‘Thirumangalyam’ was placed on Goddess Sri Meenakshi at 10.45 a.m.

Thousands of devotees thronged Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple to witness the celestial wedding (‘Thirukalyanam’) of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswarar here on Saturday.

The wedding is considered to be the highlight of the 12-day annual ‘Chithirai’ festival and was held on the 10th day of the festival this year.

Resplendent

The resplendent deities adorned in silk and gold were brought to the dais at 9.55 a.m. amidst loud applause from the devotees who had been seated in the mandapam.

While the deities of Goddess Sri Meenakshi, Lord Sundareswarar and ‘Piriyavidai’ occupied the centre stage, Lord Subramaniaswamy and Lord Pavalakkanivai Perumal, deities of the Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram near here were also brought to the venue as Their guests.

The dais had been decked up with colourful flower arrangements.

Two bhattars from the temple performed the holy rituals on behalf of Goddess Sri Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar and exchanged garlands.

The ‘Thirumangalyam’ was then placed on Goddess Meenakshi amidst chanting of mantras at 10.45 a.m.

Scores of women devotees at the venue replaced their ‘thali’ as is custom. Temple Executive Officer P. Jayaraman said that devotees had begun to queue up outside the temple from as early as 4 a.m. and the mandapam was packed to its capacity of 13,000 persons who were allowed to be seated from 6.30 a.m.

The devotees were happy with the arrangements, including a 250-tonne air conditioner and air coolers that had been installed all around the mandapam.

For persons who couldn’t be accommodated there, the proceedings were telecast on six LED screens outside the temple.

This year, a concert by devotional singer Veeramani Raju was organised for the devotees from 7.30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The ‘fit person’ of the temple Karumuttu T. Kannan was present. The dignitaries who attended the Celestial wedding included Collector L. Subramanian, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa, Corporation Commissioner C. Kathiravan and Election Observer (General) of the Madurai Constituency Rani Kumuthini.

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