The Sapthasthanam Festival takes place in Thiruvaiyar every year
Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April – May). Sapthasthanam Festival that takes place in Chithirai when
Nandikeswarar, on a Vahana horse, with his wife Swayambirakaasai, on one
Litter make a procession with seven temples around Thiruvaiyaru
Ayaarappar and Aram Valartha Nayaki.
The festival begins at the Pancha Natheeswarar Temple.
On this day, Lord Pancha Natheeswarar begins a procession
his wife goddess Parvati. Shiva Ganas like Nandi and Bhringi, followers and
others visit six pilgrimage centers around Thiruvaiyaru.
These are holy places Thirupazhanam, known as Kaushika
Ashrama, Tiruccorruturai (Gautama Ashrama), Thiruvedhikudi (Vyasa Ashram),
Thirukandiyur, Tirupuntturutti and Tiruneittanam.
In these centers, Lord Panchanadeeswarar is received by the
local deities like Apatasahayeshwara, Odavaneshwara, Vedanayakeshwara,
Virateshwara, Pusphavaneshwara and Ghrtasthaneshwara.
The Lord returns to Thiruvaiyaru at the end of the year
Trip. These places are called Sapthasthanams together with Thiruvaiyaru.
Thousands of devotees take part in the procession and march singing
Devotional songs and visit to all seven shrines.
are greeted with flowers, ghee and holy food at each of the temples
with the Vedic chants and together with the respective Lords and Ambal in Thirupazhanam, Thiruchotruthurai, Thiru Vethikudi, Thiru Kandiyur, Thiru
Bhoonthuruththi and Thiru Neithaanam. It is quite a sight to see the gods
go around and finally gather Pancha Natheeswarar temple in Thiruvaiyaru on Vishaka Nakshatra day in Chithirai.
According to tradition great music composers like Tyagaraja
and Muttuswami Dikshitar accompanied the Sapthasthanam procession.
sing their compositions together with their students.
In recent years, the well-known composer Papanasham Shiva
accompanied this procession for many years and sang prayer songs.
History of Srivaishnavism (1923) T A Gopinath Madra University
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IX page 256 – IHRF
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