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Meenakshi Amman Temple – Marvel of South India

English: This is the Tank at the Meenakshi-Sun...

Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple, Madurai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article by Pradeep NS

Meenakshi Temple, also well-known as Tiru- Alavai or Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is located at “the city of nectar” or city of temples, Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the oldest and second largest city of Tamil Nadu. This city is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers.

The temple is devoted to Parvati Goddess, who is also called Meenakshi Amman. Almost 15000 visitors come to this temple everyday, but especially on Fridays. Due to the increased umber of 25000 visitors, Meenakshi Temple was nominated the best among the 30 Seven new Wonders of the World.

A visitor, who enters the Meenakshi Temple through the eastern gateway, first enters the Mandapam (Hall). It was constructed by Thirumalai Nayakar’s wives Tholimamai and Rudrapathi Ammal. In this hall, the devotees who came from far off places were served with food.

Right besides this hall, Meenakshi Nayaka Mandapa is located. It is a spacious columned hallway used for stores and shops. This hall has 1,008 lamp-holders especially for votive prayers, which are illuminated on festive functions. The carvings on the pillars are related to some of the miracles of Lord Shiva and there are also depictions of Meenakshi’s life right from time of her birth to being the princess of Madurai.

The event of marriage between Lord Sundareshwar and Meenakshi Goddess is called as Meenaskhi Kalyanam and it is celebrated for twelve days from the second day of the lunar month.

The temple is encircled by twelve Gopurams that have 1000s of Sudhai figures made on them in pictorial hues. These figures of sudhai are of mythical animals, deities and monsters that are graven on the granite stones. There are many halls or locally called Mandapam in Meenakshi temple like Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam, Astha Sakthi Mandapam, Vasantha Mandapam, Oonjal Mandapam, Swami Sundareswarar temple, but the Mandapam, which draws the attention of the tourists is “The 1000 Pillar Mandapam”.

This Mandapam has 985 columns in actuality and it also has a Temple Art Museum. Golden Lotus tank is another attraction of the temple. This is an historical tank where followers and admirers come to take the dip in the holy water. It is also known as the Potramaraikulam.

The tank here is filled with holy water, which is believed by the devotees to have healing powers. You can hire a bus or cab to visit other popular places in and around the temple.

Getting There

By Air: A domestic airport is situated at a distance of just 10 km from the city centre. Everyday, there are Indian Airlines flights connecting from Mumbai, Bangalore, Trichi, Chennai and Coimbatore.By Rail: Madurai is a central train junction in the southern railway route, and all passing trains halt here. There are continous railways conveyances available from cities such as Rameshwaram, Bangalore, Kollam, Madras, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Coimbatore, Tirupathi and Tiruchirappall. The super fast Vagai express is the best train option between Madurai and Chennai and the journey takes just 7 hours.

By Road: Two national highways, NH 45 and NH 7 have their bypass from here and they connect to other places in south India. Bus ticket reservations are also possible from any of the neighboring cities. However, one can also use bus tickets online reservation facility, which is much easier option to buy bus tickets.

About the Author

Pradeep NS (Kannan) is a pioneer in transport and tourism with a quarter century of experience and expertise has a network of contacts, who introduced the very first interstate transport in the state of Kerala. Today Megha Tours and Travels has several bus services to major cities of India. After this golden success, we have turned into our dream project of custom designed tour operation in the South India. More information please visit – http://meghatravels.com

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Pradeep NS (Kannan) is a pioneer in transport and tourism with a quarter century of experience and expertise has a network of contacts, who introduced the very first interstate transport in the state of Kerala. Today Megha Tours and Travels has several bus services to major cities of India. After this golden success, we have turned into our dream project of custom designed tour operation in the South India. More information please visit – http://meghatravels.com

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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