The world famous Meenakshi Temple is situated in Madurai, one of the oldest city of Tamil Nadu. The magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Meenakshi, is the perfect example of Dravidian architecture.
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The temple complex encircles the statues, which reflects the whole range of human emotions. The temple complex covers an area of 6 hectare and houses the structures date back to the 12th to the18th century.
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Originally the temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the real credit for making the temple goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks, who ruled over Madurai between the 16th to the 18th century, left a magnificent impression of their rule in the Meenakshi Temple.
Temple Architecture :
The temple complex is enclosed within a high wall, the two sanctums for Meenakshi and Sundareshwara stands in the centre. These sanctums are surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. The 12 gopurams (towers) of the temple are highly impressive. The high towers rise from solid granite bases are carved with images of gods and goddesses,mythological figures and depictions of legendary stories. The temple tower shave been divided into East, West, South and North.
» East Tower - The 161 feet 3 inch, high tower isnine storeyed and has 1011 Sudhai figures.
» South Tower -
» West Tower - The 163 feet 3 inch, high tower is nine storeyed carved with 1124 Sudhai figures.
The 170 feet 3 inch, high tower has nine storeys with 1511 Sudhai figures.
» North Tower -
The 160 feet 6 inch high, nine storeyed tower has Sudhai figures than other towers.
Temple Festival :
» Meenakshi Kalyanam - Pictures of church, Meenakshi Kalyanam is one of the most interesting temple festivals at Meenakshi Temple. In Meenakshi Kalyanam, the marriage festival of Lord Sundareshwar and Goddess Meenakshi is celebrated, for twelve days that starts from the second day of lunar month. This festival is celebrated annually in the month of April- May.
Nearby Attractions :
» Mariamman Teppakulam - Pictures of church, The tank is located at a distance of 5 km in the east of Meenakshi temple. It has an idol of Vinayakaor Vigneshwara stands on a plat form in the centre.
» Tirumalai Nayak Mahal - Picture of temple, The palace of Tirumalai Nayak lies around 1 km from the Meenakshi temple. Built in 1523 the place is an example of Indo- Sarcenic buildings and also presents the architectural style of the Nayaks.
» The Gandhi Museum - The museum is located at the old palace of Rani Mangammal. The museum has a historical account of India's struggle for freedom.
» Thirupparankunram - Pictures of temple, Situated at a distance of 8 Kms, south of Madurai, the temple has Pandyan rock- cut shrines of the 8th century. A wide range of images of Hindu gods carved on the walls can be seen here.
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