Muniyandi Swami temple, Madurai
Vadakkampatti, a small village in Thirumangalam taluk of Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district, hosts an astonishing yearly temple festival. Every Friday and Saturday of the third week of January, the most auspicious pooja performed at the temple ends to be treated to a hearty meal of Mutton Biryani served as prasadam. It is just not to the devotees but for anyone who walks into Vadakkampatti on these two days.
A Tradition for Over 83 Years
The humble Muniyandi Swami temple that stands in the middle of the village holds the cynosure of the three-day festival which follows a heritage of serving nonvegetarian prasadam like never before, elsewhere. This has been a tradition for over 83 years. Around 1000 kgs of rice, 250 goats and 300 chickens are used to make the biryani and then donated as prasadam to the public.
The Muniyandi festival is celebrated in South Tamil Nadu as people worship regional deities of Tamil Nadu – who were worshippers of Lord Shiva and his female counterpart Shakti. The Muniyandi communal claim the fest to be an extraordinary event of their lives as it brings up a sense of togetherness, integrity and an act of indebtedness. Here, the fund is raised, from both the public and the people associated with the festival.
Tonnes of Biryani, 100 Goats Offered
At the Muniyandi Swami temple, roughly four tonnes of rice was used for annadhanam at the temple this year, which took place multiple times on Friday and Saturday. And Talking about the 2019 grand commemoration 2, tonnes of rice was used to prepare the mutton biryani as prasadam. Devotees made a beeline with vessels since early hours to receive the prasadam. About 100 goats were offered as thanksgiving to the temple which went into the making of the Biryani. And, 600 roosters were sacrificed for preparing the gravy to be offered with the prasadam.
Madhurai Sri Muniyandi Vilas
This is where the popular restaurant chain of Madhurai Sri Muniyandi Vilas has its roots. The name will ring a bell for anyone who lived in Tamil Nadu in the 70s and 80s. Since then the chain is said to have had over 1,000 outlets across South India well known for its range of spicy mutton dishes and, of course, the ubiquitous biryani. So even to this day, the hoteliers of the community have heavy sentiments aligned with the occasion as they say that the festival is the time to give back to the society. Also, they have the tradition of keeping aside the money they get from the first customer every day.
Being at the temple during the grandeur fiesta is a real visual treat and a celebration in itself with every devotee filled with extensive devotion and enthusiasm and lost in service to the lord
The biryani is cooked in more than 50 vessels on firewood stoves all through the night and offered to the deity at around 4 am, after which the first batch is served at 5 am.” Not just the people, but also Lord Muniyandi – the diety, is a fan of our biryani” is what the localities have to say.
Every time you think of a religious tour in the month of January please make sure you don’t miss being at the Muniyandi Swami temple festival at Vadakkampatti which calls for a total extravaganza with its incredibly delicious biryani prasadam.