From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Chithirai Festival
Mains level : Not Much
For the first time, in place of Madurai’s Chithirai Festival, a simple celestial union is set to take place that will be streamed online.
Match the pair based question can be asked from festivals as such. Recently, the following festivals were in the news: Ambubachi Mela, Thrisoor Puram, Meru Jatara, Nagoba Jatara etc.
- Chithirai Festival or Chithirai Thiruvizha is an annual celebration celebrated in the city of Madurai during the month of April.
- It is celebrated during the Tamil month of Chithirai.
- It lasts for one month of which the first 15 days mark the celebrations of the coronation of Goddess Meenakshi and the Marriage of Lord Sundareswara and Goddess Meenakshi.
- The next 15 days mark the celebrations of the Journey of Lord Alagar from Kallazhagar temple in Alagar Koyil to Madurai.
About Meenakshi Temple
- The ancient city of Madurai, more than 2,500 years old, was built by the Pandyan king, Kulashekarar, in the 6th century B.C.
- But the reign of the Nayaks marks the golden period of Madurai when art, architecture and learning flourished expansively.
- The most beautiful buildings in the city including its most famous landmark, the Meenakshi temple, were built during the Nayak rule.
- Located in the heart of the city, the Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple is dedicated to goddess Meenakshi, the consort of lord Shiva.
- The sculpted pillars are adorned with the exquisite murals that celebrate the ethereal beauty of princess Meenakshi and the scenes of her wedding with Lord Shiva.
- The pillars depict scenes from the wedding of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. There are 985 richly carved pillars here and each one surpasses the other in beauty.