Mandaikadu (TN), Feb 27 (PTI) The 10-day annual ‘Kodai’ festival of the famed Bhagavathy Amman temple here began on Sunday with the traditional flag hoisting ceremony.
The temple ‘Tantri’ Edakkode Sankaranarayanan and ‘Melsanthi’ Vignesh Kurukkal initiated the festival rites in the presence of a large number of devotees.
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister, T Mano Thangaraj took part.
Soundararajan also inaugurated the 85th annual Hindu Maha Sammelanam organised by the Haindava Seva Sangham after the ‘Kodiyettu’ (flag hoisting) ceremony by lighting the traditional lamp.
The Kodai ritual will be performed on March 8 midnight, which will be attended by devotees from various regions of Tamil Nadu and the southern parts of Kerala.
‘Valiyapadukka’, one of the major rituals of the festival, will be held on March 4 and the procession of ‘Valiya Theevatti’ on March 7.
The festival will conclude on March 8 with the ‘Odukku Pooja’ at midnight. A variety of food items like cooked rice and dishes will be brought in huge mud pots by priests in a procession from a specially erected kitchen outside the temple and offered to the deity during the pooja.
Although devotees offer Pongala at the temple daily, on festival days, the numbers swell to thousands.
The transport corporations of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are operating special bus services to and from Thiruvananthapuram during the festival days.
The Tamil Nadu police has deployed a huge contingent of its personnel for security and crowd management. Half a dozen watchtowers have been set up around the temple town, including the coastal areas.
Mandaikadu temple is located is on the outskirts of Colachel in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The shrine is administered as per Kerala traditions and festivals are also conducted here according to the rites and customs followed in the neighbouring state.
It was in 1803 that the former ruler of Travancore took over the administration of the temple. The temple is administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Tamil Nadu government. PTI TGB VGN ROH ROH
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
Source: The Print