This three-day festival starts with ankurarpanam (sowing the nine kinds of seeds) ceremony conducted on the day of Uttarabhadra star, one day before the commencement of Vasanthotsavam festival.
Punyaha Vachanam (purification rites), vaasthu santhi (worship of deity and lord of nature and their elements and natural forces as well as lord and deity of directions and environment) and samprokshanam (sprinkling of holy water as a symbolic representation of purification) rituals are performed by the temple priests. Access to these rituals is not open to public.
On all these three days, Sri Malayappa Swamy and His consorts are brought to beautifully decorated Vasanta Mandapam in a procession from the main temple. In Vasanta Mandapam, Abhisekham which means Snapana Thirumanjanam (Holy Bath with aromatic ingredients) is performed to the processional deity of Lord Sri Malayappa Swamy and His consorts on first two days.
On the third day, Lord Sri Rama with Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya and Sri Krishna with Rukmini and Satyabhama are also taken out in procession along with Lord Malayappa Swamy and His consorts. At the end of procession, all the Utsava murthies are brought to Vasanta Mandapam where Snapana Tirumanjanam is performed with religious fervour.
This ceremony is performed strictly as per the agamas and is conducted four times year viz. before Ugadi, Anivara Asthanam, Vaikunta Eakadasi and Annual Brahmotsavams.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
This festival was first instituted by Saluva Mallaiah Deva Raya in 1463 A.D. at Tirumala during the period of Saluva Narasimha as per the inscription 157 present in Srivari Temple. During these three days, Tirumanjanam and Homam are performed to the main deity and as well as primary idols of Lord Sri Venkateswar Swamy. As a prelude to this purification festival Ankurarpanam is performed a day before where in nine types of cereals are sowed in an earthen container which marks the beginning of the festival. The significance of the festival is that the priests symbolically seek the pardon of the Lord for their acts of all omissions and commissions committed either knowingly or unknowingly during the performance of daily rituals to the presiding deity inside the temple all through the year. On the day of Ankurarpanam, the processional deity of Lord Senadhipathi is taken out in procession to the Vasantha Mandapam. On the first day of Pavithrotsavam, Homam (Prayer to Sacrificial Fire) is performed at Yagasala situated inside the temple followed by Snapana Thirumanjanam(celestial bath) for about two hours to the processional deities with sandal, turmeric, milk, curd and honey. In the evening the processional deities are taken out for a pleasure ride around four mada streets, blessing pilgrims who converge to witness the grandeur of Lord Malayappa Swamy draped in dazzling Gold and Diamond jewels. On the second day, after Snapana Thirumanjanam(celestial bath) special puja is performed to the silk woven holy threads called “Pavithralu” which are the sanctified threads. The unique feature about this thread is that it has five colours which are Black, Blue, Red, Yellow and Green. “Pavitralu” will be tied around the head, neck, waist etc of Lord before taken for the procession. They are also tied to various deities inside the temple as well as deities of sub-temples located inside the prakaram including Ananda Nilaya Vimana Venkateswara Swamy, Yoga Narasimha Swamy etc. and also to Lord Sri Bhuvarhaswamy located adjacent to Swami Pushkarini. These holy silk threads are woven out of a special variety of high quality cotton which is grown exclusively in the land that is meant to grow Tulasi plant which is considered to be sacred for Hindus.
On the third the sacred Homam is performed followed by Snapana Tirumanjanam, followed by rituals like Visesha Samarpana, procession along four mada streets and concludes with Purnahuthi which takes place inside the main temple.
This ceremony is performed after Annual Brahmotsavams on the asterism of Sravanam which also happens to be the birth star of Lord Venkateswara, usually in the month of Krittika as per Hindu calendar which falls during October or November. Ankurarpanam is done prior to the Pushpayagam. On this day, after the daily pujas, Sri Malayappa Swami along with Sridevi and Bhudevi are seated on a special golden platform in Sampangi Mandapam. After offering Tirumanjanam to the utsava murtis worship is done to them with tones of varieties of flowers. Later procession takes place in the evening. As per the scriptures, this festival is usually performed to save the earth from natural calamities such as quakes, cyclones, epidemics and appease the Lord to save the life of humanity, flora and fauna from all the catastrophes.
The Pushpa Yagam Festival originally was started in the 15th Century and was reinstated in 1980's by the TTDs.
Every year during Phalguna Pournami, this festival is celebrated on a grand scale in the Swami Pushkarini for five days in the month of Chaitra (March). On the first day, Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshmana are offered worship and taken out for a celestial ride on the finely decked float in Swamy Pushkarini. On the second day, Lord Sri Krishna and Rukmini are offered puja and taken for pleasure ride on float. During the remaining three days beginning with Trayodasi and ending with Pournami, Sri Malayappa Swami along with Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken out for a ride in the temple tank. On the third day, there will be three rounds followed by five rounds and on the final day, the utsava murtis will be taken out for pleasure ride on the impressively decorated float for seven rounds. The pilgrims throng to see the grandeur of the deities on this particular day since, the charm of full moon is an added attraction to the divine beauty of the deities. Arjita seva ticket holders who take part in this float festival will have darsan of the Lord after the festival.
This festival is performed in the holy month of Jyestha as per Hindu Almanac and the fete is completed coinciding the star of Jyestha in the constellation. This festival is also called “Abhidhyeyaka Abhishekam”.
“Abhidhyeyakam” means protective shield or armour (that which cannot be destructed). To fight against the evil, the Lord emerged with this protective armour in this Kaliyuga. Since the special abhishekam (celestial bath) is conducted to this special “Armour of God” this festival is also called Abhidhyeyaka Abhishekam. As this festival takes place in the month of Jyestha it is also known as “ Jyesthabhishekam ”.
As per the temple legendary, this special Abhishekam is usually performed every year to protect the Utsava deities of Lord Malayappa swami and His consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi from damage that might occur while conducting processions and Tirumanjanam (holy baths) all through the year during different festive occasions.
Meanwhile the festival lasts for three days. Each day after the second bell , the Lord and His consorts are taken to the Kalyanotsava mandapam located in Sampangi Prakaram and Snapana Tirumanjanam is conducted amidst the chanting of vedic mantras. Snapana Tirumanjanam involves performing a bath to the deities involving holy and consecrated water mixed with spices including turmeric , sandal paste, honey, milk and curd.
Later the Lord and His consorts are adorned in different attires (special kavachams)on each of these days. On First Day Lord muses pilgrims in Vajrakavacham (armour studded with diamonds), while on the second day in Muthyala kavcham (armour studded with pearls) and Svarna kavacham (armour of gold) on the third day. This Svarna kavacham remains adorned to the Lord and His consorts throughout the year and only removed for Abhidhyeyaka Abhishekam in the year next.
As per the tradition followed by the Devasthanams, temple accounts begin from Dakshinayana (winter solstice) in July. Anivara Asthanam, the grand durbar festival of Lord Venkateswara, is celebrated on that day (usually on July 16).
On this day the previous year accounts are submitted to the Lord and begins a new financial yaer opening a new book. All the principal officers of the temple deposit their insignia of office at the feet of the Lord and take them back. The significance of the cermony is that the Lord allows them to hold their respective offices as He found them fit.
In the evening the Lord is taken round along the four Mada streets in procession on a richly decorated floral palanquin. It is a remarkable spectacle for devotees who patircipate in this arjita seva to witness and enjoy the majestic presence of the Lord .