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22. 02. 2018
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CHITRA FESTIVAL

In Madurai, a great festival celebrating the marriage of Lord Sundereshwara with fish-eyed goddess Meenakshee is held with great religious enthusiasm in the month of Chaitra (March-April). It lasts for 10 days and the centres on the Meenakshee Temple, an extraČordinary temple of the dravidian architecture. The deities are taken several times around the temple in Chariots. Thousands of devotees from all over India gather here on this occasion. The wedding anniversary is known as Meenakshee Kalyanam which is the most spectacular festival of Madurai.

According to the legends, the Meenakshee Temple is said to have been founded originally by Indra, the chief of the Gods. The legend claims that once Indra set out on a pilgrimage to atone for his misdeeds he had done unknowingly. During his pilgrimage when he came near Madurai he suddenly felt as though the burden of his misdeeds was taken off all of a sudden and at that very moment he found a Shiv Linga lying there.

Ascribing this miracle to the Lingam he immediately had this beautiful temple constructed and reverentially established the lingam there. Then he desired to perform a puja and so the Lord Shiv himself caused the golden lotus to appear in the nearby pool. Indra was delighted. Since that day happened to be Chaitrapoornima (full-moon day), that day was deemed very auspicious for having the pooja. Despite this legend there is no knowing as since when this fair or festival started. Nevertheless it is a very popular festival of Madurai. The golden lotus lake is still there in the temple premises.

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