Fourth day of the Float Festival
Only day in the year when Namperumal takes an evening ride on the Silver Garuda Vahana
1000years ago, the float festival in Srirangam was held in the Cauvery with Namperumal alongside Nachiyars.On one such occasion, Sorcerers, using their magic powers, created a flood like scenario in the cauvery and Namperumal and Nachiyars were taken away by the floods.
Hearing this untoward event on a big occasion, Koora Narayana Jeer, a disciple of Koorathazhvaan, rushed to the place and twisting the darbha on his right finger pulled back Lord Namperumal to the banks of the Cauvery.
Given this negative turn of events, Koora Narayana Jeer, about 900years ago, created a tank to the west of the Srirangam Ranganatha temple and the float festival has since been organized here on the first day of Maasi. No more was the float festival celebrated in the Cauvery and it became a Maasi Festival.
Koora Jeer, who is credited with saving the Lord from the Sorcerers and for the continuation of this festival, is paid special respects on the last day of the festival.
Koora Jeer is also believed to have slightly turned the direction of the Cauvery away from the Srirangam temple to prevent flooding at the temple.
Krishnadeva Raya's contributionLegend has it that Vijayanagara King Krishnadeva Raya, who patronized several Vaishnavite temples and who contributed in no small measure, was the one made this into a big festival that one sees today. However, this festival has come to be referred to as the Maasi Float Festival.
Namperumal atop the Silver Garuda
On the fourth morning of the 9day festival, Lord Namperumal sitting in the comfort of a palanquin and listening the chanting of Vedas and Naalayira Divya Prabhandham takes a long 6hour processional trip to the Thathachariar Gardens on the Melur Road stopping at over 25locations on the way.
After a 5 hour rest there in the cool of the Thathachariar Gardens, during which time the devotees are treated to a sumptuous lunch by the Thathachariar family, Namperumal begins his trip back to the temple at 6pm on a Silver Garuda Vahana.
This is the only day in the year when Namperumal rides on the Silver Garuda Vahana in the evening.
He is finally back at his abode at 930pm after spending the whole day providing darshan to the devotees.