Meenakshi Amman Temple
by Admin On 08/07/2015 - 5:42 AM
Meenakshi Amman Temple stands the crowning glory to South India. Madurai being the second largest Ancient city in Tamil Nadu has a rich historical background and a unique name of being the temple city.
There are several places of attraction in Madurai, but it is the “Meenakshi temple” that is the hub of the city. Meenakshi Amman temple is also known by different names as Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple and Tiru-aalavaai.
The lady goddess Meenakshi is the principal deity of the temple. The Temple lives as an ancient symbol of being 2500 years old in the city. Every day, the Meenakshi Temple attracts pilgrims in thousands, from all over India.
The temple was constructed by Kulasekara Pandya who belongs to the Pandya Dynasty in the 16th century. The magnificently carved gopurams in and around the temple stay as the main attraction to the Madurai city.
There are 14 massive gopurams in the temple. Each gopuram is a multi-storeyed structure, covered with thousands of stone figures of animals, gods and demons painted in bright hues. The golden lotus pond (Potraamarai Kulam) is located to the left of the Meenakshi shrine. Sundareswarar gives darshan in the form of a lingam.
The thousand pillared hall (Aayirangaal Mandapam) stands as an example to the brilliance of architectural and engineering marvel. The other halls inside surrounding the corridor of the Temple includes kilikoondu Mandapam ("bird cage corridor"), Kambatadi Mandapam ("Hall of temple tree"), Puthu Mandapam ("new hall"), Ashta Shakthi Mandapam ("Hall of eight goddess"), Viravasantharaya Mandapam, Oonjal Mandapam (swing corridor), Iruttu Mandapam (Dark hall), Mangayarkarasi Mandapam is a newly built hall , Agara Mandapam (Hall of beating drums) and the Kolu Mandapam. Each of these Mandapam has a story of their own.
The most important Festival associated with the Temple is the “Meenakshi Thirukalyanam” that is celebrated in the month of April every year. The marriage of Meenakshi with Lord Sundareshwar (Shiva) is the highlight of the Chithirai festival. The marriage celebration is popularly known as the “Chithirai Thiruvizha” and the “Alagar Thiruvizha” is also a part of this Meenakshi wedding ceremony. During the rule of King Thirumalai Nayakar both the festivals were merged as one single event. Kodi Yetram, Pattabisekam, Dikvijayam, Ethir Sevai, Alagar Vaigai Eruthal are the other list of events associated with the Chithirai festival.