Meenakshi Temple is a very famous temple of the Goddess Meenakshi. This temple is located in Madurai which is in Tamil Nadu, India. This Meenakshi Temple is very well-known temple all over the world. The prime presiding Goddess in the temple is Meenakshi.
This temple was constructed by Kulasekhara Pandya some centuries ago. It is said that the progress of the temple was done when the Nayaks were ruling that place. This temple was built in between the 16th and 18th century which is well-known as Meenakshi Amman Temple presently.
Meenakshi was the princess who ruled Madurai. There was a king named Malayadwaja Pandya who was childless and many yagnas were also performed by him and his wife to God for a child. Then a little girl had come from the fire and she was with three breasts. Then the worry of the couple was vanished when they came to know that the third breast would disappear when the consort is met by her. Once in the battle field of Kailas that princess was attracted to Lord Shiva and lost her heart to him. Then itself that breast which was the third one had disappeared and the wedding of them both happened. Then it was understood clearly that she was none other than Parvati. Every year this wedding is being done as a grand celebration in this temple.
Construction and Specialities
There are many special attractions of this temple and the construction is really incredible.
(i) Ashta Shakti Mandapam
We will enter into a mandapam which was built by the wives of Thirumala Nayakar if we enter the temple from eastern gate.
(ii) Meenakshi Nayakar Mandapam
Meenakshi Nayakar Mandapam is a mandapam which is situated exactly next to the Ashta Shakti Mandapam. This Meenakshi Nayakar Mandapam has many pillars within for which it is very famous. There is a mythical animal with a body of lion and the head of the elephant which is called as Yaali which is very special , seen in all those 110 pillars in this Mandapam.
This Potramaraukulam is also known as the Golden Lotus tank which is a very noteworthy attraction in the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Devotees used to take a dip in this tank in the earlier days.
(iv) Oonjal Mandapam
Oonjal Mandapam is also known as a swing hall which is found on the western side of the tank. On every Friday the idols of Meenakshi and Sundareshwar are made to swing in this Mandapam as a ritual.
(v) Amman Sannithi
There is a Meenakshi shrine in which Goddess Meenakshi is placed which is exactly adjoined to Oonjal Mandapam.
(vi) Swami Sannithi
There is Mandapam named Kilikoontu on the northern side of which a shrine of Lord Sundareshwar is placed. There is a large idol of the Lord Sri Ganesh which is known as the Mukkurini Pillaaiyar which is exactly placed between the two shrines of Amman and Swami.
(vii) The thousand Pillar Mandapam
If it is entered into the temple from the eastern side a hall will be seen with one thousand pillars. Presently only 985 pillars are being seen in that hall. In this temple some musical pillars also can be seen.
How to reach and Exact Location
One can reach Madurai through air , road or train from all over india.
After reaching Madurai one can take local buses or hire taxis , auto- rikshaws etc to reach the temple from anywhere in the city.