Sea of devotees take part in Chithirai car festival

Updated - April 22, 2024 09:04 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2024 09:03 pm IST - MADURAI 

Car festival of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in progress in Madurai on Monday.

Car festival of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in progress in Madurai on Monday. | Photo Credit: G. MOORTHY

Thousands of devotees reached Masi streets during the early morning of Monday to witness the grand car festival of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.

 The grand car festival marks the end of the 12-day annual Chithirai festival. The procession of the vibrantly-decorated temple cars, with one carrying Lord Sundareswarar with Goddess Piriyavidai, followed by a smaller one carrying Goddess Meenakshi, began on East Masi Street around 6.30 a.m. 

Before the procession, the deities were brought to Thermutti on East Masi Street where the temple cars were stationed. Special pujas were performed there. 

Hundreds of youngsters drew the ‘vadam,’ the thick nylon rope, used to pull the tiered cars, which were over 300 metres long. 

Many people were waiting at vantage points - terraces and balconies of houses and commercial establishments - to get a better view of the colourful procession. Chants of ‘Hara Hara Sundara Mahadeva’ filled the air during the procession. 

The decorated cars with long cloth canopy ( ‘thervalai’) filled with colourful decorations such as festoons swaying in the air was a scene worth the long wait for the devotees.  

Usual attractions like toy shops, temporary tattoos, eateries were all over the streets waiting for business. To beat the scorching heat, individuals and commercial establishments distributed buttermilk and water bottles to devotees along with food packets.  

 A huge posse of police was deployed along the procession route to ensure the smooth conduct of the event. The procession ended by noon. 

According to the inscriptions on the temple walls, the first car festival was reportedly introduced in Madurai 700 years ago, during the reign of King Veerapandian.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.