Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi ).Meenakshi Temple is one of the oldest temple dates back to at least 2500 years old.
In answer to the prayers of the childless king. Malayadwaja Pandya, goddess Parvati appeared as a three-year-old girl in the sacrificial fire but had three breasts. A voice from the heavens said that the third breast would disappear when the girl met her rightful consort. She was called Meenakshi as she had beautiful, fish-shaped eyes. The king brought get up as an heir to his throne and Meenakshi proved to be an able warrior. Her conquests led her up to the heavens. She came face to face with Shiva when she invaded Mount Kailash. A great shyness overcame Meenakshi and her third breast vanished. The king arranged a lavish wedding in Madurai for Shiva, as Sundareswarar (the Handsome God) and Meenakshi. Since the wedding Meenakshi, the queen, and her lord Sundareswarar have ruled over Madurai.
Meenakshi Temple Darshan Timings
- Morning : 5 AM – 12.30 PM
- Evening : 4 PM – 10 PM
Things To Watch Inside Temple
- Ashta Shakti Mandapam, ahead of to the Eastern gopuram
- The Thousand Pillared Hall.
- A museum inside this hall has exhibits of icons, drawings and photographs that run you through the history of the temple.
- Potramarai Kulam or ‘The Pond of the Golden Lotus’ has four corridors surrounding it. The corridor walls are painted with scenes from various puranas. At the centre of the tank is a massive gold-plated lotus, rising from the water.
- Kilikoondu Mandapam (parrot cage) was named after the rows of parrot cages that used to be kept here. Apart from the parrots, this is one of the grandest mandapams in the temple because of its pillars, sculptures and murals.
Important Events At Meenakshi Temple
- Chittirai Tiruvizha is a 12-day celebration of the wedding of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar. Many couples choose to get married on this day of Meenakshi thiru kalyanam, the divine wedding.
- The best-known event is the Arupathimoovar on the eighth day.
- Aavani Moolam Festival celebrates the coronation of Sundareswarar and enacts stories from the purana, Tiruvilayadal.
- Teppotsavam (Float Festival) held at the Mariamman Temple tank
How To Reach Meenakshi Temple
By Air – Nearest Airports are Madurai Airport, Tiruchirapalli Airport
By Train – Madurai is well connected by Trains and has its own Railway Junction.
By Road – Madurai is well connected by buses from Chennai, Vellore , Coimbatore.