The Department of Cultural Education organized a day-long tour to the temple city of Madurai on 17 September, 2016. The purpose of the tour was to introduce the students to the rich cultural legacy of India through visits to important cultural and pilgrim centres. Madurai, the high seat of Pandiyan art, architecture, and culture, was chosen for the first visit, given its close proximity to Ettimadai campus.
The tour was organized exclusively for the first year UG students. It was an extension of their regular cultural education classes. About 40 students and faculty members, Sri. Probal Roy Chowdhury, Sri. Naveen Bhat, Dr. U. K. V. Sarma, Dr. Sripad H. Ghaligi and Sri. Anu G. Kumar, volunteered for this tour.
The group reached Madurai by bus about 11am, and started their tour with a visit to the famous Thirumalai Naicker Palace and Musuem. The students were enthralled at the still-surviving grandeur of the place and amazed to find out that Madurai was at the centre of a pan-Indian ocean economy for many centuries before the onset of European rule in India.
Post-lunch the team made their pilgrimage to the iconic Meenakshi Amman temple starting with the darshan of Lord Sundarerswarar. It took several hours to tour the grand temple and navigate the huge crowd of devotees. The lavish architecture was awe-inspiring. By the time they completed their darshan, it was already late evening and time to start the return journey.
The group returned to campus close to midnight with a desire to go back soon and quench their hearts in the grandeur of Madurai’s overwhelming cultural legacy.
The Department of Cultural Education will continue to organize such trips in the future.