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Puttu Chokkanathar Temple, Madurai

Overview

Puttu Thoppu – Puttu Thiruvizha

Puttu Thiruvizha (Festival) is one among the 64 Thiruvilayadals of Lord Sundareswarar. It is celebrated at Puttu Thoppu in Madurai city every year in the Tamil month of “Avani.” The Meenakshi Amman Temple will remain closed on this occasion since the deities will be taken out for the festival.

The story behind the Puttu Thiruvizha

Puttu Thoppu is situated on the south bank of River Vaigai. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Shiva performed one of his Thiruvilayadals. The Lord gave salvation to Manickavasagar and Vanthiammai, an old lady here on the river banks. The Pandya King ordered every citizen of Madurai to build a massive bund at the banks of River Vaigai in order to protect his kingdom from natural disasters like floods in Vaigai. The old lady Vanthiammai was ordered by the guards to carry baskets of soil for the work. But she was unable to carry out the command. So she planned to offer Puttu to those who help her. Nobody came up to help her. Suddenly, Lord Shiva appeared as a youngster and offered to work for her. Upon eating a fistful of the delicious puttu, he then slept off by the river bed while worked on. The king was monitoring the progress of the work, and at that time, the king watched the youngster (Lord Shiva) who slept off at the river bank. The King got angry and struck him with a cane. And a miracle is believed to have occurred. The blow on the lad landed on everyone’s back including the ruler’s. It is believed that Lord Shiva performed the Thiruvilayadal to give ‘Mukthi (Moksha)’ to the old woman.

In the present day…

Puttu Thoppu is a pillared alfresco hall with a wonderful view of the Vaigai river and is sometimes used as a place to give lectures.

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