Navaratri kolu a big attraction at temple

A huge draw: Hundreds of devotees thronged Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai on Sunday to see the Navaratri ‘kolu.’

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A huge draw: Hundreds of devotees thronged Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai on Sunday to see the Navaratri ‘kolu.’

The annual Navratri festival at Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here began on a grand note on Sunday evening as hundreds of devotees thronged the temple to have a darshan of goddess Meenakshi and to pay a visit to the special ‘kolu’ arranged at the temple.

With over 1,300 dolls arranged in 13 bays, which were beautifully decorated with fairy lights, the kolu drew huge crowds. The kolu bays are placed in the corridor near the sanctum sanctorum of Goddess Meenakshi. The kolu also had a display of the vahanas (vehicles), which are taken out during temple processions.

The devotees eagerly visited the bays, which has on display some of the divine sports of Lord Siva. Various episodes of Thiruvilayadal depicting the life of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi were on display. The Tirukkalyanam of Lord Sundareswarar with Goddess Meenakshi was the main attraction among devotees.

The collection also had dolls of different deities, including Muruga, Ganesa, Lakshmi and Saraswathi.

R. Keerthika from Bengaluru, who had come with her son, said that such exhibitions give exposure to children about Indian mythological stories. “While we grew up hearing stories from our grandmothers, children of today get such exposure only when they visit such kolus,” she says.

Over 100 police personnel have been deployed in the temple during the festival to manage the crowd. The National Service Scheme volunteers of Thiagarajar College also chipped in to help regulate the crowd.

The temple had also arranged several music and Bharatanatyam performances throughout the day.

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