Meenakshi Amman Temple of Madurai | Grand and Beautiful Architecture

Meenakshi Amman Temple of Madurai | Grand and Beautiful Architecture | Meenakshi Amman Temple | Meenakshi Temple | Meenakshi Amman | Meenakshi Sundareshwar | Meenakshi Temple Madurai

Introduction

This post is about my trip to Madurai, and I witnessed the grandness of the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Also called Meenakshi Temple. Madurai was our first stop during the << 8-days trip to South India. >> Must read.

As cameras are not allowed inside the temple, so I did not take the mobile phone and could not click any pictures inside. However, I will provide a detailed description of the temple and will provide some links where you can see the pictures.

Arrival In Madurai

We started around 6:00 to 7:00 PM from Bangalore and after we crossed the crowded streets, we were on our way to Madurai. We reached Madurai around 2:30 AM. We already had the hotel booked through Booking.com and the hotel was “Hotel Temple View”. From the roof of this hotel, you can see all the 4 Gopurams of the temple. As we entered Madurai at night, there was no traffic and crowd. During the daytime, the traffic is very high.

As soon as we reached the hotel, the manager suggested that the temple would open at 3:30 AM and it will be very convenient to visit the temple during this hour. So, we had a bath and we got ready for the temple. The temple was almost 700 meters from the hotel. However, my mother could not walk the distance, so, we drove till the temple barricade and parked our car there.

Visit to the Meenakshi Amman Temple

From the parking it was only 50 meters to the security check and as it was morning and less crowded, it no hassle for us to get to the temple fast. The policeman at the gate offered my mother a chair and he guided me to the place from where I got the wheelchair for her.

At the entry, you can find the ticket counter and there you can get the ticket for express entry. The cost of the ticket is Rs. 50 for Meenakshi Amman and Rs. 100 for Meenakshi Amman and Sundareshwar. We bought the ticket for our family.

We entered the temple and were amazed by the beauty, serenity and grand architecture. We stood for a while and tried capturing everything that we saw. Thousands of sculptures on the Gopurams and it was amazing.

There were 2 lines, one for free and other was express entry. As it was Christmas holiday and Ekadashi, the crowd was a bit on the higher side. What I noticed that on a given weekday and early in the morning, you can take the free line as well and it would be easy. I had to take the express entry ticket for my old age mother.

We took the route and first visited the Meenakshi Amman. When we came of the Meenakshi Amman sanctum we entered the hall with grand golden pillar and many sculptures for gods and goddesses. Here you can find man Gods paired with their female partners. From here, you can enter the sanctum of Sundareshwara (form of Shiva).

Beautiful idol of Meenakshi was decorated with green saree and ornaments and this was to capture in your memories. This was the moment I started exploring about the story of Meenakshi and Sundareshwara. The form of Parvati and Shiva.

Meenakshi Sundareshwar Story

The Pandyan King Malayadhwaja and Queen Kanchanmala were childless and wished to have an heir for the kingdom to rule after them. They primarily wished a male child who can rule after the king.

The Pandyan King Malayadhwaja and Queen Kanchanmala performed a yagya to ask the gods for a son. Rather, a young woman emerged from the yagya fire. This brought a disappointment for the king and the queen. A girl child was born instead of a boy and that too, she was born with a deformity. She had 3 breasts.

The king and the queen consulted astrologers and revealed that the girl child was an incarnation of goddess Parvathi. Moreover, when she meets her husband, she will become normal, and the third breast will vanish. She will be as brave as a male and will be a valiant warrior. Relieved with this, the king and the queen started raising their daughter as the heir of the throne.

Following the death of her father king Malayadhwaja, Meenakshi ascended to the throne and embarked on a northern conquest campaign. The warrior queen faced the gods when she arrived in Swarga in the Himalayas, leading her army and having vanquished numerous kingdoms.

The gods asked Shiva to intervene on their behalf as they were losing the battle, and when Shiva showed up on the battlefield, Meenakshi realized she had at last found her true love when her third breast disappeared. Shiva kindly agreed when Meenakshi asked him to be her husband.

Shiva instructed her to wait for him in Madurai. Eight days later, he came in the glorious form of Sundareswarar, the Handsome Lord, and wed Meenakshi in a lavish ceremony known as Thirukalyanam. To bestow the bride upon her, Lord Vishnu materialized astride a golden horse. Later on, the divine couple gave birth to a son known as Kartikeya, or Subramanya. Later on, Subramanya will visit Madurai to celebrate his own marriage.

In the temple the main deities are Meenakshi, Sundareshwara and Vinayaka.

The Green Colored Goddess

I saw many women devotees dark in complexion, and they had applied turmeric on their face. The color combination of Dravidian dark and yellow turmeric gave them a greenish shade. I explored more and found that the Goddess Meenakshi’s complexion is depicted as green. This is due to the yellow shade of turmeric on dark Dravidian skin color.

More Attractions in Meenakshi Amman Temple

Golden Lotus Pond

You need not go anywhere to see the Golden Lotus Pond, before you enter the Meenakshi Amman sanctum, you will find the pond on the way. In the middle of the pond, you can see the Golden Lotus. Fountains are there and they make a beautiful sight of the pond.

You can stop here for a while and sit in peace. Many people just take a glimpse and move forward.

The Mandapam with Golden Pillar

Once you come out of the Meenakshi Amman sanctum you land to the Mandapam with the Golden pillar. There you can find multiple sculptures of Gods and Goddesses. You can have a good time there. Sit, relax and mediate for a while.

Eight goddess forms, including Lord Shiva, Rowthiri, Vaishnavi, Yangnarubini, Manonmani, Mahalakshmi, Shyamala, and Maheswari, are carved into the mandapam’s pillars inside the hall. On the hall’s roof, there are several drawings that illustrate Meenakshi Amman’s life.

Sundareshwara Sanctum

In front of the mandapam, there is the way to enter the Shiva Temple. The Sundareshwara sanctum. Visit Sundareshwara and as I described the story of Meenakshi Sundareshwara, things will become more thrilling and enchanting.

After we move out of the Sundareshwara Sanctum, we land in the same mandapam with golden pillar. From there, you find the way to exit and taking left, you will reach the 1000 pillar mandapam.

1000 Pillar Mandapam

In the compound of the temple itself the 1000 Pillar sanctum is located. This place has been used as a museum and you must visit this place to see the great sculptures and history of Meenakshi temple. The main attraction is the statue of Natraj (The dancing form of Shiva).

While we were near the hall, the daily morning procession of Meenakshi Sundareshwara passed by. With a great band of Carnatic musicians, drums, and an Elephant, it added to the vibes of the morning. It was relaxing. I walked around the temple with the procession.

I realized that this was the place where the crowd was less, and one can relax a bit and observe the great things happening around. Another group of musicians were singing bhajans of Shiva and Parvati. Their vocals were not getting lost, and it was heart touching. Listening to it was getting closer to spirituality.

We stayed there till 9:00 AM and the life seemed to stop. However, we had to come out. We took the circle around the temple to reach the west gate. On the way we saw all the gopuram’s and as we did not have cameras, we tried capturing the moments with our eyes and memories.

Honestly speaking, if I would have taken a camera or my phone inside, I could not have observed thins with such an interest. I would have just clicked pictures and they would have lost in time.

Surrounding of the Meenakshi Amman Temple

As we came out of the temple, the market was open and there was crowd. Even the crowd and sound of toy sellers and vendors made it enchanting. There are numerous shops to buy things. You can buy souvenirs as a memory.

When we were outside the temple, we took a family picture and returned to the hotel to take rest. It is advisable to eat idli and dosa as they are good for you considering the climatic conditions.

In the second half of the day, we went to Koodal Azgar Temple and later visited the Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace. We waited till 6:45 PM for the light and sound show at the palace. This was not that great though. If you want to skip this can be skipped.

My main attention was to visit the Meenakshi Temple, and I really enjoyed being at the place.

Summary – Meenakshi Temple Madurai

In this post, I have mentioned that how we went early in the morning to the Meenakshi Temple and avoided the crowd. For elderly and disabled, we can get the wheelchair easily. The ticket is Rs. 50 for express darshan and Rs. 100 for Meenakshi and Sundareshwara.

There are many attractions to see inside the temple. Enjoy the vibes and the crowd. Everything is enchanting inside. You will definitely love the place.

I hope you loved reading this post and moreover, it is helpful to you. Do not get confused by a list of places and start hopping to see everything. However, the one that you visit, enjoy it completely.

Meenakshi Amman Temple of Madurai | Grand and Beautiful Architecture, ThePoemStory - Poems and Stories, Poems and Stories

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