Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Tirukovil

Thirukarthigai Deepam Festival 2016

30 November, 2016
Wednesday Night:
Durgai Amman Utsavam

1 December, 2016
Thursday Night:
Pidari Amman Utsavam

2 December, 2016
Friday Night:
Vinayaka Utsavam

3 December, 2016
Saturday Morning (early):
7.15 to 8.30. Flag Hoisting
Morning (late): Panchamoorthy Silver Vimana procession
Night: Adhikara Nandi Vahana

4 December, 2016
Sunday Morning:
Chandrasekhara in Surya Perai Vahana
Night: Silver Indira Vahana

5 December, 2016
Monday Morning:
Chandrasekhara in Bootha Vahana
Night: Shima Vahana

6 December, 2016
Tuesday Morning:
Chandrasekhara in Naga Vahana
Night: Kamadhenu and Virikpaksha

7 December, 2016
Wednesday Morning:
Chandrasekhara in Rishaba
Night: Big Silver Rishaba

8 December, 2016
Thursday Morning:
Elephant with 63 Nayanars
Night: Silver chariot

9 December, 2016

10 December, 2016
Saturday Morning:
Chandrasekhara on Horse
Evening: Pichandavar
Late Night: Big Horse

11 December, 2016
Sunday Morning:
Chandrasekhara on Purusha Meruga Vahana
Night: Kailasa (Ravana) Vahana

12 December, 2016
Monday Early morning: 4 a.m.
Bharani Deepam
Evening: 6 p.m. Mahadeepam
Late Night: Golden Rishaba Vahana

13 December, 2016
Tuesday Night:
9 p.m. Chandrasekhara Theepal, Ayyankulam Tank

14 December, 2016
Wednesday Morning:
Arunachaleswarar girivalam
Night: 9 p.m. Parashakti Theepal, Ayyankulam Tank

15 December, 2016
Thursday Night:
Subramanya Theepal, Ayyankulam Tank

16 December 2016
Friday Night:
Vinayaka and Chandikeswara Utsavam

Programme in Tamil

Sprucing Things Up
Lots of activity in and around Arunachaleswarar Temple sprucing up, repairing and renovating the Radhams and Vahanas that will be used in the upcoming Mahadeepam Festival.

Radham outside raja gopuram

Photographs below of the Vahanas being repaired and painted in time for the 2016 Mahadeepam Festival.

2016 Major Karthigai Deepam Functions
Below is the programme of the 2016 Karthigai Deepam at Arunachala which lists the most famous major functions over the Festival period.

Procession of Panchamoorthies during Deepam Festival
Below is a Map of the Third Prakaram of the Temple showing the sequence in which aarti is performed to the Panchamoorthies before they begin their circumambulation of the mada veedhis (perimeter streets) around the Big Temple.

The sequence of the five aartis are indicated by the numbering 1 to 5.

Map showing the 5 aartis during Deepam processions

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 Siva Sannidhi. Second Aarti.

3. At the end of the corridor, the procession turns right and aarti is then performed in front of the Gods as they are facing the Hill (near Arunagiri Mandapam). Third Aarti.

4. Continuing clockwise the procession passes the Shrine to the Goddess on the right side until it reaches Yagasala Shrine. Fourth Aarti.

5. The Panchamoorthies are then carried 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. Fifth Aarti.

Thereupon the Panchamoorthies on their vahanas are pulled by tractor - except on the day of the Maharadham when the chariots are pulled with chains by devotees around the perimeter streets of Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Aarti back of Kalyana Mandapam

Gods receiving aarti at Yagasala

Darshan panchamoorthies Alankaram mandapam

Processions during Deepam Festival
On Day One of the Deepam Festival, all 5 Gods (Panchamoorthies) come out in procession. After which, in most of the daytime processions - only Lord Chandrasekhara and Lord Vinayaka come out in procession.

In the evenings all 5 Gods (i.e. Lord Shiva, Parashakti, Lord Vinayaka, 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 Deepam Darshana Mandapam, Pidari Shrine, Temples dedicated to the Elements, Kalyana Mandapam, Unnamulai Shrine (Mothers Shrine)

4th Prakaram: Includes Shrine of the powerful Sri Kala Bhairava, Brahma Teertham, Puravi Mandapam with Rukku 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

2016 New Arunachala Mahadeepam Cauldron
Every several years the Mahadeepam cauldron (used during the Karthigai Festival and which burns at the top of Arunachala throughout the Festival) has to be replaced. Years previously the cauldron remained at the top of the Hill throughout the year. Nowadays its carried up on poles prior to Mahadeepam and then brought down again at the end of the Festival.

Previous cauldron

This year a new Mahadeepam cauldron (kopparai) was created at metal works here in Tiruvannamalai. The new cauldron will measure 5 feet and have pure copper rings around the outside top of the cauldron measuring 3 feet diameter width, and on the outside bottom (of the cauldron) of 2.25 feet diameter width. The new cauldron (kopparai) is to cost Rs.1.5 lakhs to create.

Creating new cauldron