The Arubathimoovar Festival Of the 63 Nayanmars in Chennai

News | | March 29, 2013 at 12:02 am


The Arubathimoovar Festival is a festival that is always in the news in the months of March and April in Chennai in South India. Held in celebration of the deities of the ancient and famous Kapaleeshwar temple in Mylapore in Chennai every year, this year it is being celebrated  from  March 1 to April 30, 2013.

This unique Indian festival is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva’s 63 saints or Arubathimoovar or 63 Nayanmars who led a life of self mortification and devotion. The tradition is to take out a procession of the bronze idols of these 63 saints with pomp and grandeur.

Arubathimoovar Festival Parade Kapaleeshwar Temple in Mylapore

Devotees come from across the state of Tamil Nadu to attend the festival which been taking place since four centuries and more. Preparations begin at least  before a month and a half. There is no space to stand outside the temple during this time. It is really astounding to see so many devotees braving the heat of the April sun, and waiting with resilience and devotion  just to get a glimpse of the saints ‘ idols and get the blessings of their favourite God.

Arubathimoovar Festival in Chennai

Mylapore,  a popular area in Chennai and gets its name from the word  “Myil “meaning peacock in Tamil and “ooru” meaning place. During the festival offerings of flowers and fruits are also done. Bright designs adorn the front portion of the houses while folk dances like Koothu and Kokkalikattai and thoippavai puppet shows are performed for the public.

Celebrating The 63 Saints of Shiva

The highlight of the Arubathimoovar festival is the way in which the people of Chennai come together and contribute to giving food and drinks to all these tired devotees who come here from far off places. One can see some giving rice khichdi, some others giving rose milk, some giving buttermilk while others giving fruits. People feel fulfilled that they have contributed to God in this manner

India with its myriad festivals thus gives the Arubathimoovar festival to the kitty in this month of April.

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