Heavenly Pattabhishekam for Goddess Meenakshi at Sri Meenakshi Temple

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan

By Bhargavi Golla

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam on April 21, the coronation ceremony on a majestic scale with religious fervor and devotion as part of the ten-day Chithirai Mahotsavam festival. Chithirai Mahotsavam is one of the biggest extravaganza annual celebrations that take place during the month of April both in Madurai in India and right here in Sri MTS. From Thursday, April 19th, the entire temple atmosphere was transformed into one of supreme celestial ambiance with religious and cultural activities celebrating the divine glory of Goddess Meenakshi.

It started on Thursday, April 19 with Vigneswara Pooja and on Friday dhwaja-arohanam, hoisting a flag bearing the image of Nandi took place, which marked the start of Mahotsavam.   Third day was the Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam.  Yagasala poojas were conducted every morning and evening throughout the ten-day event.  Cultural Program with classical music and dance are scheduled for each evening during the Mahotsavam.


Devotees gathered at the Ganesh temple with colorful trays of bakshanams, fruits and flowers and carried in a seer varisai procession to the Main temple.  The devotees were engrossed in spiritual bliss throughout the ceremony as the priests performed the Pattabhishekam at the Main temple.   

Advisory council chair Dr. P. Vaduganathan explained the legend behind pattabhishekam. King Malayadhwaja Pandian and Queen Kanchana Malai did not have a child for a long time. So Malayadhwaja Pandian performed special poojas and offered his prayers to God.  During the pooja, a small girl came out of the fire and sat on the lap of the king and at that time lord appeared from the sky and told them that this child was an incarnation of Shakti (Wife of Lord Shiva) and Lord Shiva himself would come to marry her at the right age.  Meenakshi was trained in warfare and she was crowned as the Queen of Pandya kingdom after her father.   This coronation ceremony is known as the Pattabhishekam.


After the Pattabhishekam Chairman Padmini Ranganathan, bestowed the regal scepter with the customary honor on behalf of all the devotees.  Priest Sri Manickasundara Bhattar said that this is the first time he witnessed a woman chairman being presented with a scepter.  It was indeed a historical blissful moment.  The regal scepter was taken in a procession around the Main Temple to commemorate Meenakshi’s crowning.   Sri Meenakshi was crowned with a new Kireetam (crown), donated by  Ms. Roopa and Mr. Balakrishnan and Charman Dr. Padmini Ranganathnan thanked them for their generous donation.   Haripriya Sundar and her friend, Roman Stromeyer created a 3D printed and hand painted parakeet model for the Sri Meenakshi pattabhishekam.

Goddess Meenakshi was then taken in a procession by devotees in a beautiful Poo Pallakku, It was a magnificent spectacle to watch the parade with Meenakshi in a Poo Pallakku and Meenakshi and Sundareswar in another pallakku and the Vigneswara, Muruga and Chandikeswara murthis adorned in their godly vehicle. Several young children carried lamps leading the procession.  The procession was accompanied by Chenda melam performed by amazing MTS devotees.  This year a new Poo pallakku (Floral Palanquin) was designed by artistic silpi Ramanathan and hand made by many silpis and volunteers.  Beautiful Poo pallakku was decorated with fresh flowers by volunteers in diamond shape patterns using yellow, white and red cornations.  It’s also brightly decorated with led lights.  Divine blessings graced the entire Pattabhishekam of goddess Meenakshi and devotees were enthralled to have a glimpse of Meenakshi in a poo pallakku as the procession went around the temple.  The feedback from many devotees is that one has to be destined to witness such a heavenly event.


Student from Abhinaya School danced in Raja Veedhi as the pallakku returned.  The procession concluded with devotees carrying Sri Meenakshi’s Pallakku swaying to the beats of Chanda Melam.  Chairman thanked the priests (Manickasundara Bhattar, Kalyana Sundaram, Balaji Sethuraman, Sridharan Raghavan, Pavan Kumar Sri Bhashyam, Sriman Narayana, R.K.E. Parameswaran ,  Sivakarthick Kannan and Sathish Devanathan), staff, board and advisory council and all the volunteers who worked hard in making the grand poo pallakku day possible.   The event was coordinated by Sheila Sriram and Dhani Kannan from RAC committee. 

A brief video of the event can be found at https://youtu.be/D5iNyfFvADk