Vaikunta Ekadashi vrata is observed on Dhanur Masa Shukla Paksha Ekadasi or on the 11th day of bright fortnight during Dhanur Masam. In 2017, Vaikunta Ekadashi dates are – 8 January and 29 December.
Vaikunta Ekadashi of 8 January is Pushya Shukla Ekadasi day as per Telugu, Kannada and North Indian Hindi calendars.
Vaikunta Ekadasi is a grand festival in Lord Vishnu temples. This festival is celebrated with lot of gusto in Tirumala Tirupati Sri Venkateshwara Devasthanam, Sri Rangam Ranganatha Swamy temple, Bhadrachalam Sri Rama Devasthanam, and many more Vishnu temples in South India.
Vaikunta Ekadashi is the major festival celebrated in Dhanur Masam in South Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
On this day, in Vishnu temples, Vaikunta Dwar or Vaikunta Dwaram or Vaikunta Vaasal (entrance to Heaven) is opened for Darshan of Lord Vishnu. Vaikunta Dwara lies in North side to the temple. This gate is opened only on Vaikunta Ekadasi day in the whole year. Vaikuntha Ekadasi is also observed as Mukkoti Ekadasi.
In 2015, Vaikunta Ekadashi date was December 21. It was also celebrated on January 1.
In 2014, Vaikunta Ekadashi date was January 11. In 2012, Vaikunta Ekadashi dates were – January 5 & December 23. In 2013, there was no Vaikunta Ekadashi.