Madurai Teppakulum Temple Tank.
Tamil Nadu, India
TA2021HR, 20 x 14 inch
Photographer: Anonymous, Circa 1890
About 2 miles from the Mināxi Devi Amman (also called Meenakshi) Temple is the Mariamman Temple tank, one of the largest temple tanks in South India. It is 1000 ft by 950 ft and covers an area of 16 acres and is popularly known as the Teppakulum. The construction of the temple complex required so much earth that it resulted in a massive excavation for the tank. The water is supplied through an ingenious system of underground channels connected with the Vaigai river.
The temple tank is famous for the celebrations of the float festival. The festivities start at dawn with a procession through the streets of Madurai of the deities Goddess Mināxi and Lord Sundareshwara from the Mināxi Amman Temple. The deities are taken in a decorated float called a teppa in Tamil. Thousands of devotees line the streets and the banks of the temple tank to join in the joyous celebrations to worship Lord Sundareshwara (Shiva), Goddess Mināxi (Parvati) and their son Lord Ganapati. As night falls, the waters of the tank are lit by oil lamps and bright reflections. At the end of the ceremony at night, the deities are taken back to the Mināxi Amman temple in another grand procession.
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