Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai: An Architectural Wonder

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai: An Architectural Wonder

Hello Friends,

The Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Thirukovil (Temple) is the central point of the city of Madurai.  Life and all action revolve around this magnificent temple that attracts lakhs of visitors from across the globe. The annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during April–May attracts 1 million visitors. It is indeed an architectural wonder with four spectacular entrances through which one can enter the temple. There are the North, South, East and West entrances with inviting gopurams, and there are clear instructions in case one is lost (which can happen easily!). Here the main deity is Goddess Meenakshi (Parvathi, consort of Lord Shiva) as against the Lord Shiva in most other temples. There are 14 gopurams and the tallest is the southerm tower. There is a gold plated tower for both Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwarar.

Mukuruni Vinayakar

Just before one enters the precincts of the Meenakshi Amman inner sanctum, there is a huge Mukkuruni Ganesha sitting powerfully welcoming the visitors.  We gathered that the statue was unearthed from the ground when King Tirumalai Nayakar was digging the land to build a huge palace for himself. On Vinayak Chathurthi modakams made of the mukuruni type of rice is offered to Lord Ganesha which is why he obtained the name Mukkuruni Vinayakar.

Tickets

Long winding queues can take a long time to enter the inner sanctum sanctorum, specillay we found that pilgrims to ShabariMala offer their worship here before leaving on their trip. However, if one is armed with a 100 Rupee ticket the wait can be reduced not done away with though. These purchased tickets enable Lord Sundarashwarar’s darshan as well.

Holy Tank:

There is a Portamarai kulam (holy tank with a golden lotus) in the center of the temple where visitors congregate after a hectic darshan to sit and enjoy the beauty of the temple. With lights lit in the evening the temple tank is a sight to behold with fishes squirming below and eyeing you for a morsel of food.

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The West Tower entrance and the busy lane leading towards the entrance
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The lanes leading to any of the towers has a row of shops and is always busy with pedestrains

 

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Flowers to offer to the goddess as you walk into one of the towers
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The intricately designed towers that vibrant with colours and sculptures
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A breathtaking view of the holy tank at dusk
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Lights falling on the holy water tank
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Pilgrims enjoy the view of the tank after the darshan
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Store selling bright brass items on the way to the temple
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More shops on the way to the temple

Useful Links

 http://madurai.nic.in/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madurai

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenakshi_Amman_Temple

http://www.maduraimeenakshi.tnhrce.in/

 

Timings:

5.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

4.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.

 

Cheers

Bhuvana Rajaram

bhuvanarajaram9@gmail.com

 

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