Meenakshi Temple, a Landmark Of Madhuri
Meenakshi Temple is one of Tamil Nadu, India’s most prominent and beautiful temples. The Temple is located in the heart of Madurai town. The Temple was built during the rule of Nayak, the famous ruler of Tamil Nadu. Hence the Temple has been known as Meenakshi-Sundaraswaran Temple and is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva. Here always, fifteen priests served to perform the rituals of the Temple. Many Indian and foreign tourists visit this Madura Meenakshi temple daily. For the people of Madurai, the Temple is the centre of rich culture and religious harmony since the Meenakshi Amman temple is one of the most significant ‘Devi’ temples in India and a sacred place for Hindu devotees.
Meenakshi Temple History
According to legends, Indra wants to remove his burden due to his sins. So he proceeded towards the Swayambu Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva with the utmost respect. Then he received the miracle of Lingam, and his sins vanished. For his respect towards Lingam, he built Meenakshi Amman Temple. The famous Tamil Hindu Saint Thirugnanasambandar also described the construction of the Temple and mentioned the God as Aalavai Iraivan. Of course, some other legendaries also narrated the importance and glory of the Temple. According to one legend, in 1310, Malik Kafur, the Muslim invader sac, ked the Madura Meenakshi temple and left a ruin. Later the Prime Minister of the Nayak Dynasty, Ariyanatha Mudaliar, reconstructed the Temple, and the Nayak Kings looked after the Temple.
Meenakshi Temple Architecture
The architecture of the Temple is marvellous, and the Temple has a large complex. The complex is divided into several concentric quadrangular. The gopurams of the Temple are unique and have four entrances into the Temple. The four directions have four unique structures, making it difficult for the Temple visitors to resemble each one. Ten gopurams surrounded the Temple, and the tallest one is 170 feet tall, constructed in 1559 A.D.
Unique Of Gopurams
The gopurams are carved with the images of Gods, Goddesses, mythical figures and animals. Even all the paintings are painted with multi-colours, which attracts the spectators and makes them forget to turn their sight from the sculptures. The enclosures surrounded the central shrine of Meenakshi Amman temple. Each is surrounded square protected by four minor towers. We can see a single stone carved image of Lord Ganesha, the idol outside the Sudareswarar shrine.
Hall of 100 Pillars
Madhura Meenakshi Temple architecture is a combination of fabulous designs. Here we can see Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam, which contains over 100 pillars. So the Mandapam is called the ‘Hall of 100 Pillars’. In 1569 Ariyanatha Mudaliar constructed this hall, and every post was carved with images of mythological figures. There is also an art museum displaying icons, photographs, and drawings of 1200 years of the history of the Temple. In the middle, we can see a beautiful artificial temple tank used to do the sacred baths.
Festivals of Madhura Meenakshi Temple
The people of Madhurai are followers of great devotion; they wake up by the chants of hymns at the Temple. The Temple is the place for celebrating every Tamil festival. The famous Vittoria festival celebrates with great joy and falls in April or May. During this festival celebration, the priests perform the celestial marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. A massive crowd of devotees visit the Temple to watch the wedding.