Vardhanti beckons devotees

Vardhanti beckons devotees

Religious

religious fervour: Devotees offering puja at the steps leading to Chamundi Hills in Mysore. Dh photos by prashanth h gFor the pious, the Aashada month has a special significance. Though, the month is forbidden for marriages and other good ceremonies, the Hindu belief is that Aashada is an auspicious month. While, Aashada Fridays have a true attachment to women who observe the day with devotion.

Being an abode of famous Chamundeshwari temple on the Chamundi hill, the city occupies the highest sanctity attached to it. If people across state pay allegiance to goddess Chamundeshwari in this month, Chamundi temple atop hill has a special ritual – Vardhanti Utsav held in Aashada.

The Vardhanti, popularly called Ammanavara Vardhanthi is observed on the Revathi nakshathra day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Aashada. Though, it is observed as the birthday celebrations of goddess Chamundeshwari, in real sense it marks the day when the ruler of Wadiyar dynasty Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar installed a “Utsava Murthy” (a replica of the goddess’s idol in sanctum sanctorum).

Since then, the day is observed as Vardhanthi when the “Utsava Murthy” of the goddess is carried on a golden palanquin along with special pooja offering. Thousands of devotees throng the temple to attend the Vardhanti from across state and various parts of the region.

Shashishekara Dixith, chief priest of Chamundeshwari temple told City Herald that the more than two and half centuries old temple has followed the ritual to celebrate
Vardhanti in a grand manner.

Even as the temple comes alive with flower decoration and illumination for Aashada Fridays, the authorities are gearing up to manage the heavy rush and crowd expected to throng hill shrine on Vardhanti. Priests and temple authorities are preparing for the smooth conduct of the ritual.

“Chamundi temple has a strong vibes and energy. Markandaiah Maharshi installed the idol in sanctum sanctorum many hundreds years ago. While, existing temple was constructed during the period of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, whose lineage worship the goddess as family deity. It is the only temple where the deity is offered Abhisheka twice everyday – in early morning and in evening, which makes it an abode of strong spiritual vibe providing protection from evils,” he says.

On Vardhanthi, the goddess is offered special poojas like Rudrabhisheka, Panchamruthabhisheka, Sahasranamarchane in early morning and Mahamangalarathi at 10 am. While, evening pooja includes durbar utsav inside temple premises and Thambula charana besides special Abhisheka.

The priest says more than a lakh devotees are expected to throng the hill on July 22 for Vardhanti – this year annual Vardhanti coincides with Aashada Friday which happens once in a while.

Mythology

The Chamundi hill was earlier known as Mahabalagiri when the present Mysore was known as Mahishapura as Mahishasura, a demon is believed to have lived here. The hill got its name as Chamundi hill after goddess Chamundeshwari killed Mahishasura in a fierce fighting on hill top.  

Royal family of Mysore has immense belief and devotion for the goddess and begin the Navarathri utsava (nine-day dasara festivities) to celebrate Chamundeshwari killing the demon. Many traditions are still followed like delivery of first prasada of goddess to the scion of royal family Srikantadutta Narasimharaja Wadiyar when he ascends the golden throne for a private durbar during dasara. The ritual was in practise during erstwhile maharajas’ period too.

 

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