Thaipusam Festival

18 January 2022

Religious

Palani, Tamil Nadu

35°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. 

Dates & Venue of Thaipusam Festival

According to the Tithi (date) as per the traditional Hindu calendar, the Thaipusam Festival is also referred to as Thaipooyam or Thaipoosam, and will be observed between January and February. Due to its mythological and traditional significance, it won’t be wrong to place it in the list of best festivals of Tamil Nadu. This festival is organized at Palani Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Temple. This 10-day long festival is also known as Bramhotsav. 

History & Significance of Thaipusam Festival 

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.

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 Palani, Tamil Nadu

The town of Palani where this festival is celebrated with great gusto is situated in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. It is easy to access this place using multiple modes of transportation. Check out the information stated below on how to reach Palani, Tamil Nadu. 

  • Nearest metropolitan city. Coimbatore
  • Distance from Coimbatore. 114 km
  • Nearest airport. Coimbatore International Airport
  • Nearest railway station. Coimbatore Railway Junction

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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. 

  • Distance From Coimbatore Airport. 114 Km
  • Distance From Madurai Airport. 133.1 Km

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. 

  • Distance From Coimbatore Railway Station. 107.7 Km

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. 

  • Distance From Dindigul. 60 Km
  • Distance From Thrissur. 161 Km
  • Distance From Kozhikode. 220 Km
  • Distance From Delhi. 2536 Km
  • Distance From Mumbai. 1383 Km
  • Distance From Kolkata. 2160 Km
  • Distance From Bengaluru. 393 Km

Frequently Asked Questions about Thaipusam Festival

Ques 1. Why is the Thaipusam Festival celebrated?

Ans 1. The Thaipusam Festival is celebrated to honour  Lord Murugan or Lord Subramaniam. During this festival, a huge procession is taken out. Blessings are sought from the Lord Almighty to ward off any evil and to offer thanks. 

Ques 2. Why is piercing done during Thaipusam Festival?

Ans 2. Hindus pierce different parts of their bodies like tongue, cheeks, and skin with a Vel or hook to commemorate the day when Lord Murugan received a lance which was used to vanquish three demons. 

Ques 3. What are the highlights of Thaipusam Festival?

Ans 3. Thaipusam Festival is celebrated with a lot of fanfare and excitement. Many devotees shave their heads and engage in different types of devotional activities. They carry a pot of milk or kavadi to offer to Lord Murugan. Flesh mortification by piercing cheeks, tongue, and skin is also seen in many devotees. 

Ques 4. What is the meaning of Thaipusam?

Ans 4. Thaipusam means the time when all cultures and people of all castes come together to pay their respects to Lord Murugan, offer thanks, and seek his blessings. It is the way in which Hindus show their appreciation for the God Almighty. 

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