‘Thottoutsavam’ in Kanchi; Mylaporean family keeps a hoary tradition

MT KANCHI GODThe festival for Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram called ‘Thottoutsavam’ is to be held on the 6th of May 2015.

And it has its links with a family which lives in the Mylapore neighborhood. Originating sometime in early 14th century the festival was conducted by Tatacharyas (descendants of Sri Nathamuni, Alavandar, Periya Thirumalai Nambi, Sri Pillan,Sri Panchamatha Banjana Tatadesikan Lakshmikumara Thathadesikan). Sri Pillan was the first Simhasanadhipathi appointed by Sri Ramanuja. During the 16th cent., Sri LakshmiKumara Tatadesikan’s had rendered yeoman service and hence his idol along with his consort is kept along with Sri Vedanta Desika idol in this temple, says the family’s descendants.

This utsavam attained its height of popularity during the lifetime of Sri LakshmiKumara Tatadesikan. It’s now being continued every year till date by his descendants – R. K. Tatachari and his son AshwinTatachari.

The Tatacharyas were the original trustees of the temple and royal preceptors during the golden period of the Vijayanagara kingdom. They were the original mirasdars and are the pradhama acharya purushas of Sri Varadaraja Temple, says R. K. Tatachari’s family.

The festival begins at around 5 am when the Utsavar along with his Ubhaya nachiars are taken in the golden palanquin. The lord is taken to the madapam situated in the garden wherein after all the Vedic chantings are recited.

At noon a grand and elaborate Thirumanjanam is performed. At around 4 pm the lord is anointed with saffron paste, adorns the new vastram. This is aesthetically a sight to behold.

At 7 pm the lord in a new avatar adorns a sowri kondai, a single peacock feather and a huge rose garland circambulates the garden mandapam thrice .

The oonjal ceremony is held amidst reverberating fireworks. At 12am Thiruvaradhanam and Mantrapushpam is performed by the Tatacharyas.


At 4.30 am the following morning the Lords’ return procession begins.

Contact Ashwin Tatachari: 98400 83425/9444683166/9944777510

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