Panguni Uthiram Festival Celebrated on Grand Scale at Sri Meenakshi Temple



By Kamala Raghavan

PEARLAND: Panguni Uthiram is celebrated at many temples throughout South India and the world. The festival was celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Temple on Sunday, April 9. It is believed that the wedding of Rama and Sita was celebrated on Panguni Uthiram. The “Kalyanams” of Siva-Parvati, Lord Subramanya, Vishnu-Lakshmi and Rama-Sita are celebrated in a grand manner at many temples. The festival dates back to the 7th Century according to historians. The grand celebration of Panguni Uthiram at Sri Meenakshi Temple was attended by a huge crowd of devotees all through the morning. The function started with beautiful Seervarisai procession from Ganesh Temple. The Main Temple was full with devotees for Kalyana Utsavam.  Malai Matral (Garland exchange) ritual was done beautifully by all the priests. The procession with Mayil Vahanam was a great sight to watch. The decorations by the priests were beautiful, and the chanting of the slokas and devotional music by the devotees were feasts for the eyes and ears. The event Coordinators Saro Alagappan and Muthuraman executed it flawlessly with the help of the RAC team members and the incomparable MTS priests and staff.



Sita Rama Kalyanam at Sri Meenakshi Temple

By Kamala Raghavan

PEARLAND: Sita Rama Kalyanam was celebrated at Sri Meenakshi temple with pomp on Saturday, April 8. Sri Rama Navami is celebrated as Lord Rama’s birthday, as well as his celestial wedding day with Goddess Sita.  The wedding is performed to bring the happiness and peace around the world.  The style of the wedding as described in ancient Hindu writings is used as the baseline for Hindu marriages today.  Lord Sri Rama and Seetha Devi represent the ideal husband and wife, who achieved Divinity by adhering to Truth and Dharma at all times. Devotees gathered at the Ganesh temple with colorful trays of bakshanams, fruits and flowers and started the traditional “seer varisai” procession. Pidi Sutral (offering of colored rice) was performed in front of the kalyana madapam by several ladies, and the event began with a Vishwaksena Pooja and was followed by authentic wedding rituals, culminating in “mangalya dharanam”.  The priests followed it up with the homam, akstharaponam, and mangalaharathi. After the celestial wedding ceremony, the deities were taken on a procession around the temple premises in a silver chariot while the devotees chanted bhajans.  The divine wedding concluded with a sumptuous wedding feast. The MTS board, pooja committee, kitchen staff under the supervision of Rani Chilukuri, temple staff, and volunteers deserve credit for planning and organizing a grand event with the able guidance of the event coordinators, Ramachandra Reddy and Ranjana Narasiman.