Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kottai Mariamman temple Festival- Dindigul

Dindigul is slightly interior part of Tamil Nadu and is well connected with places like Kodaikanal, Madurai, Trichy, Karur and Palani. It is famous for locks, textile mills and tobbaco cultivation. The rockfort is the land mark for Dindigul and this is visible from any part of the town and I am staying at present in this place.

There are a quite a few temples here and Masi festival of Kottai Mariamman temple is very famous and has concluded recently.

I never like crowded places but my curiosity was kindled by my neighbour who gave me a detail description of the temple and the rituals. Armed with my camera I went to shoot. This was really a different experience altogether as some of the rituals were very unique.

Kottai Mariamman temple is about 200 years old and the deity is believed to have been installed by the soldiers of Tipu Sultan. This temple is at the base of the rock fort. The idol of Mariamman is worshipped by all the people in and around Dindigul and people from villages flock here with their offerings to their deity. The Mariamman temple festival is for 15 days.

The main idol in the sanctum is installed on the floor of the temple and She is always adorned with golden Kavacham during the festival. The Utsavar is taken around the streets surrounding the temple on a chariot. There is a flower chariot festival and on that day all the people in Dindigul come out to offer flowers to the deity and the streets also get decorated with flowers. As part of the celebration the temple is decorated with floral patterns. Carrying sprouted grains, fire pots, milk pots with the accompaniments of percussion instruments is a common sight during this festival. One thing made me nervous was the Pookuli. Here a fire pit is made which is about 8- 10 feet in length and is filled with burning charcoal and devotees walk through the pit chanting the Amman's name. I witnessed the same and have included various clippings of the festival.

How to reach : The nearest Airport is Madurai, is about 70 Kms. from Dindigul.
Railway station is in the heart of Dindigul town itself.
Many State Government buses as well as private buses ply from nearby towns.
Good hotels are available in Dindigul.

Photos 1. Maraimman Utsavar,2. Balaji , brother of Maraimman, 3, 4, 5,6 floral carpets and rangoli, 7-10 flower chariot 11. Decorated pandal with a idol of Amman on the road side 12, Flower offerings kept ready for the deity. 13. Elephant pilot in front of chariot. 14. sprout pots, pot 16, 17, 18, Pookuli( fire walk) 19, Amman temple in the background is Dindigul rock, 20 A decorated pandal during the flower chariot festival.


  1. This was beautiful!!! was this on Masi magam? thanks for sharing... i cant imagine visiting the temple ever at this time.... school exam time for us....

  2. Welcome Anu
    Yes, Masi festival,just concluded on last Tuesday. It was totally a different experience for me.

  3. The rangolis and the flowers are so beautiful and so is everything.

    Did I tell you that my new URL is working now?

  4. Amazing pics,so beautiful chitra....and the way u have written it too is very nice and a very happy woman's day...

  5. The post as described you picturises the event as I read. Thanx for sharing. I wanted to share an info with you. My native is Salem. In salem also there is Kottai Mariamman. But I dont know its story. The temple is very famous and festival takes place on Aadi.

  6. The floral carpets and rangolis were so gorgeous. thanks for sharing

  7. Mridula
    Thanks for the comment. If your URL is working how come I am not getting your updates. Any I will check. Have you made any changes?

    Thanks for the comment and Happy Woman'sday to you also.

    Happy Womens'day for all my friends.
    Thanks for sharing the information.I had visited Salem But didn't visit any temples. May be next time I would try.

    Thank you very much.It was a nice experience for me too.

  8. wowwieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
    loved the floral pattern pic

  9. Awesome pictures! daughter's inlaws performed a pooja in their village in karnataka.something related with snake and I was amazed to see the magnificient kolam and decoration done for that.

  10. Hi chitra, to do these rolls u get samosa patti sheets in any super markets in india...check out the frozen section...if in case u dont find it u can prepare a dough using 1 cup maida,1/2 cup cornflour,salt and 2 tbsp oil(make it a semi-soft dough and then keep it for half an hour) and then take a small portion,roll it thinly and just do the way i have shown in the picture and then deep fry it,repeat the same.. for rest of the will be just the same...i hope its helpful

  11. Sorci,
    Thanks a lot for the comment.

  12. Samvedna
    Kolam making, the rangoli I dont think none can beat TN people. It's in their blood as that is first thing they do in the morning in front of their houses and even children are expert in this.

  13. Thanks Sushma for helping me.I would surely try this. It may be available in Chennai not in a place like where I am at present. I will try the home made recipe.

  14. Its a long time since I have seen anything quite so beautiful as all those wonderful flower pictures. Not exactly good for my hay fever, I'd take the risk (and extra anti-histamines) to see this spetcular sight. Thanks for this journey Chitra.

  15. Wow, Chitra! The pictures are absolutely fantastic.

    Bedecking the Lord with flowers and decorating the streets with flowers gives the place a divine feel, where you don't care about cast, colour and creed. A divine atmosphere that lets everyone to be one with the Gods. Festivals is a religious way of respecting the differences while all unite forgetting them! Paradoxical but it happens and that's the beauty.

  16. Bhavesh,
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for the post.

    As usual your comments are highly motivating and inspiring. By the way, are you a behavioral trainer by any chance?

    You have your own way of decorating my blog with your wonderful words. Thanks a lot dear.

  17. What a readable and interesting post as well as breath taking photos - thanks for sharing; Very exotic to a Norwegian you know :-)

  18. beautiful pic
    and interesting information

  19. Nice narration. Awesome pictures. Now I know Dindigul is famour for 2 things. One is this Kottai Mariamman Temple and another is the Dindigul poottu.

  20. I really like your new header:) Goes with the theme of your blog perfectly.

    I've never visited Dindigul. Nicely narrated & I am awed by the Pookuli!! Wonder how they do it..I mean, the levels of devotion must be so strong.

  21. Dear Chitra,
    Beautiful photos and description.Morning I was missing my morning temple visits in Trichur with Nanda.Guruvayoor Temple festival just got over and the wonderful photos were given in the newspaper.
    So nice of you to share the floral decorations.I can't agree with the practice of people walking on the fire.I have seen it in television.
    Keep doing your amazing work.

  22. Renny Ba's Terella,
    Thank you for your comment. I am just trying give an insight into some of the customs of rural India.

    welcome and thanks for visiting.

    Thanks dear.

    Let me share with you the third fame for Dindigul. Its delicious mutton biriyani.

    Thanks for the appreciation dear.
    Pookuli, I could see the devotees were in a trance and were going through an out of the world experience.
    Thanks for the comment. Nice to know you are enjoying my posts like I enjoy yours.

  23. Sorci
    Thank you for the comment.

  24. I would love to see everyone bringing out the flowers for the festival. I bet that is something to behold!


  25. Traci
    The flower festival was amazing which I also hadn't seen earlier. The whole street was decorated with flowers, each and person holding baskets of flowers to offer to the deity. All flower sellers in the town and each every community set up different stalls with heaps of flower and as the chariot comes along it's offered.I enjoyed it as I could participate in it.

  26. Very beautiful pictures and you have described very nicely. I felt as if I have visited Dindigul. I like each and every post of yours as you write very well and it has depth in it.

  27. Thank you so much Babli You made my day. Hugs.

  28. Festivals are really colorful, be it in any part of India. This being a flower festival the color it brings in is the ultimate. Thanks for taking ur readers to the festival

  29. Thanks subu. for the comment.

  30. Hi Chitra,
    Thanks for this post and beautiful photographs. This is an important part of Tipu Sultan's rule, who used to patronise the Hindu as well as Muslim culture. This is something the people are forgetting nowadays.

  31. Excellent photographs and nice description. Felt as if I was physically there. Good post, Chitra.

  32. Archana,
    Thanks for the information and the comments.

  33. Saras,
    Thank you very much Sir,I am happy to hear it from you.

  34. mazhamekhangal
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for your comments. Do visit when you get time.

  35. Kannan
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment.

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