Srirangam Vaikunta Ekadasi
India glories in its rich culture and heritage. Festivals are opportunities and events when this rich cultural heritage can be flaunted. Vaikunta Ekadasi is popularly celebrated in most of the South Indian states. Srirangam is blessed with the largest temple of Lord Vishnu known as Ekadasi Mukkoti Temple. This massive temple of about 6, 31,000 square metre area is also the highest known temple.
Ekadasi in itself is a holy day when religious people worship deities, visit temples, keep fasts and indulge in charity. Tamil Nadu based Srirangam Temple opens its Northern gates on this pious day and this important ritual is known as Swarga Vasal or Parampada Vasal. It is believed that passing through this gate on the Vaikunta Ekadasi would one can be assured of getting moksha.
The temple is decorated with scented flowers and lighted up with dazzling lights. The temple in itself glitters and shimmers creating a festive ambiance. The deities are given the holy bath and are decked up with richly embroidered clothes and ethnic jewellery. A massive procession is organized and people display their talent of folk music and dance. Famous classical maestros consider themselves lucky to be able to perform during this festive day of Vaikunta Ekadasi in Srirangam.
All the rituals and ceremonies are very well organized. The risk of stampede is minimised as tickets have to be purchased to view the holy rituals of the deity’s bath and adornment. Nowadays online booking facility is also available. The medium of television gives the opportunity to the devotees worldwide to view the rituals and ceremonies. These rituals are telecast live on national television. The radio broadcasts a running commentary of the happenings in the Srirangam temple. The Prasadam is also distributed in an organized manner.
Vaikunta is celebrated in the 11th day of the Margali month. The chanting of holy texts ‘Nalayira Divya Prabandham’ carries on throughout the day to purify the environment and to please the gods.