Tiruchendur temple, TN "Soorasamharam" event 2023 took place with religious fervor and devotion

2023 Tiruchendur soora samharam thehindu.com

 Tiruchendur Murugan temple, TN tiruchendur.org

Above image (old one 2018) Tiruchendur Murugan temple, TN: God Kartikeya / Murugan emerges from His Kanda Sasti Mandapam for Soorasamharam  on the sixth day.After this event,Śrī Subramanya Valli Teyvanai Tiru Kalyanam (wedding) will take place.............................

This year on November 17, 2023 tens of thousands of devotees from various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring States witnessed the highlight of the popular ''Kandha Sashti'' festival, Soorasamharam (annihilation of demon)  at Tiruchendur in Thoothukudi district. 

The ''Kandha Shasti'' festival, an important event associated with six shrines (Aarupadai  Veedu in Tamil) of Subramanya Swamy (Karthikeya/Muruga), is celebrated with devotion in the month of November and the festival may last 6 to 7 days,  depending on the temples and their traditions. The festival commences with  customary temple flag-hoisting on an auspicious day and time followed by  complex Yagasala  pooja  rituals

Devotees began their Sashti fast on the premises of Subramaniya Swami temple here when The Kanda Sashti yagasala puja had started on November 13   after  viswaroopa deeparadhana and udhaya marthanda abhishekam were held. Upon  taking a holy dip in the sea,  countless devotees began their Sashti fast on the premises of Subramaniya Swami temple here for which  21 temporary sheds were set up by the temple office.  On Saturday, Soorasamharam began at 5.15 p.m  after the completion of  rituals  and other traditional ceremonies  that began at 1 a.m. After deeparadhana at Santhosha mandapam, Lord Murugan (Uchava murthy) was taken out in a procession. 

''Soora  Samharam''(Slaying of demon) is a mock up battle between vicious demon Soorapadman and his troops on one side and Lord Karthikeya on the other side in which the lord slays the demon, thus restoring peace and tranquility in the region and this colorful and exciting event takes place on the seashore near the temple. Once the event with fanfare is over, the lord's idol is taken with reverence back to the temple. Devotees , after this event, take a holy dip in the tank, purportedly to wash off their sins. This  festival is symbolic of  the victory of the good over the evil.

 This time, the temple was overcrowded, the Police took special precautions and   erected towers on the beach to monitor the crowd, apart they had  CCTC cameras  fixed at  80 vantage points to keep an eye on the hooligans and other criminal activities. Not  to be content, they had .Check-posts  at 20 spots in and around Tiruchendur. Police personnel were deployed at vital junctions to prevent traffic bottlenecks, An additional posse of police took care of the security around the popular temple. 

The district administration had  Six LED screens installed on the beach to enable  the devotees to witness the highlight of the annual festival -  Soorasamharam.  This year for the   Soorasamharam, more than 5,00,000  devotees  were expected  to descend on the seashore temple at Tiruchendur. 

thiruchendur Murugan temple, TN tock.adobe.com

Above image: Thiruchendur Murugan temple, TN:  This big temple  built for the child god Muruga to pray to Lord Shiva. Hence  in  the  Sanctum,  Lord Subramanya Swamy is seen in the posture of worshiping Lord Shiva...................................

Soorasamharam, TN. tiruchendur.org

The importance of this colorful festival is fasting . ''Kandha Shasti Vratham'' (fasting)  is  strictly observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi' (October–November), starting from the ‘piratamai' the 1st phase of the brightening  moon. The mind  is  supposed to  be cleansed by fasting, pilgrimage, prayer, meditation and other devotional activities that will put them on the path of Dharma in a world where dishonesty and evil rule the roost.  

During the festival days the devotees  must abstain from drinks and non-vegetarian food and do pooja (prayer) regularly  in the early morning after bath. They also fast by just taking one meal  a day. 'Devotees  never fail to  practice  celibacy during the festival period.  Innumerable  ardent devotees walk long distance barefoot, covering more than 20 kms to the temples dedicated to Karthkaya /Muruga to fulfill their prayer/vow,  a tedious religious undertaking by people of all walks of life. Driven by intense devotion and commitments, they do it without feeling the pangs of fatigue and pain when doing long patha yatra to the temple.