Meenakshi temple is a huge shrine standing all alone in its glory. Once you get its glimpse, you cannot help but stare at it for a few minutes. It has been ranked as 26th in the list of the names nominated for the Seven Wonders of the World. Reading this, you can very well imagine the architectural wonders of this splendid temple.
Centrally located in 'the city of nectar' (Madurai) and built since twelfth century, it has been considered as centre of learning since ages. The surroundings of the lotus shaped city and Vaigai River add to its aura of spirituality. Literally, this structure of this sanctuary also suggests the rule of Pandyans.
No wonder, one has wide open eyes while taking a South India Temple Tour. Meenakshi Temple has two major shrines, twelve Gopuras, countless Mandapas and serene beauty of the pool to make you busy throughout your pilgrimage. In addition to that, thousand mythological tales makes you feel fascinated. Let us get familiar with the most common one...the name of the sacred city Madurai is derived from the tale that the divine nectar descending from Lord Shiva's locks gave it the name known as 'Madhurapuri'.
This temple retains the authenticity of the legend stating the wedding tie between Shiva and Meenakshi. Celebrations are reflected in the form of paintings, frescoes, sculptures throughout the temple. Various ranges of feelings, emotions and postures are depicted in the art forms showcased there.
Each destination included in South India Tours has a magical quality about it. In 14th century, due to Muslim rule, the higher authorities closed the Meenakshi temple and covered the Linga. When it was opened almost after fifty years, the flower garlands and the sandalwood paste was found fresh. In addition to that, two oil lamps were found burning! People believe as truth and worship the statues of Shiva and Meenakshi from the core of their heart.
There are some other sections in the temple which sweep you away under your feet. 'The Thousand Pillar Mandapam' possesses 985 pillars sculptured in a Dravidian style. Let me add the splendour of musical pillars to this. To the western side stand the musical pillars which produce different musical notes when struck.
There is one tradition in this temple which I like the most. It is compulsory to enter the temple through Ashta Sakthi Mandapa which leads one to the Goddess Meenakshi. Although there are four other entrances but the one I mentioned former is given the foremost preference. The reason behind the particular name of that Mandapa is the presence of eight sculptors of Shakti there.
Discover one more eye popping destination in India by taking a South India Temple Tour and thus visiting Meenakshi temple as soon as possible.