South India has a series of superior temples. Huge courtyards, attractive gopurams, craft beauty, innovative visualization of colors, more than one statue, beautiful mandapams, and cheering lake. The magnificent temples that we have seen in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka are indescribable. Meenakshi Temple is in Madurai.
Generally, even 4-5 hours is not enough to visit each such temple properly. We were very impressed to see Rome’s Vatican galleries. Surely the painting of Michael Angelo was very effective and attractive there. But in our South Indian temples especially Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanchi. Also, Thiruvananthapuram, the best use of the world’s best craftsmanship, painting, and colors is visible. They are also among the world’s best artifacts.
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Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu is considered among the wonders of the modern world in terms of architecture. The temple is dedicated to Lord Bharata of Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva). Whose eyes are as beautiful as the eyes of a fish.
There is a mythological legend that Rani Kanchanashala gave birth to a girl. She named Meenakshi as part of Maa Parvati, pleased with the penance of Pandya king Malayadhwaja. Kanya Shanai: -Shanai: started growing up.
Lord Shiva brought his procession and he was married to Meenakshi. Lord Vishnu himself performed the Kanyadaan by handing over his sister Meenakshi. The craftsmanship of this event is visible in the temple.
This temple is considered to be a very ancient temple. It was built in the early 7th century. In 1310, this temple was destroyed and corrupted by Muslim invader Malik Kafur.
At that time pandas and priests saved the original idols safely. And after 50 years when Mudrai was freed from Muslim rule. Those statues were again revered in their place.
In 1559–1600, Madurai’s hero Prime Minister Aryanath Mudaliar took up the task of rebuilding the temple. Later Maharaja Tirumalanayak and his successors brought the temple back to its superiority.
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The Architecture of Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi Temple is spread over an area of about 15 acres. This temple is built within the boundary of 2 walls. In which the 9-storey Dakshin Gopuram is 170 feet high at the top. The smallest gopuram is in the north direction and is 160 feet high. All these gopurams have beautiful figures of various deities, eunuchs, and Gandharvas. In which the carving and color beauty is amazing.
The huge courtyard here houses Sundareswarar and to the left is the temple of Meenakshi Devi. The Shiva temple group has an attractive statue of Lord Shiva in Nataraja Mudra. This statue A is situated on a silver altar. Outside there are many sculptures, which are built on only one stone. There is also a temple of Ganesha.
Interesting Facts about Meenakshi Temple
The Meenakshi Devi Temple has a very beautiful statue of Goddess Meenakshi facing the front Shyamvarna. As is the tradition in South India, the idols located in the sanctum sanctorum are seen by the light of a lamp. There are also many idols of other deities in the temple here. In the adjacent chambers, the silver-built vehicles of Meenakshi Devi and Sundareswarar God are kept with swans and nandigans.
There are many mandapams in the courtyard, of which ‘Sahasrastambha Mandapam’ is very famous. There are 985 grand pillars in this pavilion. Each of these pillars presents a unique story of the beauty of the ancient Dravidian sculpture.
There is an art museum in the same mandapam where ancient sculptures, paintings, photographs, and history have been shown. The pillars that remain in the western part of Mandapam are the best examples of Indian craftsmanship in the world. Pillars like them are nowhere else in the world. Their specialty is that ‘by listening to them, the melodious voices of different instruments are heard. The audience gets emotional on hearing this melodious sound.
Nearby is a very beautiful lake named ‘Swarna Pushkarni’, which has attractive paintings in the pavilions around it. In February, the idols of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara are decorated and boating is done here. It was here that the Shiva-Parvati marriage took place. So newly married couples come to this place to pray for their happy married life. Here many couples can be seen roaming around the temple courtyard wearing garlands.
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It is popular about this lake in ancient times. There was a congregation of Tamil poets. And the best works were floated in this lake and the lower class works were drowned in the lake.
Many festivals are celebrated in the temple. Every Friday, Meenakshi Devi and Sundareswara swing the golden idols of the Lord in a swing. For which thousands of devotees are present. The special decoration is done at the festival of Navratri and Shivaratri.
The famous festival is held here in the month of Chaitra. In this, the marriage ceremony of Meenakshi Devi and Sundareswarar is celebrated with great pomp. After the eclipse in the temple, a procession of the divine bride and groom is taken out. It involves players with various instruments.
Elephants are decorated and taken on the banks of the river Veiga. There is a temple of Alagaraji (Lord Vishnu), brother of Meenakshi Devi. The entire program lasts for 12 days. This festival is considered to be the major festival of South India in which millions of visitors take part.
We were overwhelmed after seeing the divine vision of this world-famous temple of Madurai. By coming here, we get to see our grand cultural heritage. The craft beauty of this place is forever engraved on our hearts. And the amazing architecture here has made us think again that our country is truly great! Is unique !! Is unique !!!