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Soorasamharam 2022: The Kanda Sashti festival!

Soorasamharam 2022: Relevance for UPSC


GS 1: Indian Society, Indian Art & Culture


Soorasamharam 2022: Why in news?


  • The ongoing Kanda Sashti festival, the ‘soorasamhaaram ritual’ (annihilation of demon Soorapadman by the lord) being held in Murugan temples across the State of T.N.
  • According to the lunar calendar, Skanda Sashti falls on Karthika Masam’ sixth day.


Soorasamharam 2022: Know About Skanda Sashti


  • Skanda Sashti or Kumar Sashti is a popular Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, son of Devi Parvati and Lord Shiva.
  • Lord Kartikeya is known by many names by his devotees such as Kumar, Muruga, Subramanya etc. Hence, Skanda Sashti is also known as Kumar Sashti.
  • Significance of Skanda Sashti

    • Skanda Sashti corresponds to the birth day of Lord Kartikeya or Subramanya also called as Muruga in Tamil.
    • Skanda Sashti is the sixth day (Sashti Tithi) of the Shuklapaksha in the month of Kartika (October – November).
    • Lord Skanda is one of the popular names of Subramanya and therefore the event is called as Skanda Sashti.
    • On Skanda Sashti people observe fasting to propitiate Lord Subramanya.
    • Grand celebrations happen in the temples of Muruga in Tamilnadu.
  • The festival of Skanda Sashti

    • The festival of Skanda Sashti is a ten days long event in Tamil Nadu and some other states.
    • In the temple for Lord Subramanya located in Tiruchendur, a grand festival is celebrated on these days and to conclude the festival the event of Sura Samhar or the killing of the demons by Lord Skanda is enacted to this day.
    • Devotees throng to witness this grand event and seek the blessings of Lord Skanda.


Soorasamharam 2022: How Soorasamharam festival celebrated?


  • During Skanda Sashti, followers observe a six-day fast that begins on Pirathamai, the first day of the lunar month Karthika, and finishes on Soorasamharam, the sixth day.
  • The last and most significant day of the six-day celebrations is known as Soorasamharam.
  • Every year, the festival of Soorasamharam is held to commemorate the triumph of good over evil, as Lord Murugan is said to have killed the demon Surapadman on this day, bringing peace to the world.
  • It is crucial to note that Panjami Tithi and Shasti Tithi are conjugated while choosing the day for Soorasamharam Vratam.
  • Therefore, all the temples observe Kanda Sashti if Shasti Tithi begins before sunset on Panjami Tithi.


Soorasamharam 2022: Six Abodes of Lord Murugan in T.N.


  • The six abodes of lord Muruga are called Aarupadai Veedu which in translation means the “six war houses of the Lord”. These six abodes attract thousands of followers from across the world, although there are countless temples dedicated to Muruga, who is  the son of Lord Shiva and Ma Parvathi. Muruga is also known in various names, such as Karthikeya, Subramanya, Kumaran, etc.
  • In Tamil Nadu, these six specific temple are considered very important amongst the devotees.
  • The six most sacred abodes of Murugan was mentioned in Tamil sangam literature, Thirumurugatrupadai, written by Nakkeerar and in Thiruppugazh, written by Arunagirinathar.
  • The six most sacred abodes of Murugan are: 
    • Arulmigu Subramaniya Swamy Temple in Thiruparankundram
    • Arulmigu Solaimalai Murugan Temple in Pazhamudircholai
    • Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple in Palani
    • Swaminatha Swamy Temple, Swamimalai
    • Thiruchendur, Tuticorin
    • Subramaniya Swamy Temple in Tiruchendur.


Soorasamharam 2022: Soorasamharam festival 2022 at Thiruchendur Murugan Temple


  • While there are several ways to commemorate Soorasamharam, the festival at the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is very lavish.
  • The Tiruchendur temple, being the second of the six abodes of Lord Muruga (Aru Padai Veedu) is famous that a little over five to seven lakh devotees from various destinations witnessed ‘soorasamharam’ here.
  • This festival is celebrated by the temple over the course of six days, ending on the day of Soorasamharam.
  • This year also, as a part of the six-day ‘Kanda Sashti’ festival, the celebrations commenced on October 25 with yaga sala pujas. The temple was illuminated and ‘soorasamharam’ was the highlight of the six-day festivities.Thiru Kalyanam is observed the day following Soorasamharam.
  • Every day, the sanctum sanctorum was opened at 3 a.m. and following ‘viswaroopa’ darshan, Udayamarthanda abishekam was performed to the presiding deities.
  • The nearly 50-minute event (Soorar Vadham) was a reflection of slaying of the demons headed by Soorapadman, which symbolised the victory of good over evil.
  • After the ‘soorasamharam’, many devotees took a holy dip in the sea.
  • The deities – Valli Deivanai and Jayanthinathar were brought out to the ‘Santhosha’ mandapam after ‘soorasamharam’ ended.
  • The last day of the ‘Kanda Sashti’ – October 31 – would witness the celestial wedding to be performed at the temple.

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