Students to be taken on heritage tours; marathon from Arasaradi to Tamukkam ground; contest for students

The organising committee of ‘Maamadurai Potruvom’ (Celebrate Madurai) is leaving no stone unturned to make the three-day annual festival, launched this year to celebrate the glory of Madurai, a grand affair.

The unveiling of three-dimensional models, glorifying the cultural and historical significance of Madurai, on Monday is to be followed by a series of events involving school and college students.

Students from various corporation schools will be taken on a heritage tour to Yanaimalai, Arittapatti, Kunnathur, Kongarpuliankulam, Keelakuyilkudi and Thenparankundram from January 28 to 30. From Wednesday to Friday, historians R. Venkataraman and V. Vedachalam, N. Ganesan, Assistant Director of State Archaeology Department, and senior guides will conduct an orientation meeting for the voluntary guides who will take the students to the heritage sites. The experts will elaborate on the historical and archaeological significance of the sites, importance of conservation, and effective guiding. On January 31 and February 1, students from private schools will be taken on the heritage tour.

According to S. Venkatesan, vice-president of the organising committee, a marathon will be held from Arasaradi to Tamukkam ground on February 1. “The route will be finalised in a couple of days. Nearly 25,000 students are expected to take part in the marathon,” he told The Hindu.

A host of competitions such as drawing, slogan writing, folk dance, folk music, story telling, instrumental music, quiz, story writing, essay writing, cartoon drawing and newspaper making will be conducted for school students under three categories.

For the college students, drawing, poster presentation, slogan writing, cartoon drawing, elocution, instrumental music, folk dance, music, elocution and quiz competitions have been lined up. College students can also present papers on the economy of Madurai, religions in Madurai, festivals in Madurai, Madurai’s role in developing Tamil language, and significance of architecture in the city. All the competitions will be in Tamil the first round of which were held on Tuesday. The second round is scheduled for January 31, and the final round for February 9.

Dance and music performances and literary programmes will be organised on the first day of the festival.

‘Hop-in hop-off’ buses will be operated in the city on February 9 to take people on a trip to the heritage sites around the city. A heritage walk from Tirumalai Naicker Mahal to Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple will also be organised. A carnival is to be held the same day.

On the final day of the festival (February 10), an exhibition highlighting the significance of river Vaigai will be put up. ‘Vaigai Deepam’ will be lit along the river bed, followed by fireworks in the evening, marking the formal closure of the festival.

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