The Mariamman Theppakulam in Vandiyur
- 5km south east of Meenakshi Temple is an ideal picnic spot, one of
the the huge Temple tank in south India. It was built in 1636 and
was commissioned by Thirumalai nayakar in 1646. The area of the tank
and the island pavilion with a garden in the center is approximately
equal to the area of Meenakshi Temple.
enormous temple tank is fed by the water brought from the Vaigai
through an ingenious system of underground channels. It has total of
12 long stairs (steps) made of granite on all four sides. In the
centre of the tank there is a Madapam called Maiya Mandapam (Central
Mandapam) with Vinayakar temple and garden. The length of the tank
is 1000 feet and width is 950 feet. The mandapam and temple in the
center of the tank enshrines an idol of Lord Vigneshwara, the
elephant-faced god. It is said to have been found when the earth was
being dug out from here to build the Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So
the place attained sanctity and was converted into a Teppakulam
Teppakulam is famous for the celebrations of the Float festival,
which is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai. The festival
commemorates the birthday of King Thirumalai Nayak. The celebrations
take place on a full moon night and the pristine water turns
colourful as the temple is lit. The deities of the temple come down
to the tank in colorful floats, presenting a mesmerizing sight.
Pilgrims across India come to Madurai to participate in the
According to legend, the place was found when the earth was dug to
make bricks for constructing Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal. The place was
converted into a tank and was dedicated to lord Ganesha.
This tank serves as the site of annual Teppakulam Float Festival,
which is celebrated in the months of January and February.
Furthermore, it is one of the major tourist attractions as it is the
largest temple tank in Tamil Nadu.
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