Devotees offered worship to Namperumal and Sri Chera Kulavalli Nachiyar at Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, signifying their holy union (serthi sevai) on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami festival on Monday.
The idols of Namperumal and Sri Chera Kulavalli Nachiyar were taken from the sanctum sanctorum to the mandapam where special pujai was performed.
This is one of the important ‘Serthi' festivals associated with Namperumal, the other ‘Serthi' festivals being celebrated on the Panguni Uthiram (with Sri Ranganayaki Thaayar) and Panguni Ayilyam (with Sri Kamalavalli Nachiyar at Sri Nachiyar temple at Woraiyur in the city).
Legend has it that Sri Cher Kulavalli Nachiyar, daughter of Kulasekara Azhwar, longed for celestial marriage with Lord Ranganathar. Kulsekara Azhwar, who was a ruler of Chera dynasty, was a staunch devotee of Lord Rama and had composed hymns in glory of Lord Rama. Azhwar wished to give his daughter in marriage on Sri Rama Navami festival.
At Srirangam, Sri Rama Navami festival is celebrated on the ‘Navami thithi' in the ‘suklapaksham' of the Tamil month of Chithirai. Hence, the Serthi festival was celebrated coinciding with this occasion.