Karthigai Deepam festival 2023 at Thiruparankundram Subramanya Swamy Temple Madurai, TN

T.P.Kundram, Madurai.Karthigai Deepamhi-in.facebook.com

Every year the annual Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated on a grand scale at  Thiruparankundram  Subramanya Swamy Temple, near Madurai city, TN. It is   one of the six popular abodes of God Muruga and devotees stand in line from Avaniapuram junction up to the temple to have Darshan.  A large number of them do girivalam (walk barefoot around the hill) and then have darshan.   

karthigai deepam copper cauldrons. Thiruparam kundram, 

The highlight of the festival, Lighting of ‘Maha Deepam’ atop the middle of hill about 150 ft takes place to day (November 26th) in the evening in the presence of lots of devotees and govt. officials on the hill.. During the festivities  special pujas and abhishekam are  done to the deities.. For the Maha Deepam, a huge copper vessel  is filled with ghee  (300 to 350 kg) and a wick (made of 150 meter of cotton cloth) at the center. Besides 5 kgs of camphor (karpooram) is used and the lamp will burn for a few days. There is a special Deepa stand  permanently erected on the premises of Ucchipilliyar kovil on the hill. When the temple's hug bell rings in the evening Maha Deepam will be lit on the stand. The flame will leap up to 10 ft.  In all Hindu homes in and around this area  earthen lamps will be lit after maha deepam is lit on the Thiruparankundram hill. 

Shiva -pillar of light in.pinterest.com

Above image: Shiva appeared before Gods Vishnu and brahma in the form of a giant pillar of fire (agni) touching the heaven and earth implying god has no beginning or end. The Maha Deepam at Tiruvannamalai is looked upon as the column of fire as Shiva appeared on the Arunachala hill. 

Tiruparankundram Murugan temple. .liturgicaltemples.com

Around 7 pm God Muruga and his consort Devaney will be taken around the Sannadhi street on the golden peacock vahana. Back in the temple the deities will be kept in the 16 pillared hall- mandap for darshan.  Soon Chokkapani (bonfire) event will take place and the tradition has been that the farmers in this area will use the ash from the burnt  chokkapani and sprinkle it on the agricultural land for better yield.