Thaipusam Festival

18 January 2022

Religious

Palani, Tamil Nadu

26°C / Clouds

Thaipusam Festival is a widely recognized fiesta of cultural celebrations among the Tamil people not just in India but all over the globe. On the occasion of Thaipusam, the devotees worship Lord Kartikeya aka Lord Murugan. This festival mainly falls on the full moon day during the month of Thai; a time when the Pushya (Pusam) Nakshatra prevails brightly in the sky. 

According to the Tithi (date) as per the traditional Hindu calendar, the Thaipusam Festival 2022 also referred to as Thaipooyam or Thaipoosam will be observed between January and February. And due to its mythological and traditional significance, it won’t be wrong to place it in the list of best festivals of Tamil Nadu.

History Behind Thaipusam 

Going by the historical beliefs, it was on this day that Lord Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati was born. Many also believe that it was also on this very day that Goddess Parvati had gifted a spear to Lord Murugan before his battle with Soorapadnam, an asura (demon) who was the son of Rishi Vajranaga and Princess Varangi. According to this particular anecdote, the devas were defeated by Soorapadnam countless times. So, finally, seeing no other option, they went to Lord Shiva for help, who in turn, with his mystical powers produced a mighty warrior (Lord Kartikeya) out of akashic nothingness (ethereal emptiness). Following this, Lord Kartikeya indulged in brutal warfare with the demon and slew him for the good of humankind. Perhaps, this is the reason why Lord Murugan is also known as the Hindu God of War.

Also Read: A festival that celebrates a man who actively preached peace and equality throughout his life

Major Attractions of Thaipusam Festival

1. Preparations for the Divine Celebration

Everyone prepares extensively for the celebrations of this enchanting Hindu festival. The usual playbook of these preparations includes the devotees keeping their bodies clean, regular prayers are also done for the cleanliness of thoughts and emotions. Apart from this, the devotees also follow a strict vegetarian diet and even observe celibacy and fasts before the commencement of festivities.

2. An Extravaganza of Devotion

On the occasion of the Thaipusam Festival in Tamil Nadu, the devotees of Lord Murugan all across the world worship him and seek his blessings to ward off any kind of evil from their lives. They also perform the ceremonial ritual of Kavadi Attam. Kavadi (which literally translates into burden)  is basically a semi-circular wooden canopy-like structure supported using a rod in which the devotees carry the puja offerings (mainly milk) for the Lord. These Kavadis are beautifully decorated with all kinds of decor items like flowers, peacock feathers, etc. It is believed that performing all these rituals gives the devotees courage to battle all kinds of odds faced in life. Many also pierce their cheeks and tongues with spears during the whole religious affair. People who don’t participate in Kavadi Attam, celebrate the festival at their homes & offer the Lord milk, fruits, flowers and adorn him with yellow clothes. 

3. Celebrations Outside India and Body Piercing

Apart from India, this cultural fest is observed in several other countries like the USA, Mauritius, Malaysia, South Africa, and Singapore. In each and every aforementioned country, hundreds and thousands of people collectively observe Thaipusam with great enthusiasm and fervor. One can also see many people who, out of devotion, even go to the extent of severely piercing their bodies to please the Lord with all kinds of hooks, skewers, and lances known as ‘Vel’ in the local language. 

How to Reach 

The town of Palani where this festival is celebrated with great gusto is situated at an approximate distance of 2,536, 1,383, 2,160, 393 km from Indian metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru respectively. Check out the information stated below on how to reach Palani, Tamil Nadu. 

By Air. Deboard at either Coimbatore Airport (CJB) or Madurai Airport (IXM) as per your convenience. Both the aerodromes are located at a distance of 114 and 122 km from Palani respectively and have overall good flight connectivity. From the airport, you can choose to continue your journey towards Palani via cab or a bus. 

  • From Pune - Board IndiGo flights from Pune Airport and deboard at the Coimbatore Airport. The airfares will cost you about INR 6,000-8,000
  • From Kolkata - Board IndiGo, AirAsia flights from Kolkata Airport, and deboard at Coimbatore Airport. The airfares will cost you about INR 6,000-7,000
  • From Surat - Board IndiGo and Spicejet flights from Surat Airport and deboard at Madurai Airport. The airfares will cost you around INR 6,000-8,000

By Train. You can deboard at the Coimbatore Railway Junction (CBE) and from there take a cab or some other means of public transportation like a bus to reach your respective destination. The station is well connected with other nearby states and witnesses regular trains to and fro on a daily basis. 

  • From Bengaluru - Board YPR CAN FEST SPL from YESVANTPUR JUNCTION and deboard at Coimbatore Junction 
  • From Nashik - Board CBE Festival SPL from Nashik Road Junction and deboard at Coimbatore Junction
  • From Cochin - Board TVC SCL EXPRESS from Ernakulam Town and deboard at Coimbatore Junction 

By Road. You can also consider traveling to Palani via road as well. Depending upon your geographical location you can easily take a bus, or hire a private cab to reach here. If you want to travel at your own pace and if it suits your budget, then consider traveling via your own vehicle. 

  • From Dindigul - 60 km via Dindigul-Palani Road
  • From Thrissur - 161 km via NH83
  • From Kozhikode - 220-240 km via Kozhikode-Malappuram-Palakkad Highway

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.

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