Tamil Nadu Meenakshi Amman Temple
|Location||Madurai, Tamil Nadu|
|Built in||between 12th and 18th century.|
|Also known as||Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple|
|Important festivals||Chithirai Thiruvizha|
|Architectural styles||Dravidian architecture|
|Significance||One of the sacred abodes of Goddess Parvati|
|Attraction||Sculptures, Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival|
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is situated in the south part of Vaigai River in the city of temples Madurai, in state Tamil Nadu of India. It is a notable Hindu Temple and also known as Meenakshi Amman Temple or Tiru-alavai temple. It is devoted to Parvati also identified as Meenakshi & her companion, Shiva, called here as Sundareswarar (gorgeous god).The temple creates the heart & salvation of the two thousand five hundred year old Madurai city. The complex has fourteen gopurams (entry towers) vary in height from 45-50m. Southern tower is the tallest one with 51.9 metres (one seventy ft) in height, & 2 golden sculptured vimana (memorial) over chamber of the chief idols. It is a significant temple of representation for the Tamil citizens, & has been stated since ancient times in Tamil writing, though the current construction is built in 1623 - 1655 CE. It attracts 15,000 guests every day, approximately 25,000 on Fridays & receives yearly income of 60 million INR. Around 33,000 statues are estimated here & this temple was in the roll of top thirty contenders of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". The yearly ten day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam fiesta enjoyed in April–May draws one million tourists.
Origin Of The Meenakshi Temple
The Sri Meenakshi Sundareswara temple & city of Madurai created simultaneously. As per custom, Indra committed offense once when he murdered a devil, who was doing reparation at that time. He could not see relief from regret in his personal empire and approached down to ground. While fleeting through a jungle of Kadamba trees in Pandya terrain, he experienced relieved of his load. His servitors informed him a Shivalinga was there beneath a Kadamba tree & next to a lake. Convinced that Linga had assisted him; he adores it & constructed a tiny temple around Linga. This Linga is believed to be under adoration in the temple of Madurai. "Indra Vimana" is another name for this temple.
Once Dhananjaya, businessmen of Manavur, place where the Pandyas had reached after the 2nd flood in Kumari Kandam, after overtaken by nightfall in Kadamba jungle, stayed in the Indra Vimana during night. After waking up in the subsequent morning, he was asnotished to watch symbols of adoration. Believing it to be the efforts of the Devas, he narrated the Pandya, Kulasekhara, in Manavur. In the intervening time Lord Shiva had asked Pandya in a nightmare to construct a temple & a city at the place where Dhananjaya would designate. Kulasekhara carried out accordingly amd temle & city got originated.
When the subsequent Pandya, Malayadhvaja, & his queen, Kanchanamala, carried out forgo for a kid, Lord Shiva reason Goddess Parvati Herself to walk out of the flames as a small girl. She had 3 breasts. Lord Shiva informed the pair that the 3rd breast would vanish when she put eyes on the one to be her companion. They were to call her "Thadathagai" & carry her up like if she were a lad.
At his father’s death she thrive her to the throne. She got several military victories. At last she strides on Kailasa on her own. When she watched Lord Shiva, her 3rd breast vanished. The Lord asked her to go back to Madurai & told her that He will marry there to her. The celestial marriage was organized. This is the idea much adored of Madurai performers. An excellent carving of this is there in the temple. Meenakshi’s crowning, for She was like Thadathagai, is renowned as a fair in the temple.
Several miracles are done by The Lord at the marriage. These are expressed in a famous poem, the "Tiruviayadal Puranam". The Lord ruled the area as a human named "Sundara Pandya". Subsequently, Lord Muruga the crowning lord, their lad, who was called "Ugra Pandya", Sundara Pandya & Thadathagai go inside the temple & assumed celestial appearances as "Lord Somasundara" & "Goddess Meenakshi" correspondingly.
Earliest References Of The Temple
Paranjothi Munivar put in writing the Tiruviayadal Puranam in the 16th century. It is considered like temple's Sthalapurana. A previous work adds some extraterrestrial sports whci were not part of latter. These are, or somewhat were tinted on the walls bounding the Golden Lily Tank. Temple Museum also has few of the tinted wooden sections.
The initial references obtainable to any construction in this temple is a chant of Sambhandar's, in the 17th century, that points to the "Kapali Madil". Current inner facets of the Lords temple have this name. In the premature times the whole temple should have been restricted to the region among these walls, & the constructions ought to have been of block & mortar.
In the fourteenth century an attack by Malik Kafur spoiled the temple. In the identical century Madurai was ruled by Muslims for around 50 years. The temple establishment closed the workroom, enclosed up the Linga, & set up an additional in the Ardhamandapa. Subsequent to city freedom, the chamber was unlocked, &, custom says the blossom garlands & the sandalwood glue put on the Linga remained clean as on the 1st day, & 2 oil lanterns were still on fire.
The source of the temple is evidently nit known, though Tamil text show off regarding the temple for the previous couple of millenniums.Meenakshi Temple is believed to have been looted by Malik Kafur, who spoiled all the antique elements (a Muslim attacker) in 1310. Prime Minister of the 1st Nayak of Madurai, Arya Natha Mudaliyar rebuilt the temple in seventeenth century. Subsequently, Thirumalai Nayak done supplementary contributions to the construction.
This temple is the ceremonial & geographic hub of the old Madurai city & 1 of the biggest temple compound in Tamil Nadu state. The temple compound is partitioned into several concentric quadrangular areas with by high masonary fences. It is 1 of the small number of Tamil Nadu temples consisting of 4 doorways facing 4 ways. Vishwantha Nayaka supposedly redesigned Madurai city in agreement with the values put down by Shilpa Shastras pertinent to urban scheme. The city was put down in the form of square consisting of a sequence of concentric roads concluding from the temple. The squares maintain to keep their customary names, Aadi, Chittirai, Avani-moola & Masi streets, parallel to names of Tamil month. Old Tamil classics state that the shrine was the hub of the city & the roads happened to be glowing out such as lotus & its petals. The shrine prakarams(external confines of a temple) & roads accommodate an complex festival schedule in which theatrical demonstrations circumambulate the temple at different expanse from the centre. The means of transportation used in parade are increasingly huger the more they journey from the centre. The compound is in approximately forty five acres (180,000 sqm) & the shrine is a huge building measuring two fifty four by.
The shrine is bounded by 'gopurams(entry loom), completely there are 10 gopuram and tallest of them is the renowned southern tower, with a height of more than 170 ft (fifty two meter) & was constructed in 1559 year. Eastern one is the oldest gopuram, constructed by Maravarman Sundara Pandyan in the year of 1216-1238. Every gopuram is a multi-storeyed building, enclosed with thousands of sandstone effigies of animals, gods & demons tinted in bright shades. The external gopuram displays sharply pyramidal tower covered with plastic shape, while the internal gopuram provide as the entry to the internal attachment of Sundareswarar temple.
How to Reach
Madurai is linked through air with Mumbai & Chennai and Madurai airport is ten km distance from city.
Madurai consists of straight rail links to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kollam, Chennai, Rameshwaram, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tirupathi & Tuticorin.
Superb roads are there linking Madurai to every region of South India. City of Madurai has five Main Bus Stands- these are Periyar Bus Stand, Anna Bus Stand, Palanganatham Bus Stand, Arapalayam Bus Stand,Mattuthavani Bus Stand
One can have buses, uptown buses, cabs, auto rickshaws & cycle rickshaws from Madurai city to arrive at the shrine.
The fundamental memorial of Meenakshi Amman temple & her companion Sundareswarar are bounded by 3 enclosures & everyone is sheltered by 4 small looms at the 4 points of the extent, the external tower rising larger & getting higher to the matching internal one. The Meenakshi temple consists of bright - hued black limestone picture of Meenakshi.The Sundareswarar temple is at the core of the compound, telling that the rite supremacy of the goddess grown at later stage. Mutually the Meenakshi & Sundareswarar shrines consist of gold laminated Vimanam (tower above chamber). The golden pinnacle can be watched from a large extent in the west by the opening of 2 consecutive towers. The region bounded by the temple of Sundareswarar is precisely 1/4th of the region of the shrine & Meenakshi’s is 1/4th of Sundareswarar.
The large statue of Ganesh imprinted of solitary sandstone situated exterior the Sundareswarar temple in the way from Meenashi temple is named as Mukuruny Vinayakar. A huge gauge of rice computing three kurini (a measure) is formed into a large ball of forfeit & so the Ganesh is named Mukkurni Vinayagar(3 kurinis). This divinity is considered to be discovered in seventeenth century mine development to excavate the Mariamman shrine container.
The chaired Lord of this holy temple was in the era of yore recognized as Chockanathar, & Chockalinga Perumal.
Currently divinity is acknowledged with different names as Meenakshi Sundarar, Chockalingam, Somasundarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Shanbaga Sundarar, Sundareswarar, Attavai Shevagan, Adiyarku Nallan, Karpoora Chockar, Adhiraveesi, Vilayaduvan, Abhideka Chockar, Puzhugu Neidhu Chockar, Kadambavaneswarar, Madureswarar, Azhagiya Chockar,Irayanar, Kadambavana Chockar, Peralavayar.
Meenakshi is the Goddess of this shrine. She is also described Angayarkanni in euphonic Tamil. Also she is described as Abhitekavalli, Pachchai Devi, Madhurapuri Thalaivi, Thadagai Pirattti, Abhiramavalli, Kayarkan Kumari, Karpooravalli, Kumarithurayaval, Komagal, Pandipiratti, Manickavalli, Sundaravalli, Maragathavalli, Mummulaithiru, & Vazhudhimagal
The compound enclosing the chamber of Meenakshi is named kilikoondu Mandapam ("parrot confine passage"). The room was once utilized to maintain green parrots and they were educated to recite Meenakshi name.Two huge cages occupied with screech green parrots are there.
The Kambatadi Mandapam ("lobby of shrine tree") with its settled Nandi (holy bull) has several expressions of Shiva imprinted & also has the renowned "Marriage of Meenakshi" statue. Statue of Shiva & Kali demanding to out-dance 1 another are coated with sphere of ghee by followers. A golden pole with 32 segments represents the person backbone & is bounded by diverse gods, counting Durga & Siddar.
The Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam ("Lobby of hundred pillars") consists of 2 lines of pillars imprinted with descriptions of yali (legendary creature with lion body & elephant head), generally used as the sign of Nayak authority.It is located at the north part of Sundareswarar post lobby.
The Puthu Mandapam ("latest hall") built by Tirumala Nayak has several statues. It is located contrary to the east gopuram.
The Ashta Shakthi Mandapam ("Lobby of 8 goddesses") is the 1st lobby in the entry of Meenakshi temple tower close to to East loom. Ashta signify 8 & Shakthi points to goddess - the lobby consists of sculptures of 8 deities. The gopurams (towers) may be seen from this lobby. The way was named for 8 kinds of goddess Sakthi imprinted on its columns. Other statues & paintings show the Tiruvilayadal (sacred sports of Shiva). The statues of champions of Mahabharata, the Pancha pandavas may be watched inside the Pancha Pandava Mandapam (Lobby of Pandavas).
The Viravasantharaya Mandapam is a big lobby with vast passages. At the south side of this lobby is the kalyana mandapam, twards the south of the pillared corridor, is where the wedding of Shiva & Parvati is organized each year in the Chithirai Festduring April middle. The golden metaphors of Meenakshi & Sundareswarar are approved into the sixteenth century oonjal mandapam (sway hallway) & kept on the hang each Friday at half past five in the evening. The temple has a three storied gopuram protected by 2 strict dwarapalakas (protectors) & maintained by golden, rectangular pillars that has lotus markings. Beside the border of the hall, granite sections of the heavenly pair are there. The lobby is located in the western pool of the temple reservoir.
The Mudali Pillai Mandapam or Iruttu Mandapam (Dark lobby) is a broad &long entry constructed by Muthu Pillai in 1613. On the columns of the lobby, there are well statues showing the tale of Shiva taking the shape of Bikshadanar to educate the sages an example.
The Mangayarkarasi mandapam is a recently built lobby located opposite to the wedding halls & has the name of saindy queen, Mangayarkarasi who added to Saivism & Tamil lingo. Towards the south of Mangayarkarasi mandapam the Servaikarar Mandapam, a lobby constructed in 1795 by Marudu brothers is there. The Nagara mandapam (Hall of whipping barrel) is there contrary to Sundareswarar temple and was constructed by Achaya Rayar in 1635, the minister of Rani Mangammal. Kolu Mandapam hall is for showing dolls in the Navarathri fest enjoyed in September–October months. This lobby is located in the 2nd passage of the Meenakshi temple at the western part.
Hall of Thousand Pillars
The "Aayiram Kaal Mandapam" or 1000 Pillar Hall has 985(in its place of thousand) carved columns. The lobby was constructed by Ariyanatha Mudaliar during 1569 & it is a construction where the engineering ability & artistic dream are merged. He was the prime minister & general of Viswanatha Nayak, the 1st Nayaka of Madurai (during 1559–1600). Ariyanatha Mudaliar was also the creator of Poligar scheme, the quasi-feudal association of the country, that was separated into numerous palayams or little regions & every palayam was under a palayakkarar or a minor leader. At the entry of the lobby the figurine of Ariyanatha Mudaliar chaired on a horse-back is there and flanks 1 part of entry to the shrine. The figure is occasionally garlanded by congregation. Every column in lobby is carved testimonial of the Dravidian carving. The more famous carved statues are of Rati(companion of Cupid), Karthikeya, Ganesha, Shiva as a traveling mendicant & continual yalis(legendary statues of lions). Temple Art Museum in the lobby has images, photographs, drawings, & additional 1200 years old display of temple history. Exterior to this lobby, to the west Musical Pillars are there. Every pillar, when hit, gives a diverse melody.
"Pancha Sabhai" points to 5 regal courts of Nataraja(ballet shape of Shiva) where he executed celestial dance. The Tamil declaration velli is silver & ambalam is phase or altar. Huge Nataraja statue is enclosed in a vast silver altar & so named "Velli Ambalam" (silver house). This is a particular form of Natarja that generally vary from Chola bronzes. Chola images have Nataraja dancing in a form as left leg lifted and this statue has right leg lifted. As per Tiruvilayaadal Puranam (Shiva's hole sports), this is following appeal of Rajasekara Pandya- a honest follower of Shiva.He appealed the God to alter his pose, as he thought same foot lifted will put huge strain& got a elegant agreement from the heavenly master.
Timings and other Important Information
Timings: Morning five to twelve thirty noon & four in noon to 9.30 night
For individual admission at Meenakshi Amman Shrine ten Rs per person to be given. There will be no individual entries on Friday between six am & Nine am.
- The whole electronic enabled knowledge regarding Meenakshi Amman shrine is accessible by touch screen service paying a five Rs charge (for five minutes) kept in the western part of the Golden Lotus Tank within the shrine.
- Though graphy is prohibited, photograph cn be taken by paying Rs.30/-. Inside the temple.
- graphy & film shooting is possible with the consent of Commissioner, HR&CE Department, Chennai.
The most significant festival linked with the shrine is the "Meenakshi Thirukalyanam" (The godly wedding of Meenakshi) which is organized during April yearly. The wedding of the heavenly pair is considered as a typical example of south Indian female- subjugated wedding, a function known as "Madurai marriage". Wedding dominated by male is named "Chidambaram marriage", pointing towards Shiva's accepted supremacy, ritual & mythic, at the famed Shiva shrine of Chidhambaram. The wedding brings jointly rural & urban people, idols & earthly, Saivas (persons worshipping Shiva) & Vaishnavas (persons worshipping Vishnu) in arrangement to rejoice Meenakshi as the regal ruler. In this 1 month time, there are various functions counting the "Ther Thiruvizhah" (chariot fair) & "Theppa Thiruvizhah" (float fair). Chief Hindu fairs such as Navrathri & Shivrathri are enjoyed in the shrine. Same as major Shakti shrines in Tamil Nadu state, the Fridays in the Tamil months of Aadi (July–August month) & Thai (January – February month) are enjoyed in the shrine by thousands of disciples. "Avani Moola Utsavam" is a ten day fest majorly dedicated to Sundareswarar shows his several Thiruvilayadal that are Shiva's holy sports).
Weather and Time to Visit
Summers (March to June) are very warm with temperature floating about 26°C to forty deg C. Winters season is satisfying in December to February month and temperature is around 18°C to twenty nine deg C. South west downpour crosses the town in June to August month & medium to serious yearly rainfall is well-known.
Significant festivals famous here with a great deal eagerness, pomp & illustrate are pongal in January, chithirai fest in April – May.
October to March is the ideal period to come here.
The Madurai Residency
Located in Madurai, this lodge is near to Meenakshi Amman Shrine. In accumulation to an eatery, The Madurai Residency also provides gracious wireless Internet service.Other facilities comprise twenty four hour room service & a business hub.
15, West Marret Street, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, 625001 India
Hotel Park Plaza
Located in Madurai, this lodge is near to Meenakshi Amman Shrine. In accumulation to an eatery, Hotel Park Plaza provides a bar/lounge facility. Other services offered are laundry service & high-speed (cable) Internet service.
114-115, West Perumal Maistry Street, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, 625001 India
Tips for Devotees
- Admission into the chamber of the Shiva shrine is limited to Hindus & in the Meenakshi shrine to Hindu women. Every woman required to have appropriate attired in either saris or fine- covered - any salwar kurta or complete length pants & sleeved shirts/tshirts.
- Footwear is not allowed inside the shrine. Arrangement is there for putting the footwear in protected custodies during trip to religious places & memorials.
- Photography is forbidden in mainly of the spiritual places & certain additional spaces. Travelers are recommended not to disobey the system.
- All foreign visitors are required to undergo the vaccinations shot prior the vacation.
- There are no metered autos in Madurai city so please confirm with a traffic cop concerning the charge or see the auto price list provided by the local establishment.