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Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Temple
Also known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Meenakshi Amman Temple is one among the most famous Hindu temples of country. Dedicated to lord Shiva and his wife goddess Parvati, the temple’s historical and mythological significance date thousands years back. One of the most sacred temples dedicated to goddess Parvati (Meenakshi – the fish eyed goddess), Meenakshi Temple has other divine figures revered here that include Kamakshi of Kanchipuram, Akilandeswari of Thiruvanaikaval and Vishalakshi of Varanasi.

Located in the holy city of Madurai (Tamilnadu), Meenakshi Temple being the lifeline of the city is very popular Hindu pilgrimage site of the country. Having rich history of 2500 years, the temple is said to be associated with some very significant divine occurrence. Legend has it that lord Indra while on his penance on the earth built a Shiv Linga and a small temple, which is still the most important part of the temple. Another legend has that divine marriage between lord Shiva and the daughter of Pandya ruler, Meenakshi (a form of goddess Parvati, the wife of lord Shiva).

The excellent South Indian architectural beauty in Meenakshi Temple is the most beautiful thing, which keeps visitor’s vision glued. The magnificent temple, runner in the fray of seven wonders of the world, is visitor’s delight. The whole temple complex is surrounded by 12 Gopurams (towers), among which the southern tower rises to more than 170 ft high. Each of the pillars, towers and pedestals are carved with figures of various occurrence in Hindu mythologies. Watching such incidences inscribed on the wall is quite fascinating.

Shrines : Shrine of lord Shiva is located in middle of the temple complex. The most important to watch here is the unique sculpture of the lord Natraj, dancing form of lord Shiva. Interestingly, unlike unlike the usual sculpture in which Shiva has left foot raised, this sculpture has right foot raised.

Thousand Pillar Hall : Also called as Aiyaram Kaal Mandapam, the hall has 985 beautifully carved pillars – a fine example of Dravidian sculptor. Most to be cherished here are its Temple Art Museum, which with its unique icons, drawings and photographs represent thousands years old history.

Lake Potramarai : Before you enter the main shrine, take the holy dip in the lake. And don’t forget to witness the wonder that due to lord Shiva’s promise to a stork, no fish or any marine life grows in the lake.

Festivals : Meenakshi Theerukalyanam, the divine marriage of Meenakshi, is the most important festival celebrated at Madurai in April every year. The one-month running festival is the best time to visit the holy city.


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