Principal deities of 23 Perumal temples were taken out in a procession on Garuda vahana as part of Duvadasa Garudasevai held at Thanjavur on Thursday.
It was a rare sight to see them on bullock carts on the four main streets in the morning. The Perumals, some with Thayars and some alone, mounted on Garuda Vahana with colourful umbrellas gave darshan to hundreds of devotees who gathered at many places alongside the streets to have a glimpse of the Lords.
Aarthi was performed, Thulasi and kumkum were distributed to the devotees as the Perumals stopped at vantage points. Bhajans were performed by devotees and people served butter milk and water to those who accompanied the deities.
Duvadasa Garudasevai is unique in that more Perumals participate in this compared to Garudasevais at Thirunangoor, Kumbakonam and Kanchipuram. Only 12 Perumals participate in the Garudasevais at Thirunangoor and Kumbakonam.
“It is only in Thanjavur that 23 Perumals participate,” said members of Sri Ramanuja Dharashana Sabha and Palace Devasthanam which organise the festival.
The Perumals are Sri Lakshmi Samedha Sri Neelamega Perumal, Sri Narasimha Perumal, Sri Manikunna Perumal, Sri Velur Varadaraja Perumal, Vennar banks Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Perumal, Karanthai Sri Yadav Kannan, Kondirajapalayam Sri Yoga Narasimha Perumal, Kondirajapalayam Sri Kothandaramar, Keelarajaveedhi Sri Varadaraja Perumal, Therku Veedhi Sri Kaliyuga Venkatesa Perumal, Ayyankadai Theru Bazaar Ramaswamy Perumal, Ellaiyamman Koil street Janardhana Perumal, Kottai Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Sri Govindaraja Perumal, Mela Alankam Sri Ranganatha Perumal, Melarajaveedhi Sri Vijayarama Perumal, Melarajaveedhi Sri Navaneetha Krishnan, Shanayakkan Theru Sri Boologa Krishnan, Manambuchavadi Sri Navaneethakrishnaswamy, Manambuchavadi Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Sri Kothandaramaswamy Perumal, Palli Agraharam, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal (Sunkanthidal), and Sri Venkatesa Perumal (Karantahi Vaniya Theru Padithurai).
The festival started with Thirumangaiyalwar Mangalasasanam at Sri Narasimha Perumal temple on the Vennar banks on Wednesday. Navaneetha sevai will take place on Friday. The festival ends with Vidayatri on Saturday.