What is a Brahmotsavam? – Brahmotsava – the South Indian Hindu Temple Festivals

Brahmotsavam, or Brahmotsava, is the most important festival in a Hindu temple especially in South India. The name ‘Brahmotsavam’ because it is believed that Lord Brahma is supposed to conduct the festival in honor of the presiding deity of the temple. One of the most popular Brahmotsavams is the one held annually at the Tirupati Tirumala Balaji Temple.

Brahmotsava is usually a spectacular and colorful festival, which attracts thousands of devotees. Apart from the religious significance, a Brahmotsavam is of considerable, social, economic and political importance for the particular region.

The most popular Brahmotsavam is a nine-day celebration and is believed to bring about protection and happiness to the people. There are also Brahmotsavams that last for a day, three days, five days and seven days.

A major highlight of the Brahmotsava is the procession of the presiding deity in an elaborately decorated chariot (Ratha). Thousands of devotees pull the huge Ratha from the temple to the already fixed destination and back to the temple. The procession is accompanied by music, chanting, dance and devotees. The procession goes around the village and town and is greeted by devotees who offer flowers, fruits and other gifts. This is also known as Car Festival.