Uriyadi Utsavam is the marquee event amongst all the Utsavams in Varagur. Every year Uriyadi starts on Gayathri Japam Day (Day after Avani Avittam), and continues for ten days until the day after Janmashtami. The day after Uriyadi day is Sri Rukmani Kalyanam.
On all the 10 days, Vedic scholars recite all four vedas (சதுர்வேத பாராயணம்) in the morning and various troupes perform recite bhajans in the evening. The devotion and service performed by Varagur-ans is said to have impressed Sri Kanchi Paramacharya himself, who is known to have cited Varagur as an example of exemplary service of a community towards a temple and its Utsavams.
Uriyadi day morning, the Utsava Murthi comes in a procession with a pot full of butter (வெண்ணை தாழி) from the temple to the mandapam on the banks of Kathungalaru (கதுங்கலாறு).
Uriyadi day evening, the Utsava Murthi along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo-Devi leave the Kadungaal mandapam (கதுங்கால் மண்டபம்) in the procession. Devotees singing the Krishna Leela Tharangini head the procession. Following the lord are devotees doing அங்கப்ரதக்ஷிணம் . They are followed by Vedic Scholars reciting the Vedas. The procession is followed by the following festivities:
- Uri-adithal (உறி அடித்தல்): Breaking the pot tied at the top of the tree and offering the prasadam to Lord Krishna.
- Vazhukku Maram Yerudhal (வழுக்கு மரம் ஏறுதல்): Climbing a slippery pole and offer the butter-laden pot tied to the top of the pole to Lord Krishna.
The procession then ends with the following rituals which are performed after procession of the Lord:
- Saptha Pradhakshinam (சப்த ப்ரதக்ஷிணம்) : Seven rounds around the main sanctum sanctorum
- Thiruvandhik Kaapu (திருவந்திக்காப்பு)
- Konangi (கோணங்கி)
- Ekantha Sevai (ஏகாந்த சேவை)
These festivities (உறி அடித்தல், வழுக்கு மரம் ஏறுதல்) have an inner meaning beyond being obvious ways to express devotion to the Lord. They aim to capture the various playful activities that Lord Krishna indulged when he was a kid. The true meaning though, is that there are usually several obstacles (symbolized by the slippery pole) towards finding the real truth and knowledge (symbolized by the butter or other prasadam at the top of the pole). Despite such obstacles, we should always seek to come out of our ignorance and seek the truth and knowledge. That is truly God’s gift for us.