KANDHAR SHASTI (SOORA SAMHARAM) : This is a very important festival at Palani, during the 6 days in the month of Aippasi (7th Tamil month). This is based on the mythological story of Lord Muruga Killing the demons. On this day only (once in a year) the Lord comes down the Hill, and after vanquishing the demons, ascends the Hill again. This is associated with Kandhar Shasti. The four demons (Gajamugan, Tharagan, Singamugan and Surapadman) are won by the Lord. It is a grand sight to see the dramatic representation of this. On this day devotees observe total fasting as they consider that this will offset all their sins.
THIRUKKARTHIGAI : From Thirugnanasambandar’s statement “Ancient Karthigai day”, we known about the age-old practice of this festival. It falls on Karthigai Day in the Tamil month of Karthigai. It is celebrated for 10 days and daily “Chinna Kumarar” goes in procession in the small golden carriage. On Karthigai day, he goes in the Golden Car. On the 10th day, woman devotees light lamps and worship Murugan. This is done in Thiruvavinankudi, Periyanayagi Amman Temple and the Hill Temple.This is a very important day for devotees. Every month also, an Karthigai day, devotees visit Palani.
THAI POOSAM : This is a very important festival , associated with pilgrimage to Palani. Devotees from Tamil Nadu reach Palani by foot (Pada Yathra) and worship. Begining with flag-hosting at Perianayagiamman Temple, this festival runs on for 10 days. Kavadi of various types (with holy water, sugar, flowers, tender co-conuts, etc., ) are offered to Murugan at Palani. On the 6th day, there is procession of Lord Muruga with Valli and Deivanai in the Silver Car. During this, Kavadi dance and rural musical-dance are performed. On the 7 th day there is “Thai Thaer” (wooden Car) and thousands of devotees participate in this. On the 7th day “Chinna Kumarar” goes round in His Golden Car.
PANGUNI UTHIRAM : This also is a very important festival here, and is celebrated for 10 days, devotees carry Kavadies with holy water (from sacred rivers), sugar, tender co-conut etc. During these 10 days, we can see various rural dances like ”Oyilattam, Thappattam, Dhidumattam,Velanattam, Samiyattam”etc., along with rural songs. The rural music is an important part of Paunguni uthiram festival. The main feature of Panguni Uthiram is the offering of “Theertham” (Posts of Holy water) from Kodumudi. Lord Palaniandavar is given abhishekam with this holy water. The devotees carrying Kavadi to Palani sing Kavadi – songs throughout their ‘Padayathra’ and these songs are ancient oral songs.
On the 1st day, there is flag hoisting at Thiruvavinankugi Temple and on all the 10 days Lord Muthukumara Swamy with Sri Valli and Sri Deivanai goes in procession around the Palani Hill. On the 7th day there is “Car Festival” and this is attended by thousands of devotees. During these days the Lord also is given special reception and pooja at many ‘mandapams’ in the Palani Adivaram area. It is a grand sight to see Lord Muruga with his concerts during these processions.