Puttu Tiruvizha (Festival) is one among the 64 Tiruvilayadals (Divine Plays) of Lord Sundareswarar. It is celebrated at the Puttu Thoppu in Madurai city every year in the Tamil month of “Avani” (Aug-Sep). The Meenakshi Amman Temple will remain closed on this occasion, since the deities will be taken out for the festival.
Story behind the Puttu Tiruvizha
Puttu Thoppu is situated on the south bank of River Vaigai in Madurai. It is believed that this is the place where Paramasiva performed one of his Tiruvilayadals (Divine Plays). The Lord gave salvation to Manickavasagar and Vanthi ammal, an old lady here on the sacred Vaigai river banks.
The Pandya King ordered every citizen of Madurai to build a massive bund at the banks of River Vaigai in order to protect the kingdom from the flooding of Vaigai. The old lady Vanthi amma was allotted her small portion of the bund to be built. She was unable to carry out the command, so she planned to offer Puttu (made of rice flour and coconut) for those who help her. Nobody come up to help her. Due to her deep devotion to Paramasiva, appeared as a youngster and offered to work for her. Upon eating a fistful of the delicious puttu, he slept off by the river bed not attending to the work. The king monitoring the progress of the work saw him lying down and struck him with a cane. What followed was a huge miracle revealing who the youngster truly was. The blow on him landed on every single person’s back including the King’s own back. The King was shocked and realized that the youngster was none other than Sundareshwara, Paramasiva. Paramasiva performed this Divine Leela (Divine Play) to give liberate the old woman Vanthi.