About Meenakshi Temple
The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is not only the most revered heritage site and spiritual retreat in all of Tamil Nadu, but it also acts as the public face of the tourism industry within the state. Every tourist who comes to view the magnificence of this enormous pilgrimage spot is certain to be charmed by the great draw that the temple emits on its own. This is because the temple exudes such fantastic attraction on its own.
The goddess Meenakshi, who is also known as Parvathy, and Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in this temple as Lord Sundareswarar, are regarded to be the presiding deities of the temple. Lord Shiva is known here as Lord Sundareswarar. The data that was collected indicates that there are roughly 15,000 worshipers who make a daily pilgrimage to this sacred sanctuary. However, more than one million people visit the Madurai Meenakshi Temple to pay their respects during the “Thirukalyanam” festival, which is the most cheerful occasion that takes place at the temple. It was taken into consideration as a possible contender for the title of “One of the New Seven Wonders of the World.”
As far as the history of the Meenakshi Temple is concerned, it is said that Indra, who in Hinduism is regarded as the king of the Devas, was the one who laid the foundations for this temple. This is significant since Hinduism considers Indra to be the monarch of the Devas. Once upon a time, when Indra was making a pilgrimage to Madurai to undo the effects of his karma, he became aware of the presence of the Swayambhu Lingam in the area and chose to enshrine it all by himself. This story takes place in Madurai. also read – The Grand Canyon: Why Visit?
It is not known when the Meenakshi Temple was constructed; nevertheless, it is known that it has been mentioned in ancient Indian puranic scriptures, which suggests that it is possibly a couple of thousand years old. Moreover, the Meenakshi Temple is known to have been built of stone. There is no record of the specific date that the temple was first built. Malik Kafur, the Islamic Ruler of the North at the time, was responsible for its total and utter destruction in the year 1310.
It wasn’t until the latter part of the 14th century that Hindu princes reclaimed their thrones and started the laborious task of rebuilding the v to its former magnificence. The current structure of the Meenakshi Temple, on the other hand, was built between the years 1623 and 1655 CE, and its history can be traced back to that time period. Gopurams, which are sometimes referred to as temple towers, make up the structure of the temple, which has a total of 14 of them. Each Gopuram stands between 45 and 50 meters tall and is crowned with two golden Shikaras. Their heights range from 45 to 50 meters.
The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is famous all over the world for its awe-inspiring towers, which are visible from a considerable distance and can be found both inside and outside of the Meenakshi Temple complex itself. These towers are one of the temple’s most recognizable features.
The magnificent collection of wonders that can be found in the Meenakshi Temple is centered on the Mandapam [hall], which has one thousand pillars. The incredible sculptures that can be seen on each of the pillars help to make the temple even more gorgeous than it already is. This mandapam is located to the west of the well-known Musical Pillars, which can be found in this area. These pillars, when struck, produce sounds that can be categorized into a number of different musical scales.
The enormous water tank that is known as the Potramarai Kulam can be found within the complex that houses the Meenakshi Temple. This is another another element of the Meenakshi Temple that is worth mentioning. It is surrounded by a few remarkable murals on the corridor walls that represent scenarios from the Shaivite stories that can be found in the Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam.
The Meenakshi Temple may be found in the heart of the historically significant city of Madurai, which is located around one kilometer to the south of the Vaigai River. It is situated about 460 kilometers (290 miles) to the southwest of Chennai, the capital of the state, which is where you will find it.
The temple complex is situated in close proximity to a major railway junction, an airport (with the IATA code of IXM) that operates on a daily basis, as well as a road network that is extremely well connected (four lane National Highway 38). The primary ring roads in the city form a concentric pattern for the city, which is a structure that satisfies the criteria that the Silpa Sastra provides for the construction of a city. read also – The Origin Of London
This pattern is a structure that fulfills the criteria that the Silpa Sastra provides for the creation of a city. The temple complex acts as a hub from which the city’s highways radiate. The town of Madurai, which is one of many temple towns in the state, got its name from the groves, clusters, or forests that were dominated by a particular kind of tree or shrub, with the same kind of tree or shrub providing shelter to the god who ruled at the time. Madurai is one of the many temple towns in the state.
One of the many temple towns found throughout the state is Madurai. It is speculated that the area was formerly covered with Kadamba forest; hence, the region is referred to as Kadambavanam.
The sacred ‘Suyambu Lingam,’ which is a form of Lord Shiva and was excavated at Kadambavanam and enshrined at Madurai, is believed to have been discovered by King of the Devas, Indra. The ‘Suyambu Lingam’ was discovered at Kadambavanam, and it is now housed in Madurai. After that, this lingam was transported to Madurai, where it is still held in high esteem today.
On the other hand, Sadayavarman Sundara Pandyan, who ruled in the 12th century, was the architect of the palace in its present form and was responsible for its construction. The subsequent Nayaka kings, who reigned from the 12th to the 18th century, enhanced the edifice in various ways.
According to the legends, the goddess Parvati is claimed to have been a recompense for the “Yagya” that King Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai did, and she is said to have been born in their home in Kanchanamalai’s womb. This is what has been said to have happened. She was born with a physical abnormality of having three breasts, but the ‘Heavens’ assured her parents that the third breast would disappear as soon as the girl would meet her husband.
She was born with a physical abnormality of having three breasts. She was born with a congenital physical anomaly that resulted in the presence of three breasts. As time went on, she became skilled in all types of warfare, defeated Vaikunth (the abode of Vishnu), Amravati (the habitation of the Celestial deities Devas), and Sathyalok (the abode of Brahma), but she was unable to look Lord Shiva in the eyes when she saw him in his abode, Kailasha.
This eventually led to her downfall. She came to terms with the fact that her relationship with the Lord was predetermined, and then she went back to her hometown of Madurai, where she and her partner was married in front of witnesses from all over the world. Since that time, they have been honored at Meenakshi Temple by being elevated to the role of presiding deities.
The Architecture Of Meenakshi Temple
- The Minakshi-Sundareshwarar Temple is well-known for being one of the greatest temples in South India. This magnificent structure is known for its amazing architecture and entrancing murals all around.
- It has one Chithirai gopuram, four Raja gopurams, two gold gopurams, five gopurams with five floors, and two gopurams with three floors; all of these gopurams have a magnificent aspect.
- The fact that the temple is home to a hall with a thousand pillars, a sacred lake with a golden lotus where you can take a ritual bath, a wedding hall, uncountable minor shrines, gardens, and elephant barns is probably the aspect of the Meenakshi Temple that is most well-known to visitors.
- The Central Government of India determined that the temple exemplifies what it means to be the “Best Swachh Iconic Place” in India in 2017. This honor was bestowed upon the temple in 2017.
The Meenakshi Temple is important to Hindus not only in the sense of its theological significance but also in terms of the culture it represents. Professor Christopher Fuller is of the opinion that the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundaresvara is an illustration of the “supremely crucial rite of passage” for women as well as the cultural concept of the “auspicious wedded woman,” also known as “sumangali.”
This “fortunate married woman” lives with her spouse but continues to pursue her own interests outside of the home. She is the most important figure in Tamil society and is in charge of coordinating the formation of social relationships.
The amorous engagement between a man and a woman can be seen as a symbolic representation of the union between the goddess and the deity. A jubilant procession is held once a year to celebrate this event, and it normally takes place in the month of April, but the exact date varies from year to year. The temple infers an affinal and protective link between the Vaishnavism and Shaivism schools of Hinduism by making Vishnu Meenakshi’s brother and making Shiva Meenakshi’s spouse. read also – 10 golden gate bridge view point
Within the framework of the Dravidian family tree, this is an important relationship. In addition to this, the temple is important because it suggests an affinal and protective tie between the Shaivist tradition of Hinduism and the Vaishnava line of Hinduism. Meenakshi, who is considered to be the goddess herself, is held in high esteem as a significant figure in the Shaktism school of thought, which is connected to Hinduism.
She is depicted as the more significant character of the two in this temple, and rightfully so. In this respect, the temple acts as a metaphorical celebration of all three of the religion’s most significant traditions.
According to the Tiruvilaiyatal Puranam, out of a total list of 68 pilgrimage spots, Kashi (Varanasi), Chidambaram, Tirukkalatti, and Madurai are the four most important pilgrimage locations in the Shaivism religion. Other locations on the list include Tirukkalatti and Madurai. The holiness that permeates Madurai has its roots in this particular temple.
In the Tamil Hindu tradition, one of the Pancha Sabhai (five courts) is thought to be the location of the Sundareswarar shrine, which is the place where Shiva is claimed to have performed the cosmic dance. This belief comes from the fact that one of the Pancha Sabhai is named Sundareswarar. Velli can be interpreted as silver, and ambalam can mean either a stage or an altar in Tamil.
Both of these words come from the same root. The enormous silver altar that encompasses the Nataraja sculpture is the inspiration behind the naming of this structure as “Velli Ambalam,” which is also the meaning of the term.
Even while the temple is frequently used as the setting for Hindu weddings, it is important to note that this is not the only venue that can host such events. The Meenakshi Temple is the site of the principal, although relatively brief, ceremony, which is subsequently followed by banquets and other rites that take place in various sites.
The Meenakshi temple is not only a focus of activity in the realm of religion, but it is also a hub of activity in the realm of commerce. To the benefit of Madurai’s economy, the provision of goods and services to visitors and pilgrims with an interest in religious monuments makes up a sizeable amount of the city’s total revenue.
The Tamil Nadu state symbol was designed using the West Gopuram as its primary source of inspiration. Although it is occasionally stated in an incorrect manner that the State emblem was designed based on the Srivilliputhur temple Gopuram, the artist R Krishna Rao, who was responsible for the design of the Emblem, has stated that he designed it based on the Madurai Meenakshiamman West Gopuram. read also – California state of United States
This is despite the fact that it is occasionally stated in an incorrect manner that the State emblem was designed based on the Madurai Meenakshiamman West Gopuram.
Meenakshi Temple Timings
Every day, beginning at 5:00 AM and continuing until 12:30 PM and then again from 4:00 PM until 10:00 PM, the temple is open.
How will You Reach There?
- Air: – It would take you approximately three hours to reach the Meenakshi Temple from Madurai Airport if you fly there from Chennai. Your flight will depart from Chennai International Airport. When you get to the Madurai Airport, it won’t be hard for you to get a taxi that will take you to the temple in around an hour and a half. The trip shouldn’t cost you too much money either.
- Rail: – The journey to Madurai by rail will, almost without a shadow of a doubt, be filled with breathtaking views along the way. You can take a train all the way to the Madurai Junction Railway Station, from where the Meenakshi Temple is only a ten-minute walk away. This station is accessible via the Madurai Junction Railway Station. Since Madurai has excellent transportation links to all of the other cities in the area, this is a viable alternative. You can select a taxi or an auto rickshaw to take you to the site of interest, depending on which mode of transportation best suits your needs, and get there in no time at all.
- Road: – If you are traveling to Madurai by road in order to see the temple, you can get off at the Mattuthavani Bus Stand, from where it will only take you twenty minutes to reach the Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple. If you are traveling to Madurai by air, you can fly into Madurai International Airport. You are welcome to pay a visit to the temple if you are taking a road trip to Madurai on a state-run or privately-operated bus.
Temple visit Tips
- Be sure to check the temperature and humidity levels in Madurai before you make plans to visit the temple there; otherwise, you might not be able to enjoy your time there if it is too hot or too humid outside.
- Before you make plans to visit the Meenakshi Temple, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the essential information that the temple provides for tourists and other guests.
- Take a look at all of the do’s and don’ts, and make sure that you follow them in a responsible manner, as failing to do so may hurt the feelings of the locals or the priests.
- Do not bring your camera with you, as taking pictures within the Meenakshi Temple is against the rules at this time.
- If you want to avoid wasting a lot of time and effort standing in line, the best time to go to the Meenakshi Temple is first thing in the morning rather than at the busiest times of the day.
- Attending the night ceremony procession is highly recommended if it is at all possible. This event takes place every day except Friday at approximately 9:00 PM
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