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Devotees of Lord Vishnu observe Ekadashi Vrata and engage in remembering the Supreme Lord by chanting His Holy Names and singing His glories. Ekadashi is the eleventh day of the fortnight of the waxing or waning moon and occurs twice in a month. But the Ekadashi that occurs in the month of Margashirsha (December – January) during the fortnight of waxing moon is of special significance, and is glorified as Vaikuntha Ekadashi. This is a major festival of South India celebrated in all the temples of Lord Vishnu.

Nammalwar, one of the great devotees in the Sri Sampradaya (the disciplic succession descending from Lakshmi Devi) went back to Godhead on this day. To commemorate this event, in all the Vishnu temples, the Vaikuntha Dwara (the gate to Vaikuntha) a special entrance in the north side of the temple is opened once in a year on this particular day. It is believed that anyone who enters the Vaikuntha Dwara on this day is guaranteed to attain the spiritual abode.

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