Madurai celebrates celestial wedding of deities as thousands of devotees throng temple

The procession deities Lord Pavala Kanivai Perumal and Lord Subramaniya Swamy from Tiruparangundram temple arrived at the temple by 6 am.
Madurai celebrates celestial wedding of deities as thousands of devotees throng temple

MADURAI: On the 10th day of the ongoing Chithirai festival, amid thousands of devotees, who are gathered at the Thirukalyana Mandabam, the celestial wedding of goddess Meenakshi and lord Sundareswarar was held at the Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple in Madurai on Sunday.

Being one of the major festivals celebrated in Madurai, the Chithirai festival at Madurai Meenakshi temple started off with flag hoisting on April 12th. Apart from the daily processions, coronation of deity Meenakshi was celebrated on April 19th followed by Thik vijayam ritual on April 20. Major ritual of the festival is the celestial wedding ritual (Thirukalyanam) of deity Meenakshi and lord Sundareswarar was held in a granduer manner on Sunday.

According to the temple tradition, the Thirukalyanam ritual was held on a stage set at the junction of North – West Aadi street within the temple premises. The ceremonies started at 4 am with Odhuvamurthigal singing 'Thirumurai'.

The procession deities Lord Pavala Kanivai Perumal and Lord Subramaniya Swamy from Tiruparangundram temple arrived at the temple by 6 am. Goddess Meenakshi and lord Sundareswarar were brought to the Thirukalyana Mandabam. Adorn in traditional attire and gems embedded ornaments & armour Goddess Meenakshi and lord Sundareswarar was brought as procession to the thirukalyana Mandabam.

Following the traditional rituals by the bhatters, the celestial wedding was held between 8:35 am - 8:59 am in Rishabha Lagna with priests hymns the vedas. As the celestial wedding took place at the same time as per tradition, married women who have gathered at large in and around the Meenakshi temple changed their Mangalsutra during the occasion.

Nearly 10,000 devotees who got the passes were present inside the temple to spectate the event. Ministers and other dignitaries from Madurai were present at the temple. Accordingly, thousands of devotees who could not get the passes have gathered around the temple Chithirai streets and spectated the whole ritual through the live relay done through LED screens.

Detailed security arrangements were made by the TN police for managing the crowd in the around the temple. The wedding feast for the celestial wedding was arranged in Sethupathi higher secondary school.

"Considering the crowd arrival, night itself we came to the venue to get a front row seat to spectate the Thirukalyanam ritual. But unfortunately we could not make it into the temple. Since it happens once in a year, it is one of the important festivals we celebrate this apart from hardships we came here to take part in the event. As the doors of the temple were open in the morning we dharshan the newly wed deities kept at the Thirukalyana Mandabam in the temple" said a devotee, A Parvithra, from Madurai.

Several other devotees added that some of the devotees especially elderly people as the mercury started to scorch in the morning times. However in view of the festival, people at large offered food and refreshments in various places for the devotees who arrived to the temple for the celestial wedding. Whole area turned festive in view of the festival.

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