An elaborate protocol of worship services marks
each day at the Tiruvannamalai temple where about a hundred and fifty
people are attached to the temple including priests, musicians, singers, carpenters,
potters, washermen, palanquin bearers, garland makers, administrators, guards etc.
The day begins with the ceremonial arrival of Ganga
to the shrine, from a tank in the Southern part of the town on an elephant
through the Southern, Tirumanjana Gopuram.
This water cleanses the entrance to the second
prakaram, and then the next ritual involving the waking up of Shiva and Parvati in the
bedchamber. The Shiva-Meru returns to the Annamalaiyaar
shrine while the image of Parvati returns to the Unnamulaiamman
Six other pujas are offered at
the temple, the first one at 6 am, and the last one at night where the Shiva Meru and the
image of Parvati are processionally brought into the bed chamber.
Each service is accompanied by chants of
invocation, dedication and praise. In the south west corner of the prakaram, the
sacrificial fire ritual takes place, ending with the consecration of vessels of water
which are used in the ablution of Annamalaiyaar and Unnamulai