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Panguni Uthiram (Meena Uttaraphalguni in Sanskrit)

Falls in the month Panguni (March-April). This month is special because of the star Uthiram and pournami occurring together. Besides, it is on Panguni pournami Uthiram that the marriage of Parvati and Parameswara (Lord Shiva), Murugan and Teyvayanai, and Aandaal (also known as Kothai) and Rangamannar took place. On Panguni Uthiram, Murugan marries Kamalavalli Naachiyar and give his Kalyana Kola Seva to his Bhakthas. Again, Valmiki's Ramayana says it is on this day and star that Sita's marriage with Rama was celebrated. From Brahmanda Puranam we learn that on Panguni Uthiram every holy water joins Thumburu teertha (also spelt as Tirtha), one of seven sacred tanks in Tirupati Tirumala. The ancients chose Uthiram to convey to humans that it is for underlining the glory of grahasta dharma (married life) that the Almighty manifests in the marital state as Uma Maheswara, Sita Rama, and Radha Krishna – despite his changelessness, sans childhood or youth or old age. The Lord is indeed a Nitya Kalyana Murthi. It is our duty to celebrate this day when the Lord, in both Shiva and Vishnu temples, appears to devotees in his married state. On Panguni Uthiram, in all places where Lord Subrahmanya has a temple, his devotees carry in a kavadi the requisites for puja for him, in fulfilment of vows. Such vow fulfilment by devotees carrying kavadis is a special feature of Subrahmanya temples wherever they happen to be.

Devotees flock in hundreds to the all murugan temples during the Panguni Uthiram festival, which is celebrated in March every year. It is the Jayanti (Day of Incarnation) of Lord Ayyappan. It is also an important festival day for Lord Subramanya (Muruga), as it is on this day that Sri Valli married Lord Subramanya. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk (after the ocean was churned by the Gods and the demons) and hence it is celebrated as Mahalakshmi Jayanti. On this day Goddess Parvati in the form of Gowri married Lord Siva in Kanchipuram and hence this day is also celebrated as the Gowri Kalyanam day.

The occours during the last month of the year know as Panguni (i.e Phaalguna). Panguni Uthiram is a famous festival and special to Murugan devotees. The State Government of Tamil Nadu declares it a holiday. Offices and schools remain closed. However, shops remain open and do brisk business. The active film industry of the state also releases a few new films, and cinemas usually overflow with eager fans waiting to watch the earliest show of their favourite stars on the big screen.

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