Maha Periyava & Brihadeeswarar Annabhishegam At Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Shri Ramani shares how Annabhishegam at Gangaikonda Cholapuram [கங்கைகொண்ட சோழபுரம்] is being carried out every year as per Maha Periyava’s Wish…

Around 1983-84, some of the close attendants of Kanchi Paramacharya went by lorry to Haridwar and fetched a number of sizable copper cans filled with water from the River Ganga with the idea that the Maha Periyava might use the Ganga water for his daily use. They placed the copper cans before the Acharya.

Maha Periyava told …

“About a thousand years ago, Rajendra Chola, built a large and grand Siva Temple at Gangaikonda-cholapuram, consecrated a huge Siva Lingam in the temple and arranged for abhishekam to be performed to that Brihadeeswarar Lingam (the biggest Shiva Lingam In South India) with water brought from the Ganga. Carry some of these cans to Gangaikonda Cholapuram and perform abhishekam to the Brihadeeswarar Lingam in the temple there. Only after that, I shall use the Ganga water that you have brought for my sake.”

The orders were carried out. Some months later His Holiness asked the same devoted attendants to perform Annabhishegam (bathing the image of the deity with cooked raw rice) to Brihadeeswarar, the huge lingam in the temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, adding that there will be sumptuous rain in the land because of the performance of that Annabhishegam .

This celebration which began in 1986, on a small scale, grew into a grand festival in subsequent years and attracting thousands of people in the area and around. Annabhishegam is held on full moon day in the Appasi Masam to Siva Lingam, presiding deity of all Siva Temples in South India. Devotees believe that performing Annabhishegam to the Lord on this day would rid them of all their problems.


Today Annabhishegam was performed in a grand manner at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. More than 50 bags to 60 bags of rice was cooked through steaming process, removed heat from the rice by spreading in the olai pai,put in bamboo baskets.

Devotees some chanting rudrams carried the rice from the kitchen to Lord Brihadeeswarar Annabhishegam. The devotees started carrying the rice from the kitchen around 2 pm and was over at about 5 pm. Alankaram was done and garlands were brought from Ambal Sannidhi by number of devotees . Deepa araadhanai was done at about 6pm. Huge number of devotees were present.

Annam which was put on the Lord Brihadeeswarar would be divided into 4-6 portions as per wishes of Maha Periyava…
Two portions of it will be distributed to devotees as prasadam. From the remaining portions of rice, one portion would be dissolved in sea/river to feed the sea creatures… One portion would be placed in a shallow hole in the ground at various places to feed the insects … One portion would be kept in open sky for the other creatures that can feed themselves.

Om Nama Shivaya…
Hara Hara Sankara Jaya Jaya Sankara

Video Courtesy: Thank You Ramasamy Jayaraman


  1. Balasubramanian NR says

    It is really a Kankolla Katchi. Thank you very much. Yesterday, in our place,
    i.e. at Vijayalakshmipuram, Shri Vijaymbigai Sametha Shri Virupaksheswarar
    in our temple too, Annabishegam was performed in a grand scale. Hara
    Hara Shankara Jaya Jaya Shankara

    Balasubramanian NR

  2. bharathi says

    when people with insufficient knowledge feel that abishegam of milk, fruits and Annam are all waste of money and time, periyava has given apt reply. Only GOD can think of every living being on earth and universe.

  3. vijaya says

    What a privilege it is to watch this Annabishekam. The narration is so wonderful, brought tears to my eyes. Om Namasivaya


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