Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam Highlights the Early Part of Chittirai Mahotsavam at MTS

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Exquisite Sri Meenakshi in Poo Pallakku (flower Palanquin) following the Pattabhishekam at Chitirai Mahotsavam

By  Vaduganathan and Chitoor Ramachandran

PEARLAND: It was a divine sight to witness on Saturday April 25 as one of the traditions of Madurai Meenakshi temple of hundreds of years was followed right in Houston’s own Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS).

As a prelude, on the previous day (Friday) MTS devotees enthralled in the nostalgic Chithirai Thiruvizha watched the annual dhwaja-arohanam (flag hoisting) on Friday, April 24 that signifies the start of the festivities at MTS.

On Saturday a decorated podium had been set inside the main temple at the center where the utsavamoorthys of Somaskandha (a name derived from Sa – Uma-Skandha to indicate the gruhasta ashrama (married life) of Lord Shiva with his consort Parvathi, and their sons Ganesha and  Karthikeya).  Sri Meenakshi has a special place as the female energy (Shakthi) during the utsavam in addition to being part of Somaskandha. In order to preserve the sanctity of a temple as a place of worship, certain rituals are performed as a tradition everyday (during the 10 days) outside in a tent in accordance with the basic guidelines established by the Hindu Shastras.

After morning showers in Pearland, Sun was shining over the newly painted Kalyana Mantapam and Youth center and the temple was ready for the Pattabhishekam of Sri Meenakshi. Under the guidance of Sri Manicka Bhattar and Acharya Kalyana Sundara Gurukkal, the procession began at Ganesh temple and arrived at the Main temple. Chairman Vaduganathan narrated the story of the coronation of Meenakshi and the Meenakshi kalyanam.

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MTS chairman Dr Vaduganathan family with devotees commenced the Pattabhishekam ceremony with the Invocatory prayer at the Ganesh temple.
Photos : Srini Sundararajan

Goddess Meenakshi (incarnation of Parvathi) is believed to have descended on earth as the only child of the Pandya Raja Malayadhwaja and Queen Kanchanamala, as a boon to the Raja’s penance. Meenakshi grew up as a princess of Madhurapuri conquering in all four directions. Volumes of poems and stories have been written for centuries in praise of the divine beauty, valor, benevolence, and spiritual powers of Sri Meenakshi.

The coronation of Meenakshi was done in a festive setting and the symbolic scepter was handed over to the Chairman as was the tradition in the Meenakshi temple. The Chairman in turn carried it around the main temple to display it to the citizens that Meenakshi is now crowned.  The Goddess Meenakshi was carried in the beautiful Palanquin, the Poopallakku. With the dusk settling in the scene was surreal with the backdrop of the Rajagopuram as the procession progressed.

The Grand Mahotsavam requires efforts by many including MTS priests and staff, with coordination by Narayanan and the RAC team; Poo Pallakku was coordinated by S. Balakrishnan and several volunteers worked many hours to make the beautiful Palanquin. Daily cultural events (coordinated by Mala Gopal) with classical music and dance performance, which started with the presentation by Vedic Heritage Students.

Above all Goddess Sri Meenakshi’s blessing makes it possible for the devotees to enjoy the start of the ten days of Chittirai Mahotsavam celebrations that will conclude with the divine wedding (Thirukalyanam) of Sri Meenakshi with Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) with a grand lunch feast on May 3.  For more information please visit