Avani Mulam

Avani Mulam

August-September; during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada
According to Hindu mythology, the god Indra showed his displeasure with the king of Madurai by sending a drought, during which the river completely dried up. When a sudden, heavy rainfall threatened to flood the river's banks, the king ordered everyone in Madurai to help build a dam to conserve the precious water. The portion of the dam assigned to one old woman was never completed, because she was too busy cooking for the other hungry laborers. One of the workmen who came to her for food was actually the god Sundara, who saved the dam from leaking by throwing a small handful of earth in the gap left by the old woman.
Although Avani Mulam is observed throughout India, the grandest celebration is in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, where an image of Sundara, with a golden basket and a golden spade, is carried in a procession from the river to the temple.
CONTACTS:
India Tourist Office
1270 Avenue of the Americas, Ste. 1808
New York, NY 10020
800-953-9399 or 212-751-6840; fax: 212-582-3274
www.tourisminindia.com
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 107