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Monday, 7 April 2014

Floating festival of Madurai





Today is the sixth day of the 'A to Z Challenge'. Today's alphabet is F. My theme is Festivals of India. I am writing about the Floating festival of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.




The floating festival of Madurai, in Tamil Nadu is a delight for the eyes. It is celebrated in the month of January. Madurai  has a horde of festivals, but this one is a treat for the eyes. Madurai is popularly  known as ‘a city of festivals. 

Like other festivals, there is a legend associated with the origin of this festival. A 17th century King Nayaka, built his palace. To meet the requirement of bricks a huge excavation was done.  Later on, the great  depression was converted into a lake by diverting water from a nearby river. In the centre of this lake a Ganesha temple was built.

Arial view of the temple



On this festival the idols of Goddess Meenakshi and her consort Lord Sundareshwarar are taken in a grand procession to this lake known as Teppakolam. At dawn the couple is taken from the main temple seated on golden palanquins with a grand accompaniment of elephants, horses, and thousands of devotees. After reaching the Teppakolam the deities are seated on a raft like stool, which is fully decorated with flowers, buntings, and garlands. There are large number of devotees to worship them. The float moves around the lake, to enable thousands of worshipers to have a glimpse of the deities. The whole day there is a crowd of devotees. In the evening the divine couple returns to the temple.            
Deities in the lake
                        

                
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42 comments:

  1. Another colourful festival of India...I loved this...

    Random Thoughts Naba

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    1. Thank you Naba. Glad that you liked it.
      I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award.Kindly see my post on this subject. Congrats.

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  2. It must be a splendor for the devotees....

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  3. yet another colorful festival :) reading about all these makes me wish I could see them all live once :)

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    1. Thank you Swathy. Thanks for liking the write up.

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  4. Wow, it sounds quite extraordinary! Must be quite wonderful to see. ♥

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    1. Thank you Kathy. Glad you liked the description.
      Kathy, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award.Please accept the award. Congratulations. For details kindly see my post on this subject.

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  5. Lovely description, Usha Ma'm :) You're taking us on an all India Travel :)

    Sreeja Praveen

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    1. Thank you Sreeja for liking the description.
      Sreeja, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Kindly accept the award.Congrats. Kindly see my post on this subject.

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    2. Oh, Thanks Ma'm :) just happened to see it sometime back and was about to reply when I saw this msg :)
      Thanks a lot !! :)
      Could u pls check ur menons129 gmail id ? I had sent a mail a couple of weeks back :)

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  6. Beautiful, never knew the story behind the float festival. It is called "Theppam" in tamil meaning float/raft. such float festivals happen in most big temples which has a big water tank. The lit theppam that floats with the deity in the huge water tank of temple is surreal and sublime. I have witnessed this many times in mylapore.

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    1. Thank you Asha. Thanks for liking the write up.

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  7. Wow, the temple does look resplendent. Thank you for sharing this :)

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    1. Thanks Prasanna for your words of appreciation.

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  8. Had never heard of this festival. I am sure it must be a treat to watch this festive procession! Thanks for sharing Ma'am :)

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    1. This festival is a treat for the eyes.

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  9. My sister's in-laws are from Madurai and I myself, am from TN, but I have never heard of this festival, Usha! Thanks for the beautiful description!

    *Shailaja's post*

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    1. Thank you Shailaja.Glad that you liked the description.

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  10. Madurai is one place high on my list to travel..we were all set to go last month but didn't due to some reason. Now after reading this I think maybe I should till next Jan and experience this delightful festival! This sounds so heavenly! Thank you :)

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    1. Thank you Beloo. You must visit the temple.

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  11. I have been to this festival and I love it!! I love Madurai for beautiful roads, jasmine, idly & chutney, tamil slang, lovely meenakshi goddess, and the scented kumkum!!!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

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    1. It must have been a very sublime moment for you.

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  12. Another nice stop on the festival journey of India. Have been to Madurai, was not aware of this festival. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you Jayanta. next time you must visit the temple.

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  13. It's like the goddess going for an outing. Bet she gets bored sitting in the temple day after day. Great idea for a great festival. Thank you for telling me about it maam.

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    1. Yes Tulika, the goddess goes for an outing, but not alone.She is accompanied by her husband.

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  14. Sounds so much like the Mangueshi festival of Goa! I'd be delighted to visit in person someday :)

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    1. Thank you Dr. Gauri for stopping by.

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  15. it must quite a sight... beautiful... thank you for explaining the festival :)

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    1. Thank you Rajlakshmi for the words of appreciation.

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  16. Lovely post.. thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks a lot taleoftwotomatoes. Wecome to this site.

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  17. looks so ethereal....another great post!

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    1. Thank you Titli. Glad you liked the post.

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  18. During one of my visits to Mettur/Salem I had an opputrtunity in visiting Madurai

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    1. Great!! Did you visit the temple?

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  19. I had only heard about this festival from one of my friends. Loved your description Ushaji :) I have been to Madurai twice and each time I was awestruck by the huge and colorful Gopurams. The temple also has a lot of wonderful carving on pillars.

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    1. Yes Reshma, the carvings are awesome.

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  20. Sounds wonderful. Must try to visit Madurai during this time. Thanks for this very informative theme!! :)

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