Meenakshi Temple, a well known tourist Destination in Madurai

Posted Date: 27 Feb 2011      Author: Latha Jayaprakash    Member Level: Gold (Rs. 40)

Meenakshi temple is located in the heart of the city of Madurai and the city has been built around it. This is an high walled structure with 4 gopurams on each side of the temple and twin gopurams of the main deities, which has been designed with the Dravidian architecture.

Location of Madurai Meenakshi Temple


Madurai Meenakshi temple is a well known temple, located in the city of Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The Entire city of Madurai is built around the Madurai Meenakshi Temple and the temple is placed right in the middle of the city inside the high walled enclosures. The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is more than 2000 years old and is a typical example of the Dravidian culture and the style of architecture.
Madurai Meenakshi temple was built by Kulasekhara Pandyan of the Pandya kingdom. Pandya Nadu was one of the three kingdoms of the early Tamil Nadu area namely Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms. The temple as it stands now was established by Vishwanatha Nayakkar and then was continued by Thirumalai Nayakkar

About the Madurai Meenakshi Temple


The Presiding deities of the Madurai Meenakshi temple is Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess parvathi, known as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi. The legend says that Meenakshi was the daughter of Malayadwaja Pandyan who was succeeded by Kulasekhara pandyan, the legendary builder of Madurai city.
Madurai Meenakshi temple is built within a high walled enclosure, where in , there are two sanctums one each for Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi. These two sanctums are surrounded by many smaller shrines and thousand pillared halls. The temple has 12 large and impressive Gopurams and these soaring towers are made of Granite and are covered with stucco figures of mythical animals, other deities and mosters which are painted in vivd colours. The twin temples of the main deities Sundareswarar and Meenakshi are about 9 storeys high at the south gate way known as "Therku Mada Veethi". This is the tallest of all Gopurams and one can climb to the top of this gopuram to see a panoramic view of the city and the temple itself with all the four towers on the sides and the twin temples. Each of these Gpurams have stucco figures carved out and look enchanting.

Sights to see in the Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Madurai


As you enter the easter gateway you can see Astha Sakthi Matapam built by the wives of Thirumalai Nayakar, namely, Rudrapathi Ammal and Tholimamai. Meenakshi Mantapanm is located nearby which is a spacious hall used for shops and stores. You can see Lord Shiva's thiuvilayadals / Miracles , Meenakshi's story as the princess and the marriage with Sundareswara etc are carved on the walls of the hall. Astha Sakthi Mantapam has 110 pillars which have the picture of Yalli a peculiar animal with a Lions body and an Elephants head. There is a Potramarai Kulam meaning the Golden Lotus tank is the ancient temple tank which is used by the devotees and the pilgrims to wash and clean themselves before entering the temple.
There is a kilikoondu / Parrot cage and an Oonjal Mantapam ( Hall with a Swing) on the western side and every friday the idols of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are brought to this Oonjal and seated . Hymns are sung as the deities are swung on the Oonjal.
Thousand Pillared Hall / Ayiramkaal Mantapam is the wonder of the Madurai temple but the actual number is only 985. All the pillars are beautifully decorated and beautifully sculpted. At present the Thousand pillared hall houses Temple Art Museum, where one can see icons, photographs, drawings, etc., exhibiting the 1200 years old history. Close by if you walk a little towards the west, you can see the Musical Pillars, where each pillar when stuck produces a different musical note.

How to Reach Madurai

Some of the accommodations in the city of Madurai


Star Residency, Madurai
No 43 & 44, Collector Office Road,
Near Anna Bus Stand,
Near Aravind Eye Hospital,
Madurai - 625020.
India.
Tel: 0452-4343999
Fax : 0452-4343970
Mob: 9566513899 / 9842162466
Email: info@starresidencyhotels.com

The Metropole Hotel
17 A Melur Road,Vinayaga nagar
Opp District Courts
Madurai - 625020
Tamil Nadu
Tel: 0452 4222222 / 4352222 / 2532222
Fax: 0452 4222233
email id: enquiry@the-metropolehotel.com

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