Utsavas Of Sri Kodandaramaswamy Temple
The holy Sri Kodandaramaswamy Temple is situated in the middle of celestial city of Tirupati as a big treasure for the desirous. In the sanctum sanctorum is the auspicious Lord Kodandarama in the standing posture. To his right is Sita Devi, none else than the manifestation of Sri Mahalakshmi! To his left is Sri Lakshmanaswamy! In the middle is the resplendent Lord Srirama with his bow and arrow to the ecstasy of the devotees. He is the manifestation of Shrimannarayana! We don’t find such a beautiful spectacle anywhere else!
Glory of Utsavas
Utsavas and services are held for Kodandarama temple throughout the year according to the Vaikhanasa Agama. 1.Nityotsavas, 2.Varotsavas, 3.Masotsavas and 4.Samvatsarotsavas.
1.Daily Festivals (Nityotsavas) : The daily services and Utsavas conducted as a rule are called Nityotsavas.
Suprabhatam : Suprabhatam is a service of singing the Suprabhatam with the first line “KousalyA suprajA rAmA…” conducted in the antaralam in the early hours at 5 am before the guards Jaya and Vijaya, in order to wake up the Lord. Lord Krishna holding a lump of butter in his hand will be in bed every day. However, there will not be recital of Suprabhatam in Dhanur masam. Only those who pay the prescribed fee will be allowed to participate in the service of Suprabhatam. The special feature of this service is the Suprabhatam recited for Lord Venkateshwara in Tirumala is recited in this temple. It strikes us that there is no difference between Lord Venkateshwara and Lord Kodandarama.
Vishwarupa Darshanam : Suprabhatam service is followed by Vishwarupa Darshanam of the principal deity. The Lord is visible without any garlands.
Thomala Seva : The principal deity and the processional deities are adorned with flowers in solitude. Devotees are not allowed for this service.
Sahasranamarchana : Every day there will be worship of Kodandaramaswamy with basil leaves reciting his thousand holy names in Srirama Sahasra Namavali.
First Bell Offering : This is conducted in solitude ringing the bell. At the time of the First Bell, only curd rice (dadhyodanam) is offered to the Lord.
Noon Bell Offering : In the noon worship of the Lord, there will be Srirama Ashtottara shata namarchana and offering of holy food in privacy. Tamarind rice and sugared rice are offered to the Lord ringing the bell.
Evening Worship and Offering : There will be Tomala seva, Ashtottara shata namarchana and food offerings every evening . In this mola hora (pepper rice) is offered to the Lord.
Solitary Service (Ekanta Seva) : The Ekanta Seva (Solitary Service) is offered every night . Little Krishna with butter in his hand is rested in the swing. At this time, the Lord is offered cashew nuts, dried grapes, almonds, sugar, bananas and warm milk.
2.Weekly Festivals (Varotsavas) : The Utsavas performed on ordained days once a week like abhishekam, abhishekanantara darshanam and Unjal seva are called Weekly Festivals.
Abhishekam : Holy bath will be given to the Principal deity Lord Kodandaramaswamy accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana with milk, curd, honey, coconut water, sandal paste, turmeric, etc in a grand manner on Saturday.
Abhishekanantara Darshanam : Immediately after the abhisheka, the devotees can have the darshan of the Lord from head to toe. What a wonderful and blissful darshan it is!
Unjal Seva (Swing Festival) : Every Saturday at 6 O’ Clock there will be a procession of the processional deities of Lord Kodandaramaswamy accompanied by Sita, Lakshmana in mada streets. After returning from the procession, Swing Festival will be performed for the deities.
3.Masotsavas : These are held monthly once on a particular day with a particular ruling star.
Marriage Ceremony (Kalyanotsavam) : Kalyanotsavam will be held on the day of Punarvasu star every month in the marriage pavilion of the temple. In this ceremony, there will be the offering of food items like sugared Pongal, Pongal, appam, soaked Bengal gram pulses, sugar water (panakam), etc. There will be a procession of Lord Kodandaramaswamy alongwith Sita and Lakshmana in the streets of the town the same evening. Later, they will be placed in the royal court.
Shatakalashabhishekam : Every month on the Full Moon Day there will be Ashtottara shata kalashabhishekam for the Lord to the accompaniment of homam. In this ceremony, abhishekam will be held not only for Kodandaramaswamy but also for little Krishna with butter in his hand, Sudarshana Chakrattalwar (Divine Disc) made of five precious metals.
Raamachandra Pushkarini Udyanavana Utsavam (Tour in the Garden) : A procession of the processional deities of the Lord will be taken out in the palanquin in the evening on Full Moon Day every month. It will go to the holy lake opposite to the temple and from there to the garden to stay put in the royal court (Asthanam). Later they will be taken back to the temple in a procession.
Floral Service (Pulangi Seva) : On the New Moon Day every month right from the morning 8 O’ Clock to 8 in the night, the devotees can have the darshan of the principal deities of the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum in the Floral Service (Pulangi Seva). This is the service of adorning flowers to the standing Lord. On the New Moon Day, the devotees can have darshan of the deities throughout the afternoon.
4. Annual Ceremonies (Samvatsarotsavas) : The ceremonies held on prescribed days every year are called varshikotsavas or Samvatsarotsavas.
Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam : Thorough cleansing of each and every part of the temple is called Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam. An Alwar is one who has installed the Lord in his own heart. Koil means the temple. The sanctum sanctorum is the heart of the temple wherein the God is installed. Hence, it is compared to the devotee and called Koil Alwar. Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam is held twice—once before Deepawali and the second time before annual Brahmotsavas. The powder of camphor, namam kommu, khchilI gadda is daubed on each and every part of the temple.
Brahmotsavas : Every year in the lunar month of Phalguna, the Brahmotsavas are held for the Lord Kodandaramaswamy for nine days concluding on the day of Mrugashira star.
Ankurarpana will be held a day before the Brahmotsavas. On the morning of the first day, the Garuda flag will be hoisted on the Dhwaja Stambha (Flagpole). There will be series of carriage services for the Lord—Serpent God’s big carriage service (Pedda Sesha Vahana) in the night of the first day, Serpent God’s small carriage (Chinna Sesha Vahana) on the second day morning and Swan carriage (Hamsa vahana) the same night, Lion carriage (Simha vahana) on the morning of the third day, Pearl Pandal carriage (Mutyala Pandiri vahana) the same night, Wish Fulfilling Tree carriage (Kalpataru Vahana) on the morning of the fourth day and the Sovereign King of Kings carriage (Sarva Bhupala Vahana) the same evening, Palanquin Festival (Pallaki Utsavam) on the morning of fifth day and the Divine (Garuda Vahana) the same night, Hanuman carriage on the sixthday morning and Elephant Carriage (Gaja Vahana) the same evening,
Splendorous Solar carriage (Suryaprabha vahana) on the seventh day morning and the radiating Lunar carriage (Chandraprabha vahana) the same evening, Car Festival (Rathotsava) on the eighth day morning and Horse carriage (Ashwa vahana) the same evening, and lastly holy bath to the Divine Disc (Chakra Snana) on the ninth day and then pulling down the Flag. Later different carriage services are held for Kodandaramaswamy every day both in the morning and evening in a grand manner. Lastly on the day of Mrugashira star, processions will be taken out both for Kodandaramaswamy and Sudarshana Chakrattalwar in different palanquins to Alwar tirtham (Kapila tirtham). After snapana tirumanjanam, holy bath will be administered to the Divine Disc.
Dwadasharadhana : After Snapana Tirumanjanam, Dwadasharadhana will be held for the processional deities of Sri Kodandaramaswamy accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana on the next day of Brahmotsavas on a grand scale. Later offering of food will take place twelve times. As the Lord is tired in the Brahmotsavas, he is supposed to relax and take rest on this day. There will be neither decorations nor processions of any sort to the Lord on this day
Repakula Subbamma Garden Festival (RS Garden) : About a century ago, a devotee named Repakula Subbamma donated the garden site covering the area of present Balamandir, Oriental College and Govindarajaswamy High School. As a reward for this, a procession of Sri Kodandaramaswamy accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana is taken out after Brahmotsavas to the pandal in the Repakula Subbamma Garden. After Snapana Tirumanjanam, grand offerings of food will be made to the Lord. That evening, the Lord goes back to the temple in procession. The temple priests will offer betel leaf prasadam to the family members of Late Repakula Subbamma.
Kanija Garden Festival : Kanija Garden Festival will be held for Kodandaramaswamy a day after Repakula Subbamma Garden Festival. In the old days there used to be snapana tirumanjanam for Sri Kodandaramaswamy accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana for relaxation in the well with steps situated in the old Huzur office behind Govindarajaswamy temple. Later the deities used to be taken around Govindarajaswamy temple in procession and then to the temple. As the well has dried up now, Snapana Tirumanjanam is held in the temple itself.
Royal Courts (Asthanas) : Royal Courts will be held for Sri Kodandaramaswamy accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana on the stone pavillion in the temple on the festive days of Ugadi, Deepavali and Karthika Pournami. They are followed by grand offerings of food. There will be recital of Panchanga Shravanam on Ugadi, Narakasura vadha on
Deepavali, Karthika Puranam on Karthika Pournami.
Raft Festivals (Teppotsavas) : There will be Raft Festival for three days in the evening in the Ramachandra Pushkarini located opposite to the temple to conclude on the Full Moon Day of Chaitra. They will be confined to the processional deities alone.
Hanumajjayanti (Birth day of Hanuman) : Every year Hanumajjayanti falls on the tenth day of dark fortnight of Vaishakha month. That day the processional deities of Sri Kodandaramaswamy alongwith Sita and Lakshmana are taken to the Anjaneyaswamy temple opposite to it. After having snapana tirumanjanas and offerings of food the deities reach back their temple.
Pavitrotsavam : Pavitrotsavas are held for three days every year to conclude on the thirteenth day of dark fortnight of Ashadha month. These ceremonies are aimed at atoning for the mistakes and lapses made in the temple consciously or out of ignorance so that the sanctity of the temple is not lessened. There will be installation of Pavitras on the first day, offering of Pavitras on the second day, and Purnahuti on the third day. Devotees can participate in these on payment of prescribed fees.
Dhanurmasam : There won’t be Suprabhatam during Dhanurmasam. There will be offering of Pongal in the early hour at 4 am. Vaikuntha Ekadashi rites of worship are performed in Dhanurmasam.
Koopu Ramachandrapeta Ceremony : Every year on the Full Moon Day of Maagha month in the morning, Kodandaramaswamy alongwith Sita and Lakshmana set out for the banks of SuvarNamukhI river near Koopu Ramachandrapeta south of Tirupati. After snapana tirumanjanam with the waters of Suvarnamukhi river and offerings of food, the Lord will get back to the temple in the evening in a procession.