For the first time in 40 years, water from the Vaigai River was released into Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, which is a temple pond located about two kilometers from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Madurai Corporation had recently cleared dump from four channels to the pond and diverted sewage water from reaching the Teppakulam. As the water was being released into the pond, locals gathered to catch a glimpse of the historic moment.
Priyadarshini, a student, told the reporters: "I usually come with my friends here. This is for the first time we are seeing that water is being released to the pond. Recently, the Madurai Corporation has cleared the channels for the smooth flowing of water from the river. It is a very delightful sight to see."
"It's been more than 40 years that water came to Teppakulam. We don't know why water wasn't released in the pond for the past 40 years. Even then, water used to come through the same channels as it is coming now," said Mani, a local resident.
During the reign of the Nayak kings, sand from this area was taken to build the Meenakshi Amman temple which transformed the valley area into beautiful ponds.
The lighting of one lakh clay lamps on the premises marked the ‘Karthigai Deepam’ celebration at Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai. Volunteers and temple officials arranged clay lamps with oil around the golden lotus tank, on the terrace and along the corridors around Amman Sannidhi from 4 pm. Volunteers said that they wanted to light up every nook and corner to decorate the ancient temple in all its grandeur.
The lamps were lit at 6 pm by temple staff and volunteers and many devotees waited around the golden lotus tank to catch a glimpse of the fully illuminated tank and terrace reflected in the waters. Police were deployed at Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple to monitor the crowd and ensure safe visit of devotees.