Mondaikad temple festival begins with Kodiyettu

The legendary Koda will take place on March 12 attended by lakhs of devotees from the various regions of Tamil Nadu and the southern parts of Kerala.

| Updated: 05 March, 2024 11:05 am IST
Thousands of devotees today witnessed the ‘Kodiyettu’ at the famed Mondaikad Bhagavathy Amman Temple

MONDAIKAD (TAMIL NADU): Thousands of devotees today witnessed the ‘Kodiyettu’ (flag-hoisting ceremony) at the famed Mondaikad Bhagavathy Amman Temple, marking the commencement of the 10-day “Koda” festival in this coastal town in Kanyakumari district. Temple Tantri Edakkode Sankaranarayana Iyer initiated the festival rituals in the morning, amid the chanting of “Amme Saranam, Devi Saranam.’

Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, former Kerala Minister V S Sivakumar, Mr Vijay Vasanth, MP, Mr J G Prince, Mla, District Collector Mr P N Sridhar and District police chief Mr Sundaravadanam were present on the occasion.

The legendary Koda will take place on March 12 attended by lakhs of devotees from the various regions of Tamil Nadu and the southern parts of Kerala.

“Valiyapadukka,” a major mid-night ritual of the festival, will be performed on March 8 and the procession of “Valiya Theevatti” on March 11, before the festival concludes with the “Odukku Pooja” at midnight on March 12.

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There has been a steady flow of pilgrims, mostly women, to the temple in the past month, setting the tempo for the annual festival.

Although devotees offer ‘pongala’ at the temple daily, during the festival days their numbers swell to thousands, that too throughout day and night. During the festival season, thousands of devotees reach Mondaikad from south Kerala.

Because of this, the Tamil Nadu government has made elaborate arrangements to regulate the flow of pilgrims. Special inter-state bus services are operated between Thiruvananthapuram and Mondaikad by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation.

The Tamil Nadu police have deployed more than 1000 special personnel and a contingent of Marine Police for security and crowd management. Several watchtowers have been installed around the temple, including the coastal stretches close to the shrine.

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The Mondaikad Devi Temple is situated on the Arabian Sea coast near Colachel of the erstwhile Travancore princely state. Despite being in Tamil Nadu’s Kanniyakumari district, the temple rituals and its festivals are conducted as per the rituals and traditions followed in Kerala.

It was in 1803 that the former ruler of Travancore took over the administration of the temple. The temple is now administered by the Kanniyakumari Devaswom Board.

Meanwhile, the 87th annual Hindu Maha Sammelan organised by the Devaswom Board and Haindava (Hindu) Seva Sangham along with the festival commenced on Sunday.

Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan inaugurated the meeting by lighting the traditional lamp. A series of religious and cultural programmes and Hindu conventions are being held on all ten days.

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