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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Koovagam Festival


Get married in the night and break the 'thali' the next morning. This is the essence of the Koothandavar festival celebrated by the eunuchs.
The village of Koovagam is next to Ulundurpet taluk in Villupuram district. The Koothandavar temple is situated in this village. This is the only temple for eunuchs, and their family deity is the Koothandavar.
A fifteen day Chitrai festival based on Mahabaratha is celebrated every year in grand style. According to the Mahabaratha, Rajakumaran, a eunuch was born to Arjuna and Naga Kannigai. The Pandavas, decided to sacrifice a human to ensure victory in the war and Rajakumaran was the sacrificial 'goat'. His last wish was to get married.
No one came forward to marry Rajakumaran. Lord Krishna appeared as a female and married him. The next day he was killed. To signify this, the marriage is held the previous night and breaking of the 'thali' the next morning is done every year as a ritual.
Along with this Chitrai festival, the Tamil Nadu Association for eunuchs and the Aids prevention and control wing of Voluntary Health Services, conducted a 'Miss Koovagam'

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