dawn on this day families everywhere gather around a new earthen
pot. As the pot of milk boils over, signifying prosperity, a
shout of "Pongalo Pongal" rents the air.
TOURIST FAIR (FAIRLANDS
or ISLAND GROUNDS - CHENNAI)
In January, the sun gets into a
pleasant holiday mood and Chennai gets a cool respite from her
famous hot weather ! Time for family outings to the colourful
TTDC Trade Fair. The exhibition presents a panorama of Tamil
Nadu - all her places of tourist interest, her cultural wealth
and economic progress.
you a spectacular re-enactment of the marriage of the Pandiyan
princess Meenakshi to Lord Sundareswarar. You can witness an
ancient legend unfold right before your eyes as Lord Vishnu
rides to his sister's wedding on gleaming real-gold horse
before an open-air 'stage' created 13 centuries ago the
incredible monolithic rock sculptures of the Pallavas, next to
the sea in this ancient city of Mamallapuram. Lovers of dance
will be treated to a very unique and unforgettably aesthetic
event : Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi,
presented by the very best exponents of the art besides folk
temple city of Chidambaram pays special tribute to Lord Nataraja
the 'Cosmic dancer'. The setting is truly divine-Chidambaram's
gold-roofed temple, with pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108
poses from Bharatha Natyam - Tamil Nadu's classical dance.
A holy festival that will bring
you to Kumbakonam once in 12 years - the temple city that gets
its name from "Kumbha" - the divine
pot. Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, held a pot
containing nectar and the seed of creation. Shiva. in the form
of a hunter shot an arrow at the pot - spilling the nectar into
the famous Mahamagam tank at the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple.
refers to the 63 saints of Shiva canonised for leading exemplary
lives of devotion and penance. Bronze figures of these 63 saints
adorn the magnificent Kapaliswar Temple at Mylapore, Chennai.
Once, every year, they are carried in a colourful procession
through the streets of Mylapore.
summer festival might find you in the 'Queen of Hill Stations',
the evergreen Ooty; the exquisite Kodaikkanal or the salubrious
heights of Yercaud - where boat races, flower and fruit shows
are specially organised. Also, a splendid opportunity to go
trekking in any of Tamil Nadu's other hill stations that promise
unforgettable holidays off the beaten track.
SARAL VIZHA (KUTTALM
A festival that makes a
celebration out of a simple, daily ritualbathing ! And indeed, a
bath at the picturesque Courtallam waterfalls is no ordinary
event. The healing waters of the roaring Courtallam are famed
for their medicinal properties.
A truly secular festival - where
devotees flock to the shrine of saint Quadirwali,
believed to do equal good to people of all faiths. One of the
descendants of the Saint is chosen as a Peer or
spiritual leader and is honoured with offerings. On the tenth
day of the festival, the Saint's tomb is annointed with
sandalwood - and later the holy sandal paste, renowned for its
healing powers, is distributed to everyone.
in a hypnotic trance to the rhythm of drums, devotees of Muruga
carry the 'Kavadi' a flower decked
decoration, all the way up the Palani Hills to fulfil their vow.
According to Hindu mythology, Idumban is said to have carried
two sacred hillocks on two ends of a pole placed on his
legends surround the church-the most famous being that of the
ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors, who in the 16th century, vowed
to build a great shrine for the Virgin Mary, for saving their
lives in a terrible storm. The Velankanni festival attracts
thousands, clad in orange robes to the sacred spot where the
ship landed. Equally famous are the Virgin Mary's miraculous
healing powers - earning for the church the name 'Lourdes of the
Literally, this means the
festival of 'nine nights' taking unique and
different forms in different states of India - all to propitiate
the goddess Sakthi, for power, wealth and knowledge.