Swamithoppu Pathi is the primary pathi of the Ayyavazhi, the head of all Worship centers of Ayyavazhi, and the place where Ayya Vaikundar is said to have performed the Tavam. Religiously Swamithope is considered primary among the Pancha pathi and is the important place where most of the incarnational activities of Vaikundar took place.
According to Ayyavazhi legends, Ayya Vaikundar, an incarnation of Lord Narayana, carried out his tavam at Poovantanthoppe, attracting many followers from across India. On his pass-away Ayya Vaikundar was believed to be interred there, and the square-shaped 'pathi' was constructed enveloping him. The holy book Akilathirattu ammanai of Ayyavazhi refers to the temple as "Thoppuppathi".
As per the instructions in Akilam, the Swamithope pathi conducts daily festival (i.e.) every day is considered as a festival day. So the ritual practices conducted during festival days are conducted here through out the whole year, though not in a grand scale as during the other festivals. The daily Panividai starts very early in the morning. Everyday, around 3 O' clock the Payyans and the people staying at the temple go to Muthirikkinaru and take a holy bath. Then, they return to the Pathi and start the panividai. The Payyan chant Ukappatippu, and the devotees repeat it. Then, they open the door of sanctum sanctorum. It is considered sanctifying to witness this scene with the sounding of a dozen temple bells and conch. Then, there is the Vahana pavani.
The Noon Panividai starts around 11 O' clock. Daily Ucchipatippu is chanted. The devotees will repeat it and Thavanaipal is distributed to the devotees. One Sundays, large number of people from far and near come over here to participate in the Ucchipatippu.
In the evening, panividai starts around 5 O' clock. The door of the sanctum sanctorum is opened amidst the sound of the temple bells and Conch. Then, the Payyan would chant ukappatippu. Those followers who congregate for the evening panividai would repeat this. Then, there will be vahana panividai. The Vahana is taken around the temple as well as the four car streets. After this, there will be Annadharmam.
This is the daily routine of Swamithoppu pathi. One can have a worship at any time of the day in this temple.
Festival and celebrations
The main celebration of Swamithoppu includes Kodiyettru Thirunal, which was celebrated thrice in a year during the Tamil months of Vaikasi, Aavani, Thai. It startes with Kodiyetrru (flag hoisting) and ends on the eleventh day with Car procession. People from different parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala take part in this festival. Then the Thiru Eadu Vasippu, the Seventeen day festival, in which the whole contents of Akilattirattu Ammanai where read melodiously. It was celebrated during the Tamil month of Karthigai, the month at which it was written by Hari Gopalan Seedar.