Vaigasana Agama. The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamilnadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for Ninra Narayana Perumal, Ranganathar and Arunakamala Mahadevi. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast.
There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple. The Vaikasi Vasantotsavam, Pillai Lokacharyar festival and Kurathazhwar festival, each celebrated for ten days are the most prominent festivals of the temple, and for the surrounding villages. Vaikasi Vasantotsavam is celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June) when devotees pull the chariot round the streets of Thiruthangal. Verses from Nalayira Divya Prabandham are recited by a group of temple priests amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument).
The other major festivals celebrated are Sri Jayanthi Uriyadi, Pavitrotsavam, Garudotsavam, Navarathri, Karthigai, Thirumangai Azhwar day, Vaikunta Ekadasi and Kalyana Utsavam. During Chitra Pournami, the festival image has a holy dip in Arjuna River, decorated and mounted on a horse mount and taken around ten villages around Thiruthangal. On the fifth day of Adi Pooram, the festival image of the image is brought in Garuda mount and taken to Srivilliputhur Divya Desam along with four other temples.
Aadi Trip to Srivilliputhur:
Every year, on the 5th day of the Tamil month of Aadi, Thiruthangal Appan goes to Srivilliputhur, about 25kms from here. Periyazhvar praises the Lord in the morning, while Garuda Sevai is a special feature in the evening. The next morning, 6th day of Aadi, Thiruthangal Appan takes flowers from Aandaal, another unique occurrence.