I'm currently visiting India, and I'm trying to visit as many Vishnu temples as possible. Unfortunately I'm being stymied in some places, for the following reason. Some time in the December-January timeframe, Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu have a practice called Thailakappu where they remove all the Alankaram or decorations from the Vishnu statue, and apply herbal oil to the statue to preserve the integrity of the stone. Now the Pancharatra Agamas, which are central scriptures for Vaishnavism, prescribe that Vishnu must not be seen by devotees without his Alankaram. So during the time of Thailakappu, the statue is hidden behind a cloth (although in some cases the face is at least visible).

Now the standard time for Thailakappu is in the 10 day period preceding Vaikuntha Ekadashi, known as Pagal Pathu because of the morning chanting of the Alwars' poems during this period. (That is December 19 - December 29 this year.) But some Vishnu temples don't follow that; they start Thailakappu earlier (during Kartikai Deepam or December 2 this year), or they hold it at a completely different time of year. So my question is, which Vishnu temples do Thailakappu at irregular times, and what is the reason for that?

I'm particularly interested in the practices of the Divya Desams, the 108 sacred places of Vishnu sung about in the Alwars' poems.

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    I asked for temples where the idol is called "vishnu" and nobody could cite one. So we don't know if "vishnu temples" exist in India. Also - why are your biographical details and tourist information regarding places you visit relevant to the board?
    – S K
    Dec 20, 2017 at 13:10
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    @SK I just briefly mentioned what prompted the question. In any case, the deity of a temple doesn't have to be called by the specific name Vishnu for the deity to be Vishnu. He can be called Narayana, or Ranganatha, or Adi Keshava; or Varadaraja, or Srinivasa, or Vaikunthanatha, etc., but he's still Vishnu. Dec 20, 2017 at 13:14
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    "I'm trying to visit as many Vishnu temples as possible". This is utterly irrelevant and in a fair world should be removed. Your "stream of consciousness musings and subtle/open proselytizing for your sect are not relevant.
    – S K
    Dec 20, 2017 at 13:21
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    @Sk Just read the help center page and read "How to ask" "If you ask a vague question, you’ll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context, we can provide a useful answer." Context is important. So, before you ask whether is related or not, first you know about the rules and guidelines. Context is important. Dec 20, 2017 at 17:17
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    @SK As I said earlier, don't see the user, see the post. It should be the least concern what is the personal information of the poster. Why are you after Vaishnavite users only? Why is this proselytizing? Stop looking posts from sectarian glasses. Asking details about temples is perfectly fine and is allowed before you are born on this site. There's nothing proselytizing here. I already said that. Giving details is important and encouraged. Don't be too picky about "Vishnu temples". All know that the name is different but the deity is Vishnu. Dec 20, 2017 at 18:53


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