Devotees throng temple, garland horse idol

Devotees garlanding the horse idol at Perungaraiyadi Meenda Ayyanar Temple in Kulamangalam near Alangudi on Saturday.  

The annual Masi Magam festival held at Sri Perungaraiyadi Meenda Ayyanar Temple in Kulamangalam near Alangudi began on Friday with thousands of devotees thronging the temple to offer prayers and garland a horse idol.

The devotees garlanded the 35-foot-tall horse as a sign of gratitude for a good year and hope for a better one. Though devotees visit the temple on the Villuni riverside throughout the year, huge crowds descend during the Tamil month of Masi when the festival is celebrated. Devotees in the town buy garlands big enough for the horse idol and take it to the temple on their vehicles. “While they say that the garlands used to be made of flowers, we now use coloured paper as it is difficult to make garlands that big for so many devotees,” said A. Ananthakumar, a devotee.

The garlands are taken to the temple located outside the village on big vehicles, including mini vans and tractors, where special harnesses are used to garland the horse. “We do not want to damage the structure, so this set-up works well,” he said. Devotees spend two days garlanding the horse, after which prayers are offered to the presiding deity at the temple.

While plastic garlands were in use, temple authorities have been insisting against its use over the last few years, devotees said. Over 20 families are engaged in making the garlands in the village and surrounding villages.

Police personnel were posted to ensure safety of the devotees while at least 25 spots were earmarked for annadhanam. A float festival forms part of the festival.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 10:59:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/devotees-throng-temple-garland-horse-idol/article33950295.ece

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