Staff Reporter

It marks the conclusion of the annual 12-day ’Thai Poosam’ festivities

MADURAI: Thousands gathered around the Mariamman Teppakulam here on Wednesday to witness the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple’s float, attractively decorated using over 1,000 kg of flowers and some dazzling lighting arrangements.

The ‘Teppam’ festival marks the conclusion of the annual 12-day ‘Thai Poosam’ festival. The tank was filled with over 10 million cubic feet of water drawn from the Vaigai for the occasion, according to temple officials.

The idols of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, attired in silk robes, were drawn twice in the morning and once in the evening. Wave after wave of devotees filled the roads surrounding the tank to catch a fleeting glimpse of the Gods.

At around 11.30 a.m., more than a 100 young men from nearby Anuppanadi pulled the float, as is the practice for the past several decades.

Dividing themselves into groups, one made for the ‘Maiya Mandapam’ at the centre of the tank, while the other waited on the parapet. The devotees also gave the men a helping hand in pulling the ropes.

In the evening, the event started at around 8.30 p.m. and culminated after an hour.

District Collector S.S. Jawahar and Commissioner of Police K. Nandabalan took part in the festival. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the temple, Karumuttu T. Kannan, trustees Rukmani Palanivel Rajan, S. Rajaraman, V. Pugalagiri and M. Balasubramaniam also participated in the event along with Joint Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments and Executive Officer of Meenakshi temple B. Raja.

A posse of police personnel was deployed in and around the tank to regulate the crowd.