Meenakshi Temple, Landmark Of Madhuri
Meenakshi Temple is one of the big and beautiful temples in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple located in the heart of Madurai town. The temple built during the rule of Nayak, who were the famous rulers of Tamil Nadu. Hence the temple has been known as Meenakshi-Sundaraswaran Temple and dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva. Here always fifteen priests served to perform the rituals of the Temple. A large number of 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 among all. Since the Meenakshi Amman temple is one of the greatest ‘Devi’ temples in India and sacred place for the 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 Tamil famous 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 legendary, in 1310 the Malik Kafur the Muslim invader sacked the Madura Meenakshi temple and left ruined. Later the Prime Minister of Nayak Dynasty Ariyanatha Mudaliar reconstructed the temple and the Nayak Kings look after temple.
Meenakshi Temple Architecture
The architecture of the temple is marvellous and the temple has a large complex. The complex divided into a number of concentric quadrangular. The gopurams of the temple are very amazing and had four entrances into the temple. The four directions have four unique structures and difficult to the visitors of the temple to resemble with each one. Totally ten gopurams surrounded the temple and the tallest one in 170 feet height, constructed in 1559 A.D.
Unique Of Gopurams
The gopurams carved with the images of Gods, Goddesses, mythical figures and animals. Even all the images painted with multi-colours, which attracts the spectators and make them forget to turn their sight from the sculptures. The enclosures surrounded the central shrine of Meenakshi Amman temple. The each surrounded enclosures protected by four minor towers. We can see here a single stone carved image of Lord Ganesha, the idol located outside of the Sudareswarar shrine.
Hall of 100 Pillars
Madhura Meenakshi Temple architecture is the combination of fabulous designs. Here we can see Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam, contain more than 100 pillars. So the Mandapam is called ‘Hall of 100 Pillars’. In 1569 Ariyanatha Mudaliar constructed this hall and every pillar carved with the images of mythological figures. There also an art museum, displaying icons, photographs, drawings of 1200 years history of the temple. In the middle, we can see a beautiful and artificial temple tank and used to do the sacred baths.
Festivals of Madhura Meenakshi Temple
People of Madhurai are the followers of great devotion; they wake up by the chants of hymns at the temple. The temple is the place for celebrating every Tamil festivals. The famous cittirai festival celebrates with great joy and the festival falls on April or May. During this festival celebration, the priests perform the celestial marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. A huge crowd of devotees visit the temple to watch the marriage.