The Mahasivarathri Utsavams are being celebrated as Brahmothsavams in the month of Magham (the 11th month of Indian Lunar Calendar) which falls usually in the month of February/March.
This is a festival of eleven days with Navahaknika Deeksha. The Mahasivarathri day (29th day of Magham) is the most important day of the festival. The important events of the celebrations are Ankurarpana, Dhwajarohana, Vahana Sevas to God and Goddess, Lingodhbhavakala Maharudrabhishekam to God, Pagalankarana, Kalyanothsavam, Radhothsavam and Dhwajavarohana.
The Brahmothsavams begins with Ankurarpana a religious ritual on the occasion of festival followed by the Dhwajarohana in which Dhwaja Patam (a white flag) marked with Nandi symbol is hoisted on the Dhwajasthambha of the temple. It is said that the Dhwajarohana is the significant event of the starting of Brahmothsavams for inviting all Gods and goddesses (Devathalu).
The Vahana Sevas are another important event of the celebrations in which the procession of the God and Goddess will took place on various vahanas (devine vehicles) like Seshavahanam, Mayuravahanam, Nandivahanam and Aswavahanam.
On the Mahasivarathri day at midnight during Lingodbhavakalam (the scared time in which God Siva manifests in the form of huge flaming Linga) Abhishekam will be performed to God Mallikarjuna Swamy in a religious manner.
The Pagalankarana is a unique custom finds only in Srisailam temple and is the most significant event of the festival. In this a person belongs to weavers community (Devanga) tie a lengthy new white cloth called as Paga (Turban) starting from the Sikhara of the Swayvari Vimana Gopuram passing around the Nandi idols placed on the Mukhamandapam of the temple. The interesting feature of this event is that the Devanga will decorate the Paga with naked body in total darkness and all the lights at that time are put off in the temple.
The cloth used in the Pagalankarana is hand woven by weavers throughout the year. Nearly 30 Pagas are offered by various weavers individually as a vow and all the Pagas will be decorated simultaneously by a single weaver.
After Pagalankarana Kalyanothsavam of God Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi will be performed. The Radhothsavam (Car festival) will be commenced in an effective manner on the next day of Mahasivaratri at the evening hours. More than One Lakh of pilgrim public will participate in the Car festival.
The celebration ends with the Dhwajavarohana in which the Dhwaja Patakam (flag) is removed from the Dhwajasthambham.
The Ugadi celebrations performed for a period of five days. The festival begins three days before the Ugadi day i.e., Telugu New Years day (Chaitra Suddha Padyami) which generally falls in March / April. Nearly five Lakhs of pilgrims particularly from Karnataka and Maharastra States are visiting the temple during these utsavams.
The important events of the celebrations Vahana Sevas to God and Goddess, Alankaras to Goddess, Veerachara Vinyasalu and Car festival. The celebration begins with several rituals such as Punyahavachanam, Akhanda Sthapana, Mantaparadhana and Ankurarpana etc.,
On every day of the celebrations various special poojas like Pratyeka Abhishekam to God, Navavaranarchana to Goddess, Rudrahomam and Chandihomam are performed.
An interesting feature is of that most of the people of Karnataka and some parts of Maharastra visited the temple on the occasion of these utsavams by traveling the whole distance on foot and presents their yearly offerings i.e., tamarind, kumkum, saree, mangala sutram, flowers etc., to Goddess Bhramaramba Devi. They also carry Nandikavallu ( called as Kambi in Kannada) on their shoulders which consist of Nandi images and offered pooja to it every day during their travel to Srisailam.
On the night before Ugadi day a particular group of Kannada devotees called as Ganacharis express their devotion by performing the Agnigunda Pravesam i.e., walking on the blowing embers. They are also piercing with sharp pointed weapons to their forehead, tongue, cheek, chin, hands etc. This practice is named as Veerachara Vinyasalu.
The Alankaras offered to Goddess are Mahalakshmi, Mahadurga, Mahasaraswathi, Rajarajeswari and Nijalankarana of Bhramaramba. The Vahana Sevas performed to God and Goddess are Bhringivahanam, Nandivahanam, Kailasavahanam and Ravana Vahanam.
On evening hours of every day the procession of Vahana Sevas and Alankaras will took place. The Car festival performed at the evening hours of Ugadi day in a grand manner. About 3 Lakhs pilgrims will visit the temple during the above period.
October. The important events of this utsavam are performing of Chandiyagam, Rudrayagam, Navadurga alankaras to Goddess and Vahana Sevas to God and Goddess besides several special poojas. Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is mainly worshiped in these utsavams.
The celebration begins with the Ganapathi pooja followed by the Kalasa Sthapana and ends with Poornahuthi.
On every day of celebrations various religious rituals like Srichakrarchana, Navavarana pooja, Anustanams, Devi Sapthasathi Parayanas, etc., besides Yagams are performed. Apart these Kumari Pooja, Suhasini Pooja are also conducted at evening hours. In the Kumari Pooja girls within the age group of between 2 to 8 years and in Suhasini Pooja Soubhagyavati (a women whose husband is living) are worshiped as deities. The Dampathi (Couple) Pooja is also took part on Mahanavami day i.e., on the 9th day in which pooja is offered to five couples. This day closes with the offering of sacrificial rice, breaking of pumpkins, coconuts etc., to the Goddess as Satvikabali.
After completion of nine days, on the day of Dasara festival Poornahuthi of Chandiyagam and Rudrayagam are performed in the day time. On that evening Sami Pooja (worship to Prosopia tree) is performed. It is said that by seeing the Sami pooja one can get victory in his activities.
The Navadurga Alankaras offered to utsava Vigraham of Goddess Bhramaramba in these utsavams are Saila Putri (Parvathi), Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmandadurga, Skandamatha, Katyayini, Kalaratri, Mahagouri and Siddhidayini. In the evening hours of every day special poojas are performed to these Alankaramurthies.
Apart the above various Vahana Sevas viz., Bhringivahanam, Mayuravahanam, Ravana Vahanam, Kailasa Vahanam, Hamsavahanam, Seshavahanam, Nandivahanam, Gaja Vahanam and Aswavahanam are offered to God and Goddess. The procession of both the Alankaram, and Vahanam are arranged on a grand manner every day
Kumbhothsavam is the most significant festival of the temple of Srisailam in which various offerings are made to Goddess Bhramaramba Devi. This festival celebrates on the first Tuesday or Friday (which ever first comes) after full moon day of Chaitram, the beginning month of Indian Calendar.
It is said that on this day the Goddess is ferocious and so that various poojas like Navavarana, Trisathi, Khadgamala etc., are performed in Ekantham i.e., the doors of Bhramaramba temple remain closed and Archakas themselves performed poojas and there will not be usual darshanam at that time. In the evening a man who dressed saree like a woman comes to the temple to offer Mangala Harathi to the Goddess named as Kumbhaharathi and at time the doors of the temples will open. After performing of Kumbha Harathi the Goddess is covered with large quantity of Turmeric and Kumkuma and then Satvikabali i.e., Kumbham (large quantity of cooked rice), breaking of Pumpkins, Coconuts on a large number and more than 50 thousands of lemons etc., are offered to Goddess.
On this day the local tribal people called as Chenchus themselves engage in tribe dances before the Goddess and their prominence is much more in the celebrations.
According to tradition it is known that in ancient days there is Vamachara Sampradayam in which Human and Animal sacrifices are practiced in the temple. Later the Advaitha Philosopher Adi Sankara who is believed to have lived in 5th & 6th century A.D., put an end for the Vamachara Cult and introduced Dakshinachara cult in which the Satvikabali (offering of Pumpkins, Coconuts etc) was taken place.
At the afternoon of Kumbhothsavam day Annabhishekam is performed to God Mallikarjuna Swamy and after this the deity is covered with curd rice and temple doors remain closed till the early hours of next day.
These Utsavams are performed on the occasion of Makara Sankramanam and are celebrated for a period of seven days with Panchahnika Deeksha in the month of Pushyam (the 10th month of Indian Calendar) which falls in the month of January.
These utsavams begins with the Dhwajarohana and ends with the Dhwajavarohana. In this celebrations various special rituals like Rudrahomam, Chandihhomam,Pushpotsavam, Brahmothsava Kalyanam,Sayanotsavam etc., are performed as per custom and usage besides various Vahana Sevas
Arudra is the birth Star of God Siva. In Dhanurmasam on the day of Arudra Nakshatram Special Poojas like Lingodhbhavakala Rudrabhishekam, Annabhishekam and Vahana Seve are offered to God Mallikarjuna Swamy.
Karthikam, the 8th month of Indian Calendar is said to be the most auspicious month. On the important days of this month like Mondays, full moon day etc., Deepothsavam in which a large number of lamps are lighted in the temple premises. On the full moon day of the month Jwalathoranam (bonfire) performed in the temple. It is said that by mere seeing the said Jvalathoranam one can get clear of from sins.
Large number of pilgrims will visit the temple during Kartheeka Masam especially 30 to 40 thousands pilgrims will visit the temple during Sunday and Mondays of said .
These Utsavams are performed in Sravanam (August & September) the 5th month of Indian Calendar. In this month several special poojas are offered to God and Goddess. The special feature of this utsavam is of that Akhanda Sivanama Sankeerthana (Bhajana) performed round the clock continuously throughout the month.
Besides the above the fallowing Monthly and fortnight festivals are also being performed.
|Sl.No||Name of the Utsavam||Poojas Performed|
|1||Masasivaratri||Mahanyasapurvaka Rudrabhishekam & Bilwarchana to Sri Swamy Varu (In the evening time)|
|2||Arudra Nakshtram||Mahanyasapurvaka Rudrabhishekam & Annabhishekam to Sri Swamy varu|
|3||Pournami (Full Moon Day)||Laksha Kumkumarchana to Sri Ammavaru|
|4||Moola Nakshatram||Navavarana Puja to Sri Ammavaru|
|5||Sravana Nakshatram||Navavarana Puja to Sri Ammavaru|
|6||Suddha Chavithi Puja||Vrathakalpa Purvaka Shodashopachara Puja to Sri Ratnagarbha Ganapathi|
|7||Bahula Chavithi Puja||Vrathakalpa Purvaka Shodashopachara Puja to Sri Ratnagarbha Ganapathi.|
|8||Kruthika Nakshatram||Vrathakalpa Purvaka Shodashopachara Puja to Sri Kumara Swamy|