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Let's go for vacation - Meenakshi Temple

Novel:- Let's go for vacation
Place:- Meenakshi Temple
Written by:- Mrs. Snehal Rajan Jani.

Hello friends.

Let's go to visit a world famous temple from Tamilnadu. It is one of the holy places of india. This temple is famous for its structure. A beautiful carving is there surrounding to it.

The Historic Meenakshi Amman temple is located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Built sometime between the year 1623 and 1655, the wonderful architecture of the place is renowned globally.

Meenakshi Temple is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. What makes this temple different from the others is the fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together.

According to the Puranas , Lord Shiva visited Madurai to marry Parvati and it has been the sacred abode of Goddess Parvati since her birth. Meenakshi temple was hence built here to commemorate the same and to pay respects to the Goddess.

The most striking feature of the temple is its exquisite facade, which has highly minute details with great art pieces incorporated in the walls and pillars. Meenakshi Amman temple complex is made in accordance to the Shilpa Shastra and has 14 gateway towers or ‘gopurams’, golden ‘vimanas’, holy sanctums and shrines dedicated to the revered Goddess Meenakshi and many others. It is a major tourist attraction, with thousands of devotees visiting the shrine on a daily basis.

Architecture of Meenakshi Amman Temple 🚩

The Meenakshi Amman temple reflects Dravidian architecture. The shrine is most famous for its towers or ‘gopurams’, which are visible even from a distance. Around 12 gopurams adorn the Meenakshi Temple, with the four outer ones towering to a height of over 160 feet.

The temple compounds are divided into a number of square enclosures contained by high brickwork walls. It is one of the few temples in Tamil Nadu to have four entrances from four directions. The hall of this temple house around thousand pillars. Images of various Gods and Goddess are carved all the way from the main entrance to the pillars.

The existent structure was built between 1623 and 1655. It has 14 gateway towers, with heights of 450m. Amongst them the tallest tower is the southern tower, towering at 170 ft.

The temple complex also has a large tank or Potrathamaraikkulam which holds holy waters in its confines. The main shrine which is dedicated to Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are surrounded by three complexes which are further protected by four minor towers. Meenakshi’s shrine is located to the southwest to Sundareshwar’s shrine, where the deity herself appears in the form of a black stone with hints of viridescent. Sundareshwar’s shrine lies at the centre and both the deities temples’ have gilded towers, which is visible from a far distance as well. A sculpture of Ganesh which is carved out of a single stone is present here as well in the Vinayakar Shrine.

The Sundareswarar temple has 5 gopurams out of which four are 5 tiered and are located on the outer walls and a single three tiered which is situated at the entrance to the inner sanctum.

The sanctum is adorned with Indra Vimaanam and several manifestations of Lord Shiva. Within the Sundareswarar temple complex is a shrine to Nataraja which is Lord Shiva performing a cosmic dance of destruction.

Temple Structure:-

The temple occupies a huge area in the heart of #Madurai as it spreads over 14 acres. The temple is enclosed with huge walls, which were built in response to the invasions. The entire structure, when viewed from above, represents a mandala. A mandala is a structure built according to the laws of symmetry and loci. There are various shrines built within the temple complex. Apart from the two main shrines, which are dedicated to #Sundareswarar and #Meenakshi, the temple has shrines dedicated to various other deities like Ganesha and Murugan. The temple also houses goddesses Lakshmi, Rukmini, and Saraswati.

The temple also has a consecrated pond named ‘Porthamarai Kulam.’ The term ‘Potramarai Kulam’ is a literal translation of ‘pond with a golden lotus.’ The structure of a golden lotus is placed at the center of the pond. It is said that Lord Shiva blessed this pond and declared that no marine life would grow in it. In the Tamil folklore, the pond is believed to be an evaluator for reviewing the worth of any new literature.

The temple has four main towering gateways (gopurams) that look identical to each other. Apart from the four ‘gopurams,’ the temple also houses many other ‘gopurams’ that serve as gateways to a number of shrines. The temple has a total of 14 towering gateways. Each one of them is a multi-storey structure and displays thousands of mythological stories and several other sculptures. The major ‘gopurams’ of the temple are listed below:

The temple also has numerous pillared halls called ‘Mandapams.’ These halls were built by various kings and emperors and they serve as resting places for pilgrims and devotees.

Courtesy:- Facebook page of Vedic Temples.

Thank you for reading.

Snehal Jani