The Meenakshi Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The main deity of the temple is Goddess Meenakashi. There are twin temples of God Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi inside the premises of Meenakshi temple. This temple has become a symbol for the Tamil people.
Meenakshi Temple is the example of the fine artistic work by Vishwakarma Brahmins. Vishwakarma Brahmins has shown that they are masters in sculpting. The temple complex shelters 12 sculptured and painted gopurams or towers. The present structure of the temple was constructed in the year 17th century.
The figure of Goddess Meenakshi in Meenakshi Temple is said to be engraved out of a solo emerald. Various kings have renovated the temple by adding coiled corridors from time to time.
The 12 Temple Towers or The Gopurams have become the landmarks of Madurai. There are towering gateways at the entrance to the temple complex. Each after every 12 years the images of deities on the tower are not only reconditioned but also repainted.
If you want to enter the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai through the eastern gateway then you have to first step into Asta Shakti Mandapam. Asta Shakti Mandapam was constructed by Rudrapathi Ammal and Tholimamai, wives of Thirumalai Nayakar. Close to the hall there is the Meenakshi Nayaka Mandapa. This hall has a lamp-holder for about 1,008 lamps. Here devotees lit lamps during festive occasions.
The beautifully carved pillars of the Meenakshi Temple tell about the miracles of Lord Shiva and also about the birth and life of Meenakshi. There is also an ancient holy tank in Meenakshi Temple. The worshippers take bath in the Potramaraikulam temple tank that is surrounded by a pillared corridor.
Several Heritage Historic Sites are celebrated in Meenakshi Temple all throughout the year. Thousands of people from various corners of the world come to the temple to offer prayers and attend the Heritage Historic Sites. Meenakshi Kalyanam, the wedding festival of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwar is one of the major Heritage Historic Sites that is celebrated here. This festival is generally celebrated during April to May.
Getting to Madurai: Madurai is well-connected by airways. Madurai airport is located at a distance of 10 kilometers far away from the city. Madurai city has direct rail connections from places like Coimbatore, Bangalore, Tiruchirappalli and Tirupathi. There are also 5 major bus stands in the city. You can avail Madurai town buses, taxis, suburban buses, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws to reach the Meenakshi Temple.