India: Tamil Nadu: Madurai: Free skies for Meenakshi’s Parrots

Echoes in the Mist

Rose-ringed_Parakeets_(Male_&_Female) : Wikipedia Commons

The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai, in southern India, is one of the largest temples in the world.  It is dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, who is the wife of Shiva. Her vahana, or symbol, is the parrot, and she is depicted holding a parrot on her finger.

The species of parrot she holds is the Indian Ring-necked Parakeet or Rose-ringed Parakeet, which is native to India.

In an online article from September 19, 2005, attributed to Mike Schindlinger, entitled “Free Sky for Meenakshi Temple Parrots,” it was reported that the temple birds were being freed, and in the future only one pair of parrots would be kept in the temple.

According to P. Bhaskaran, Executive Officer of the Temple, the birds were being freed in response to requests from animal welfare organizations like Blue Cross of India. Similar requests had been lodged by the Tamil Nadu…

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