Fascinating Vadu Pari ritual, a part of Erapathu festival at Srirangam Ranganathar temple dedicated to Thirumangai mannan!!

outside 1000 pillar hall, Srirangam Ranganathar temple, TN.  Alamy.com
Srirangam temple gold horse mount. Vadu Pari ritual anudinam.org/
Vadu Pari ritual is part of Vaikuntha Ekadshi festival at Sri Ranganathar kovil, Srirangam. What is so special about this unique ritual is the story of king - turned  'robber' ''Thirumangai Azhvaar''(a devotee, and poet) way laying Lord Namperumal  and trying to take away his jewels was enacted on the 13 th of this month in the evening  before a large number of devotees  on the eighth day of the Era Pathu Festival. The ‘Thirumangaimannan Vedupari,’ is held in the sandy ground (Manal veli) in the 4th prakara at this temple  complex. Every year  the 8th day of erapathu is dedicated to king Thirumangai  as a sort of honor for his contribution to the ''Nalayira Divya Prabhandham''.  Among the Azhwar saints, his dedication to lord Vishnu is  a bit different. He visited  lots of Vishnu temples  - as many as 85  divya desa shrines across the land  and  sang in praise of the the almighty.Thirumangai Azhwar sang 1263 pasurams - devotional hymns  on lord Sri Vishnu and occupied a distinguished place among the string of Azhwars.

The legend is as follows: Born in Thiru Kuraiyulur,  close to Thiruvali-ThiruNagari Divya Desam near Sirkazhi (Tiruvarur District), Thirumangai Mannan (King), fell in love with a beautiful woman  Kumudavalli of Annan Koil. She wanted to initiate him into Vaishnavam, a Hindu sect and one of her conditions was to feed 1008 Vaishnavites daily. The task being an expense one, over a period of time, the king became poor,  however, neither his desire to marry the woman nor his dedication to  serve lord Vishnu showed any decline. With no money, now,  he resorted to way- laying rich people to fulfil his promises. One night, near Vedarajapuram when lord Lord Ranganatha of Thirunagari taking along with him his consort Amruthavalli Thayar of Thiruvali   Thirumangai  tried to waylay the lord in disguise  by flashing his  sharp weapons. Upon collecting the jewels in a small bag, he tried to lift it and run away. He could not lift the bag, not even an inch,  because it was too heavy.  Thirumangai stood there dazed. Then, the lord in disguise whispered  the ‘Astachara Mandiram’ into his ears and appeared  with his consort in Thiru  Kalyana Kolam (in wedding dress). 'Thirumangai Mannan'' (ex  ruler)  became a blessed soul and got the name  Thirumangai Azhvaar. The 10 day ‘Era Pathu’ festival called ‘Thiruvoimozhi Thirunaal’ was specially created for the Lord to listen to the beautiful Tamil composition of Nammazhwar.
Srirangam temple gold horse mount. Vadu Pari ritual anudinam.org
The function began after the processional deity Namperumal 
was brought on “Kuthirai Vaganam” (gold plated  horse) on the ‘Manalveli’(open sandy ground) inside the temple premises marking the commencement of the event. The lord began his journey at Santhanu mantapam and it was around 5.15 pm the deity was  brought to the Manaveli though the Aryabhattal gate.  At Manaveli temple honors were  presented  to the descendants of Thirumangai Mannan - Theeppakka Kula Thoppu family members.  There was  a brief anxiety among the devotees when one of the bamboo poles on which the deity was taken in a fast paced procession (Vaiyali Vagaira Kandarulal)  accidentally broke. Suspecting Deiva kuththam (blemish) the processional idol was  shifted to the Thousand Pillar Mandapam  in the 5th Prakara where special rituals were performed to correct it. The event continued thereafter as it was. On account of this ritual, the 'paramapada vasal' was closed on the 13th.  Pagal pathu began in the Arjuna mandap in the 2nd prakara last month. The Vaikuntha Ekadashi festival came to an end with the last ritual called Namazhwar Moksham   (Namazhwar reaching the abode of the lord -'Vaikuntham').
http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2007/08/108-divya-desams-thiru-indhalur.html) and Thiru Ninravur Divya Desams