Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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Float Festival

Float Festival
Place: Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Time : Mid Jan -to mid Feb
Venue : Mariamman Theppakulam in Vandiyur
Significance: Occasion of Marriage of the God Sundaresa & the goddess Meenakshi

Float Festival is celebrated in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) on the night of the full moon between mid January and mid February every year. The ornamented icons of the two deities, the God Sundaresa (incarnation of Shiva) and the goddess Meenakshi (incarnation of Parvati) with pearl crowns on their heads and riding on a golden bull are taken out in a splendid procession from the Meenakshi temple. The occasion is God Alagar (incarnation of Vishnu) giving his sister Meenakshi, in marriage to Sundaresa amidst great rejoicing. Devotees clothed in yellow and red dance among the crowd and spray coloured water on them. The icons are floated around the temple tank (Mariamman Theppakulam in Vandiyur ) on a specially constructed raft decked with flowers and flickering lamps to the sound of traditional music.

The Mariamman Theppakulam in Vandiyur, 5km south east of Meenakshi Temple is one of the the huge Temple tanks in South India. Built in 1636, the tank 1,100 ft by 950ft almost a perfect square, has an island pavilion in the centre with a garden and temple  which enshrines an idol of Lord Vigneshwara, the elephant-faced god. The placid waters of the tank turn colorful when the mandapam is lit up and the temple deities are brought to it in decorated floats. The tank is connected to river Vaigai through underground channels. The granite steps leading down to the tank on all four sides and the shrine was build by Tirumala Nayak. This festival attracts pilgrims from all over the country.

How to get there

Air : Madurai has a domestic terminus with daily flights from Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchirapalli and Mumbai

Rail : Rail connections are available from Chennai (8 hrs) and Rameswaram (6 hrs.) 

Road: Madurai is also very well connected by road. Private and state-run buses ply regularly from all major cities in Tamil Nadu.

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