The Koothandavar temple festival began at Koovagam near Villupuram on Tuesday evening, which also includes a two-week Mahabharatha recital, starting on Wednesday.
With every passing year the Koothandavar temple festival is drawing more devotees to the village. This year, the festival has been organised by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department. Around 4000 transgenders are expected to participate in the festival. During this two-week-long festival, a large number of people would swarm the village particularly on two days, April 23 and 24.
Krishnan, priest of the temple, said, “On April 23, devotees, particularly transgenders, tie thali reenacting a part of Mahabharatha, in which Mohini (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) married Aravaan. Next day, on April 24, they remove the thali, mourning the death of Aravaan (Koothandavar).”
Talking about the ongoing preparations, executive officer (EO) of the temple Muthulakshmi said, “Almost all the preparatory work for the festival has been completed. We are planning to arrange special buses to the temple from Villupuram, Ulundurpet and a few other places. Around 4000 transgenders from various districts and states are expected to participate in this festival.”
Miss Koovagam, a beauty competition for transgenders, is scheduled on April 23 at a marriage hall on KK Road in Villupuram, organised by Transgenders’ Welfare Association of Villupuram district.
“Like the previous ten years, this year too, the Miss Koovagam competition will be held in Villupuram in a grand manner. Transgenders from various states and countries will be participating in the competition,” said Ramamurthy of the organising team.