Brahmotsavam also known as Brahmotsava is the most important festival in a Hindu temple in South India. It is named so because it is believed that Lord Brahma conducted the festival in honor of the presiding deity of the temple. The one held annually at the Tirupati Balaji temple is the most important of the Brahmotsavam. It is a spectacular and colorful festival which attracts a thousand of tourists every year. Apart from the religious significance the Brahmotsavam festival is of considerable social, economic and political importance for the particular region.
The main features of this festival are as follows:
- It is a nine day celebration. This festival is believed to protect and bring happiness to the people.
- It takes place in the Tamil month of Purattasi.
- O the previous evening of Brahmotsavam the rite of Ankurarpana is performed along with a festival of Sri Vishvaksena. This custom includes sowing of the seeds to signify fertility, prosperity and abundance.
- On the first day of the festival Dhvajarohana, the main activity the hoisting of Garuda flag at the Dhvajastambham takes place. This signifies the commencement of Brahmotsavam. It is said the Garuda goes to the Devlok the place of the gods and invites them to attend the function.
- During these nine days of the festival, the religious activities include daily hom or yajnas and processions for the utsava murti on different vahanas or vehicles take place. The vehicles are the chariots that are seen in the Temple. Every evening, the utsava vigrahas or the idols are decorated with different alankarams or jewelries.
- The Brahmotsavam celebration provides an opportunity for the devotees to participate in the festivities and experience the Vaikuntha Anubhava which is said to be of heavenly enjoyment and feeling and receive the blessings of Sri Venkateswara Swami. Every year, millions of devotees come to see the processions, celebrations during the annual festival of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. Every day of this event is a feast for the eyes of the devotees who gather there.