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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Avani Festival @ Madurai Meenakshi Temple

2/9/2011: We visited the temple once again on the afternoon of the second. We were extremely fortunate that we accidentally chanced on the occasion of the Avani Festival - the Utsava Murthy's (Festival Idols) of the various deities ready to embark on a procession around the temple as part of the Avani Festival celebrations. See photos below:

1. A colorfully decorated cow with dholak 2.Silver elephant on palanquin 3.The Temple Elephant-colorfully attired 4.Goddess Meenakshi & Lord Sunderaswarar in Golden Palanquin 5.Goddess Meenakshi - magnificently attired 6.Lord Muruga atop his favorite vehicle - peacock 7.Lord Ganesha atop his vehicle - a rat 8.The procession begins: Led by the temple elephant followed by other vehicles.

49 comments:

  1. Rituals are often performed mechanically , the spirit and the essence are lost.More often we forget the essence in rituals too.

    I have heard about this festival when on a visit to the temple. I guess there is also a Temple car festival!

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  2. @ Anilkurup: Absolutely right. For the priests its just a job/duty performed mechanically without true dedication-more interested in maximizing their income ! The Annual Brahmotsavan Festival is celebrated during the month of Chittirai(Aries).The eighth day of the Chittirai festival witnesses the coronation of Meenakshi and procession on silver thrones, while the 9th day is the digvijaya festival. The 10th day (Chitra Purnima) marks the wedding of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar.
    The Ther (Chariot) festival is celebrated on the 11th day of the annual festival.

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  3. I see some beautiful animals....etc. Rituals are always interesting

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  4. Nice pictures. The utsava moorthies look beautiful! Our temple festivals are always colourful! I love the elephants always, whether they are at the temples or in the wild!

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  5. Wow it's colorful and very interesting custom and tradition. ^_^ Happy Tuesday!

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  6. I've seen many religious ceremonies but nothing like this. Amazing! And so colorful. Can't imagine those huge animals parading around in one of our "temples." :-)

    Thank you very much for your kind comments and good wishes!

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  7. hmmmmmmm..............
    thanks for the insight, like all things many get lost in the evolution of time and what once was meaningful gets devalued and become a prefunctionary measure.

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  8. Thanks for the festival tour .
    Its really grand .

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  9. Lovely colours. Thanks for sharing the beautiful festival.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  10. Rituals may be performed mechanically, but still I like them and want them to continue..

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  11. The visuals are treat for someone who is away from country, thanks for sharing!

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  12. @Renu: Of course we definitely want the rituals to continue because of the strong belief,faith & devotion of the people. Look what happens in Tirupati - they keep pushing the devotees around shouting "Jaragandi" rather rudely & offensively - but devotee's faith is only getting stronger by the day !

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  13. Oh the elephants are so beautiful.
    Such gentle energy they emit.
    One day would love to be close enough to pat one, to feel the love they radiate.

    So many festivals you have, I adore the armchair tour very much.

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  14. Madurai Meenakshi temple is always a delight to visit.. And to catch the festive occasions like this is a real treat!

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  15. So rich and colourful temple festival! The temples and their rituals are so simple here in this part of the country where I live.
    Nice pictures. Love to visit your space, very informative.

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  16. Interesting that animals seem to play such an important role in your religion, unlike Christianity. There is so much to know about India!

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  17. Beautiful festival and colorful shots! a delightful post.

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  18. The animals look regal in their attire, ready to march in the ritual. Are crowds of people on hand to watch?

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  19. @Barb: Yes there are are crowds of people generally around. The temple elephants are used to this.People are allowed to feed them bananas, rice,sugar cane, jaggery,bananas. People also take blessings from the elephant(placing the snout of the trunk on peoples heads)and in return receive money which they dutifully pass on to the mahout or keeper.

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  20. Though I have visited Meenakshi Temple several times as I did M.A. (Advt& PR) so I stayed at Madurai for 2 years. I have never attended Avani festival. Thanks a lot for sharing beautiful pictures alongwith lovely description. Very informative post.
    I love to cook variety of dishes so I post new recipes and thank you very much for your encouraging comments.

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  21. The 'Boom boom' cow , the temple elephants, the temple camels...add so much life to the place...wonderful to see this post!

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  22. @Ashok: Didn't know there were camels too. Will look out for them next visit.

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  23. Awesome pics of the rituals..It is always interesting to know & learn of diff rituals..Thank u for dropping by my space Mr. Ramakrishnan and for your lovely comments..And now I got to know of your wonderful site..Will keep dropping my often. ;)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  24. Lovely pictures, rituals are always part of belief and culture. They are always a source of hope and energy. :)

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  25. Wonderful pictures! I love how elephants get dressed and bejeweled in Indis, like fairy tale animals, celebrating this miraculous world!

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  26. Beautifully captured photos..... all the pictures looks so divine with all those rituals being performed.

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  27. Very beautiful clicks, a virtual treat of the rituals in the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple. Happy that you dropped at my space and appreciate your comments Sir.

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  28. wow those elephants are dressed better than me haha :))

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  29. nice walk through through a traditional village temple ritual

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  30. very interesting post...divine cliks..:)
    thanks for stopping by my space n inspiring feedback..!
    Tasty Appetite

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  31. It's great to know the traditions of each place, through the wonderful colorful images you!!!!
    many greetings and a very nice weekend!

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  32. This is great... I've been to Meenakshi temple but never knew about the festival.

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  33. What a rich culture full of interesting traditions!!!

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  34. Some of the best experiences come from the unplanned activities - such as this one. Everything looks so festive. :)

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  35. Really interesting religious ceremonies, wonderful sequence of pictures.
    Happy Sunday!

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  36. Such an interesting post. I get a glimpse to a completely different world and I like it.

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  37. Thanks a lot for the bundle of adjectives at my space ....much appreciated...and v happy to c and read it!

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