Dakshinayanam begins with Adi and the very first day is celebrated as Adi pal.
Adi Velli (Adi Fridays) is considered auspicious and all temples in the holy suburb of Chennai, Nanganallur, resembles heaven on earth.
The tall, mesmerising icon of Vishnu Durga in the Ardhanareeswarar temple waits to bless her devotees right from the morning.
Abishekam is followed by Sahasranama archana by the priests. The devotees are attracted by the enchanting smile, alluring jewellery and lemon garlands that decorate her neck. The colourful nine yards saree which is wrapped around her, makes her appear demure and has an ethereal effect. It makes the devout admire her, standing there oblivious of the surroundings.
The atmosphere is redolent with the fragrance of incense sticks which mingle well with the chorus chant of Lalitha Sahasranama by the women choirs.
In the Bhagavathy temple, since the presiding deity is Bhagavathy - Shakti - the devotees are predominantly women and gather there to recite Soundarya Lahari, Lakshmi sloka and other verses from the holy scriptures.
In the Panachi Amman temple, on the banks of the Ardhanareeswarar temple tank, a plethora of spiritual activities take place. Since Adi Velli is synonymous with snake worship, women make a beeline to this temple to propitiate Naga Devatha.
There are stone icons of Naga Devatha in the temple and women do special pooja and worship the presiding Panachi Amman who waits to bless her devotees. Some women offer koozh.
The famous Rajarajeswari temple reverberates with the chorus chant of Rajarajeswari Ashtothram. The ghee lamps in the sanctum sanctorum reflect her bewitching face enhancing the spiritual ambience.
Her dazzling diamond crown glitters like a thousand suns. Rajarajeswari sports a parrot which seems to convey the worries of the devotees to her. Homam is performed in the adjoining mandapam and many women distribute tambulam to all women devotees who visit the temple.
Almost all women light lemon lamps during Rahu kalam. Nangais here never fail to worship the goddess on Fridays.