Details shared by Praveen Gupta, Bangalore
About thai pusam
Thai Pusam, also known as Thai Pooyam, is a very popular Tamil festival, celebrated in the famous Palani temple located at about 60 km from Kodaikanal. The famous Palani temple, dedicated to Lord Muruga, is located on the top of Palani Hills at a height of 135 meters. Devotees from different states of South India visit this temple and they climb 693 steps to reach the shrine. Thai Pusam is celebrated on the day of Pusam (Pushya) Nakshatra of Tamil month Thai (January to February) which includes 10 days of festivities. Devotees carry a pot of holy water on their head to conduct holy bath (Abhishekam) to Lord Muruga. Many devotees carry Kavadi on their shoulders and perform the Kavadi Attam ritual to please the God. Kavadi is made of two semi-circular pieces of wood, curved and fitted to a cross rod and adorned with peacock feathers and flowers. The kavadi is balanced on the devotee’s shoulder. Devotees observe severe penance for 48 days taking vegetable food and observing pure Brahmacharya. Devotees wear saffron or green dresses, shave their head, walk bare foot and many of them pierce miniature spears through cheeks and tongues.
Palani Temple at Palani Hills, which is located at about 60 km from Kodaikanal city and is reachable by bus or taxi.
Do and Don't
Follow the customs and traditions of the temple in dress code and behavior.
Thai Pusam is celebrated to mark the event when goddess Parvati gave her son Lord Muruga a spear (Vel) to eliminate demon Surapadman. It is not to be confused with the birthday of Lord Muruga.