India is a country where, after every hundred kilometers you are experienced by a new cultural identity with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and heritage. South India is that one part where one can explore the rich culture and traditions.
Float Festival started in 17th century
Madurai, the temple city of India is home to the colorful Float Festival organized on the day of the full moon every year in January. The floats festival of India is a very old festival which has been celebrated in the Madurai city for a long time. This tradition of taking gods in to a boat ride was started by a 17th century Tamil king Thirumala Nayaka. As per local tellers King Thirumala Nayaka of the region made excavation of 16 acres to make bricks for erecting his new palace and converted this great depression into Lake which receives water from Vaigai River through underground channels. The godly statues were taken on boat ride on the king’s birthday. And from then onwards it is celebrated by the people of the region with great enthusiasm.
The float festival of Madurai, locally known as Teppothsavam includes the conveying of Goddess Meenakshi and her associate, Lord Sundareshwarar in a parade to the lake where they are gone up on a boat ride.
Early morning, the gods are conveyed in golden palanquins and escorted by elephants and artists. The icons of goddess Meenakshi and her partner ruler Sundareshwarar are taken in amazing parade to the huge lake called Teppakulam, and drawn around a holy place on the island in the middle of the lake, situated on a float called ‘Teppam’.
On the banks of the lake the devotees revere the gods. Deities float on the garlanded raft, which is gorgeously bedecked with silk buntings and paper decorations.
The followers hold the two closures of the rope that help the icons to coast. After two or three rounds of the lake, the symbols are taken to the temple on the central island. The island is lit with lights and enhanced with beautiful lamps and blooms after. The dusk dims day light yet heightens the enthusiasm. Bouquet of sky kissing colourful fireworks keeps the spirits on.
See Video on Madurai Float Festival…
Apart from being a temple town, Madurai is a popular tourist destination, a cultural hotspot.With Madurai and the scenery of South India can be explored by South Indian tour packages by Maharaja Trails which will make you explore a refreshing world of impeccable hospitality.