‘Annabhishekam’ performed at major Siva temples

October 28, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:48 am IST - THANJAVUR/ARIYALUR:

Annabhisekam being performed for Sri Brahadeeswarar at the Big Temple in Thanjavur on Tuesday.— PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM

Annabhisekam being performed for Sri Brahadeeswarar at the Big Temple in Thanjavur on Tuesday.— PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM

The massive Sivalinga at the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Brihadeeswarar temple, better known as Big Temple, was swathed in cooked rice and decorated with boiled vegetables as Annabishekam ritual was performed on the occasion of Aippasi Pournami on Tuesday.

The ritual was performed in all Siva temples in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts and the day culminated with the “mahadeeparadhanai” at dusk.

Later, the cooked food was distributed as prasadam to the devotees who thronged the temples with fervour.

A large number of devotees offered worship to Lord Brahadeeswarar at Gangaikondacholapuram on the occasion of the ‘maha annabhishekam,’ falling on the Full Moon Day in the month of Aippasi here on Tuesday.

The annual abhishekam is marked by covering the presiding deity with holy rice. The presiding lingam, made of moonstone, is about 63-foot tall and its diameter is 13.25 feet. The temple is noted for its architectural splendour.

About 3,500 kg of rice was used for the maha annabhishekam. Rice was boiled in a set of six boilers each with a capacity of 50 kg. It was immediately spread on mats for about ten minutes before being taken to the sanctum sanctorum in baskets.

The maha annabhishekam is performed for the 30{+t}{+h}consecutive year under the auspices of Sri Kanchi Kamakotti Annabhisheka Committee, constituted by Sri Paramacharya of Sri Kanchi Mutt three decades ago.

Rice was boiled and taken to the sanctum sanctorum and was offered from the steps atop the presiding deity.

The ritual of offering rice commenced at 11 a.m. and concluded at about 4.30 p.m. Special alankaram was performed to the presiding deity at the end of which maha deeparadhana was performed to the deity. R. Komagan, member of the committee and Jadadharan, coordinator of the committee, said the rice for abishekam came as donations from devotees.

Rajendran, Executive Officer of the temple, said that the rice would be distributed to devotees in bags each weighing about five kg.

The temple authorities made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the ritual. Barricades were set up for regulating the queue.

Zia-ul-Haq, Superintendent of Police, supervised the arrangements.

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