Meenakshi Amman Temple – Worship & Rituals
The music of the tavil and the Nadaswaram are considered essential to temple worship. There are close to 50 priests in the temple who perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis.
Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to Shaivite to the Adishaivas, a Brahmin sub-caste. The priests live in a closed area north of the temple.
The temple has a six time pooja calendar every day, each comprising four rituals namely
1. Abhisheka (sacred bath)
2. Alangaram (decoration)
3. Neivethanam (food offerings)
4. Deepa Aradanai (waving of lamps)
All these rituals will be performed for both Meenakshi and Sundareswarar.
The puja (worship) ceremonies are held amidst music with Nadaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast.
The common practise is to worship Meenakshi before Sundareswarar. Margazhi (December–January) ritual is prominent one for winning a perfect, god-like husband - it is Meenakshi's ennai kappu festival.
Aligned with the cardinal points, the street plans forms a giant mandala (group) whose sacred properties are believed to be activated during the mass clockwise circumambulation of the central temple.