It is an act of service and Philanthropic gesture to extend helping hand by devotees on festival days. Few of this kind of service to the devotees have been criticised as no proper method have been followed ending in chaos and confusion resulting in loss of peace of mind for the donors.
This year, Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu has laid a restriction on distributing puja articles, water and ‘prasadam’ to devotees during the celestial wedding (Tirukkalyanam) on April 27.
The temple management has clarified that philanthropists and donors could use the temple channel without engaging intermediaries. During Chithirai festival, Thirumangalyam thread, hand-held fans, water bottles and ‘prasadams’ are usually distributed at several places around the temple. People also put up stalls for distributing buttermilk and food. “If the philanthropists route the distribution through the temple, they will have peace of mind. They will also be assured that their contribution, however meagre or large, would not be mishandled or misappropriated,” the temple official said.
The temple has also begun registration and sale of special passes for the Thirukkalyanam which will be held between 9.05 a.m. and 9.29 a.m. on North Aadi Street. A total of 6,000 people will be allowed to enter the premises on April 27 through the southern gopuram on first-come-first-served basis.
Tickets will be sold for Rs. 500 and Rs. 200 after a form is filled and an identity proof (PAN card/ voter identity card/ passport/ driving licence/ family card/ Aadhaar card) are presented. People can register online on www.maduraimeenakshi.org and at Birla Vishram on West Chithirai Street.
If there are too many applications, lots will be drawn to determine recipients of the tickets. Confirmations will be sent between April 23 and April 26 through phone and email notifications. For those without a mobile phone, names would be displayed on a board outside Birla Vishram.
A special booth selling last minute tickets for foreigners and tourists will be open between 4.30 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. on the day of the celestial wedding . For details regarding contribution, individuals can contact the Meenakshi temple on 0452 2349868 or 2344360.