Madurai

Stage set for concept ‘kolu’

The view of a golu mandapam inside the Tirumarainathar Temple in Tiruvadavur near Madurai. Photo: R. Ashok   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK

With ‘Navarathri’ set to begin on September 25, preparations are on in full swing at the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here for the annual ‘kolu’ display which draws thousands of devotees to the temple to see it.

For the fourth consecutive year, the ‘Mylapore Trio’ – S. Amarnath, S. Surendranath and S. Aparna, who run the Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation in Chennai have been in-charge of conceptualising and arranging the thematic ‘kolu’ in the temple. The theme of the arrangement this year is said to be ‘Jaya Mangalam Subha Mangalam.’

The thematic ‘kolu’ which consists of over 800 dolls will be kept in 17 bays put up with flex boards and wooden planks on one side of the second corridor near the sanctum sanctorum of Goddess Meenakshi as has been done for the last three years. The ‘vaahanams’ of the temple will also be kept in nine separate bays.

An engineer at the temple said that they were also working on renovating the air-conditioning system near the sanctum to benefit the devotees who queue up to see the ‘kolu.’

Working models

The thematic ‘kolu’ will also have working replicas of the Meenakshi temple and the festivals celebrated, on display. These include one replica of the Teppam festival held at the Teppakulam, one of the various ‘vaahanams’ which include the ‘Rishaba vahanam’ and the ‘Garuda vahanam,’ circling the temple.

“Apart from this, we have made a replica of the sanctum sanctorum of goddess Meenakshi which will have the golden chariot encircling it. The famous legend of Lord Muruga and Lord Vinayaka taking on a challenge for the ‘Gnanapazham’ will also be depicted through a series of models,” said K.S. Balumani, an artisan from Pudukottai who is making the replicas.

“The replicas are being made with Plaster of paris, foam boards and thermacol. A special electronic motor fitted will help in the movement of the vaahanams and the deities in the model depicting the legend,” he explained.

“We expect over six lakh people to visit the temple on the nine days of the festival to see the ‘kolu’ and also witness the special ‘pujas’ and ‘abhishekams’ scheduled for the auspicious festival. ‘Kolu’ arrangements are also being carried out in the sub-temples of the Meenakshi temple which include the Tirumarainathar Temple at Tiruvadhavur, Tiruvapudaiyar Temple at Sellur and the Muktheeswarar Temple,” said N. Natarajan, Executive Officer of the Meenakshi Temple.

Temple officials said that the ‘kolu arrangement’ in the Tirumarainathar temple will be kept in the renovated ‘manimandapam’ on the temple premises.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:09:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/stage-set-for-concept-kolu/article6437631.ece

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