Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam is the cleansing and purification ceremony at the holy Tirumala temple. “Koil” in Tamil language means holy shrine, “Alwar” means devotee and “Tirumanjanam” means cleansing with aromatic ingredients.
Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam is a cleansing and purification ceremony of the whole sanctum sanctorum area of the holy Tirumala temple and its entire premises by the devotees of the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara.
However, visiting devotees are not permitted to take part in this ceremony and only the Chairman, the Executive Officer of the TTD board and their subordinates participate in this sacred procedure and assist the temple priests throughout the process.
During the whole process, all the coverings on the Moola Virat (Principal Deity) are temporarily removed and his deity is fully topped up with a water-proof covering.
All the other processional deities that are there inside the Garbha Griha are then taken out.
A herbal paste containing a rich mixture of refined camphor, high quality sandalwood powder, vermilion, turmeric and other ingredients, which act as disinfectants are applied to all the pillars, walls including the ceiling inside the sanctum sanctorum as well as at all other sub-temples situated inside the main temple complex.
After this all the places are thoroughly washed with water.
This same religious exercise is also followed at all the other sub-temples that are there inside the temple complex.
Soon after the completion of all the religious formalities, the processional deities are then placed back in their original position.
The Moola Virat too is then fully decorated with all the rich silk robes and later purification pooja and naivedyam and Karppora Aarati are offered to Him.
It takes about three to four hours for this entire sacred procedure of Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam to complete.
During which period the holy Tirumala Temple is closed down and devotees are not allowed to enter the premises for darshan.
This periodical festival of Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam is performed strictly according to Agama Sutras and as a prelude to the four important festivals of Ugadi, Anivara Asthanam, Vaikunta Ekadasi and the annual Brahmotsavams that are celebrated annually at the holy Tirumala hill shrine.