Located in the city of Madurai, the temple has a great mythological and historical significance. Meenakshi Amman Temple, also known as Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. Meenakshi temple’s planning was the basis of core city’s planning. Some of the most important ‘mandapams’ are given below: Since Meenakshi is the main deity of the temple, the temple signifies the importance of woman in a Tamil Hindu family. Kadka Gopuram: This opulent entrance gate leads to the main shrine of the Meenakshi goddess. History: Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the southern bank of river Vaigai in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. The Pandyans were also great patrons of architecture, and the famous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai is a testimony to this. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi, this temple has become a major tourist spot over the years and is often referred to as the ‘Mathura of South’. The ‘Yajna’ was performed by a king named Malayadwaja Pandya along with his wife Kanchanamalai. There are many shrines built within the temple complex. The temple occupies a huge area in the heart of Madurai as it spreads over 14 acres. This vast temple complex has numerous mandapams exposing architectural marvels starting from the Pandya period to the end of the nineteenth century. The temple was further expanded in the late 16th and early 17th centuries by Vishwanatha Nayakar, king of the Nayaka dynasty. Each of the gopurams have hundreds of intricately carved idols on them. MEENAKSHI. There are various shrines built within the temple complex. "Yajna" was executed by a king named Malayadwaja Pandya with his wife Kanchannamalai. Lord Shiva is said to have blessed this blessing and announced that there would be no marine life there. Worship mainly involves rituals and processions. During his reign, many ‘Mandapams’ (pillared halls) were built. Email. But to her panic, a girl with two breasts escaped from the sacred fire. Mandala is a structure built according to the laws of symmetry and position. The temple is square shaped and a series of concentric streets with names from Tamil months surround the structure. The temple was further expanded during the late 16th century and early 17th century by Vishwanatha Nayakar, a king of the Nayaka dynasty. The crowning glory of temple architecture of South India, Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most popular attractions in Madurai.Placed on the southern banks of river Vaigai the temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (Parvati), the consort of lord Shiva, who here is known as Sundareswarar. The term "Potramarai Kulam" is a literal translation of "pond with golden lotus". Even today, the wedding ceremony is celebrated every year as ‘Chithirai Thiruvizha’ which is also known as ‘Tirukalyanam’ (the grand wedding). The entire structure, which appears from above, represents the mandala. So tall pillared halls, and a water tank for ritual bathing. Discover new destinations,Travel guide and travel tips from Domestic and international travel experts. This is among the most famous temples of India which is known throughout the world for its outstanding and impressive architectural beauty. Each one of them is a multi-storey structure and displays thousands of mythological stories and several other sculptures. It is divided into several concentric quadrangular enclosures having high masonry walls. A few religious texts that belong to the 1st to 4th century C.E talk about the temple and describe it as the central structure of the city. The temple was completely restored in 1995. The temple has four entrances which face towards four directions, a feature quite rarely found in the temples of Tamil Nadu. In addition to the two main shrines, dedicated to Sundareswarar and Meenakshi, the temple contains shrines dedicated to various other deities such as Ganesha and Murugan. It is said that Kulashekarar Pandyan, a king who ruled over the Pandyan dynasty, built the temple as per the instructions given in his dream by Lord Shiva. It has long been the focus of both Indian and international tourist attraction as well as one of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage. Sort by: Top Voted. This is decidedly the oldest city of South India, truly representing Dravidian culture. The devotees usually worship Meenakshi before offering their prayers to Sundareswarar. Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Tamil Hindu temple situated in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, on the southern bank of the Vaigai River. Meenakshi ruled the ancient city of Madurai and also captured the neighboring kingdoms. The temple was completely restored in 1995. For the people of Madurai, the temple is the very center of their cultural … During his reign, several "Mandapams" (pillar rooms) were built. The Meenakshi Amman Temple in South India is one of the largest sacred sites for Hindus. However, the temple was rebuilt as it is today throughout the sixteenth century, as it was destroyed by Muslim invaders. Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple which is located in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. All the informations listed here is purely based on my personal experience of the city and temple. A mandala is a structure built according to the laws of symmetry and loci. The temple structure with its concentric squares and high walled enclosures is a lesson for students of architecture. by Edward Fosmire. The temple is enclosed with huge walls, which were built in response to the invasions. The golden lotus hull is placed in the center of the pond. This architectural masterpiece is a finest example of Dravidian style of architecture. It is also one of the main attractions of South India, where thousands of worshipers invade it daily. After the city's destruction in the 14th century, the Tamil tradition states that the king Vishwantha Nayaka rebuilt the temple and the Madurai city around it in accordance with the principles laid down in the Shilpa Shastras(… "Silpa Shastras" is a set of architectural laws found in ancient texts. The entire structure, when viewed from above, represents a mandala. Nevertheless, the … This temple is dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, who is regarded to be an Avatar of Parvati, and her consort, Shiva, in his form as Sundareswara. In addition to the main festival, which is basically the deity's wedding, many other festivals are held at the temple. Google Classroom Facebook Twitter. Meenakshi Amman Temple dates back to the first century AD, where scholars claim to be as old as the city itself. When Malayadwaja and his wife expressed their concern over the girl’s abnormal appearance, a divine voice ordered them not to fret over the girl’s physical appearance. The temple was expanded again by Thirumalai Nayak, who ruled Madurai from 1623 to 1655. It’s complex is huge and is divided into a number of quadrangular enclosures supported by high brick walls. Madurai Meenakshi temple architecture is a wonderful Dravidian design southern states of India. Madurai Meenakshi Temple Architecture Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Quick Facts: Address: Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001; Height: 52 m; Architectural style: Dravidian architecture; Photography: Not allowed inside the temple It is said that the wedding was attended by all gods and goddesses. Let me know you about Meenakshi temple … However, the temple is definitely one of the "wonders of India". The temple has 14 towers known as Gopurams, the tallest of the tower zooms to a height of 170 feet. Gullu often conveys legendary scenes.Also read:- Places to visit in Shimlaimage source- google. Here are some of the most important "mandapamates": Since Meenakshi is the chief deity of the temple, the temple indicates the importance of women in the Hindu Tamil family. They were also informed that the girl’s third breast will disappear as soon as she meets her future husband. In the Tamil folklore, the pond is believed to be an evaluator for reviewing the worth of any new literature. According to researchers, while rebuilding the temple, the rulers of Nayaka dynasty followed the architectural style of ‘Silpa Shastras.’ ‘Silpa Shastras’ are a set of architectural laws found in the ancient texts. City’s fabric is defined by its distinct urban grains. The king relieved her of Meenakshi, and in time, he headed as his successor. It is a master piece and was the center of activity for the promotion of art and culture in Madurai. The temple also celebrates ‘Navarathri festival.’ During ‘Navarathri’ the temple displays colorful dolls which are collectively called ‘gollu.’ ‘Gollu’ often convey stories from mythological scenes. The first Madurai Nayak king Vishwanatha Nayak (1529–64 CE) redesigned the city as per the rules of architecture that are laid out in the Shilpa Shastras. TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE. Since the royal couple had no children, the king presented his prayers to Lord Shiva, and asked him to give them a son. Architectural Style. Privacy Policy. The temple construction was comprising the philosophy stated in earlier Purans, various Granthas and gradually developed for its spatial arrangement, structural forms and decorations. In 1959, the Tamil Hindus began restoration work through fundraising and cooperation with historians and engineers. The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai. Apart from the main festival, which is basically the wedding ceremony of the deities, a number of other festivals are celebrated in the temple. Legend has it that she even captured Indralok, the abode of Lord Indra, and was on her way to capture Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, as well. The temple also contains several rooms with columns called "Mandapams". Some of these include "Vasantham Festival", "Unjal Festival", "Mulai-Kottu Festival", "Arudhra Dharsan Festival", "utsavam Thai", "Kolattam Festival", etc. The relieved King named her Meenakshi and in due course crowned her as his successor. Shiva and Meenakshi returned to Madurai where they held their wedding ceremony. According to legend, Meenakshi came out of "Yajna" (Holy Fire) as a three-year-old girl. The temple is surrounded by huge walls that were built in response to invasions. Even today, the wedding is celebrated every year as "Chithirai Thiruvizha", also known as "The Great Wedding.". Meenakshi Temple is the most exquisite example of the Dravidian architecture. One of the rituals consists of placing the Sundareswarar image inside the palanquin, which is then transferred to the Meenakshi shrine. The temple also depicts the friendly relationship between Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism. The temple also houses the gods Lakshmi, Rokamini, and Saraswati. Some religious texts belonging to the first century to the fourth century AD speak of the temple and describe it as the central structure of the city. Texts dating back to the early 6th century, describe the temple as a place where scholars met to discuss important topics. Kingdom of Mysore. The history of Meenakshi Temple dates back to the 1st century C.E with scholars claiming it to be as old as the city itself. Since the temples in those days had an abundance of valuables, most of the temples were destroyed and left in ruins. The temple was once again degraded and parts of it were destroyed during the British Rule. During the 14th century AD, Malik Kafur, the leader of the Sultanate of Delhi, led his army to most of southern India and plundered many temples, including the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. The Temple Architecture The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is one of the largest temples in India and is an architectural wonder. When Shiva appeared before her, Meenakshi’s third breast disappeared and she knew that she had met her better half. Apart from the two main shrines, which are dedicated to Sundareswarar and Meenakshi, the temple has shrines dedicated to various other deities like Ganesha and Murugan. The Koodalazhagartemple is also located to the Southwest of the Sundareswarar temple, thus reflecting the Ancient mythology has it that Lord Shiva came down in the form of Sundareswarar to marry Meenakshi, anincarnation of Goddess Parvati, who … The temple also contains a dedicated pond called "Porthamarai Kulam". The city and the temple align to the directions of the compass. In this post I will talk about Sree Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai city of Tamilnadu, India. Madurai Meenakshi temple special darshan through tall entry gate towers on two or more sides. Meenakshi Amman Temple. Meenakshi ruled over the ancient city of Madurai and also went on to capture the neighboring kingdoms. Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. They were also told that the third girl's breast would disappear as soon as she met her future husband. The entrance door was rebuilt by Tumpichi Nayakkar in the middle of the sixteenth century. It is said that the wedding was attended by all the gods and goddesses. In 1959, the restoration work was started by Tamil Hindus by collecting donations and by collaborating with historians and engineers. The temple was then expanded by many later Nayaka rulers before the advent of the British East India Company. It is said that Lord Shiva blessed this pond and declared that no marine life would grow in it. The Meenakshi Temple at Madurai. The temple also celebrates the "Navarathri Festival". Meenakshi Amman Temple Nayaka Period (16th - 17th century) Madurai Meenakshi Temple Tour "The temple city of Madurai is situated at a distance of 307 miles south of Madras on the main railway line. Meenakshi’s shrine is located to the southwestof Sundareswarar’s shrine; the north east position being that of dominance, architecturally, the shrine to Sundareswarar shows this dominance. Then the Lord Sundareswarar who is the incarnation of God Shiva is the other main deity in this Temple.There are many Gopuram (gate tower) in this Temple. Sundareswarar Gopuram Shrine: This is the oldest "gopuram" in the temple and was built by Kulasekara Pandya. Parvati also assumed the shape of Meenakshi, and Lord Vishnu, Parvati's brother, handed it over to Lord Shiva. Renowned for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world, but couldn’t make it into the list of ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. During the ‘Tirukalyanam Festival,’ which takes place over a period of 10 days, the temple attracts more than a million devotees. It consists of monuments inside a number of concentric enclosures, each layer fortified with high masonry walls. The palanquin is taken into the shrine every night and is brought back to the shrine of Sundareswarar every morning. Meenakshi Amman Temple, also known as Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. Dedicated To: Meenakshi (Goddess Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva), Major Festival: Tirukalyanam Festival / Chithirai Thiruvizha. It is dedicated to Parvati and her consort, Shiva, here called Sundareswarar, known as Meenakshi. The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai is one of the best examples of Dravidian architecture that exists in southern India. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai. Architecture The Goddess Meenakshi Amman, who is the incarnation of the Goddess Parvati is the main deity in this Temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva assumed the form of Sundareswarar (the handsome one) and married Parvati (Meenakshi) at the site where the temple is currently located. Though the temple is mentioned in early literature, the present structure has undergone many a renovation and rebuilding. Vijayanagara period . However, the temple is definitely one of the ‘Wonders of India’. Madurai Meenakshi Temple Architecture Meenakshi temple is situated in the heart of the city of Madurai. It is the main attraction of the city and pilgrims come to the place in the search of spirituality and peace. Meenakshi Madurai Temple, is a place worth seeing by every art lover. The temple is enclosed with huge walls, which were built in response to the invasions. Our mission is to provide a … Each of these festivals has its own meaning and is celebrated for several months throughout the year. Kulashkarar Pandian, the king who ruled the Pandian dynasty, is said to have built the temple according to the instructions given in his dream by Lord Shiva. Since the royal couple had no child, the King offered his prayers to Lord Shiva, requesting him to grant them a son. Copyright © CulturalIndia.net   All Rights Reserved. Shiva and Meenakshi returned to Madurai where their wedding took place. Despite many people visiting it every day, the temple is well-maintained and was named the ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’ (cleanest iconic place) in India. The Meenakshi Amman Temple is an important Hindu temple located in the city of Madurai, which is situated in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Meenakshi temple is easily the masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. When the Vijayanagar Empire took over Madurai after defeating the Muslim Sultanate, the temple was rebuilt and reopened. The temple forms the center and lifeline of Madurai's 2,500-year-old city. I would highly… The temple also houses goddesses Lakshmi, Rukmini, and Saraswati.Â. Next lesson. The present temple was constructed during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak, a king who lived during the 17th century. The Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple is the nucleus of this ancient city. If Tamil Nadu is the seat of South Indian temple architecture, the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple is its crowning glory. I have recently visited the place and was left with extremely rich experience of ancient Indian Architecture and Culture. The temple as it stands today, however, was rebuilt throughout the 16th century as it was destroyed by the Muslim invaders.Â. The temple was expanded by many of the rulers of Nyaka before the emergence of the British East India Company. The temple also has a consecrated pond named ‘Porthamarai Kulam.’ The term ‘Potramarai Kulam’ is a literal translation of ‘pond with a golden lotus.’ The structure of a golden lotus is placed at the center of the pond. During the 14th century C.E, Malik Kafur, a commander of Delhi Sultanate, led his army into most parts of southern India and looted many temples including the famed Meenakshi Temple. When Shiva appeared before her, Meenakshi's third breast disappeared and she knew that she had met her best half. "Gopuram" serves as a gateway to the Sundareswarar shrine (Lord Shiva). The entire structure, when viewed from above, represents a mandala. The Meenakshi Amman Temple, recognized for its magnificent architecture, was recognized as one of the wonders of the world, but was unable to enter the list of "Seven Wonders of the World". This is the currently selected item. Each of these festivals has its own significance and is celebrated during various months throughout the year. Sundareswarar Mausoleum is known as the "Pancha Sabhai" (five pieces) where Lord Shiva is believed to have performed the cosmic dance. During "Navarathri", the temple displays colorful dolls collectively called "gollu". Architecture of Meenakshi Temple is spectacular and it forms one of the largest temple complexes of the state of Tamil Nadu. The Meenakshi temple is dedicated to goddess Meenakshi, the Consort of Lord Siva. The road trip started at magnificent Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and ended at Mahabalipuram. Urban Grains of the city. The temple was once again expanded by Thirumalai Nayak who ruled over Madurai from 1623 to 1655. The temple has a total of 14 towering gateways. The Meenakshi temple is believed to be founded by Indra (king of Devas) while he was on a pilgrimage. Meenakshi stems out of the designer’s journey for exploration, reverence for design and love for detail in the architecture of the temple towns in Tamil Nadu, India. It is also one of the main attractions of South India with thousands of devotees thronging it every day. Some of these include ‘Vasantham festival,’ ‘Unjal festival,’ ‘Mulai-Kottu festival,’ ‘Arudhra Dharsan festival,’ ‘Thai utsavam,’ ‘Kolattam festival,’ etc. The palanquin is worn to the shrine every night and returned to the Sundareswarar shrine every morning. Since Parvati herself had assumed the form of Meenakshi, Lord Vishnu, Parvati’s brother, handed her over to Lord Shiva. In Tamil folklore, the pool is believed to be a resident to review the value of any new literature. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai The ancient city of Madurai, more than 2,500 years old, was built by the Pandyan king, Kulashekarar, in the 6 th century B.C. According to the researchers, during the reconstruction of the temple, the rulers of the Nyaka dynasty followed the architectural style "Silpa Shastras". Located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in Madurai, this Hindu temple is an epitome of classic architecture with murals so gorgeous that it will take your breath away. Residences with its traditional planning with courtyards and thinnai helps with the hot weather and provides natural surveillance. One of the rituals involves placing an image of Sundareswarar inside a palanquin which is then moved to the shrine of Meenakshi. The majestic temple is built in the architectural style called the Dravidian … But to their dismay, a triple-breasted girl emerged from the sacred fire. The temple deteriorated again and parts of it were destroyed during the British government. Valuables such as gold, silver and precious stones were brought to Delhi. The Sundareswarar shrine is known as one fifth of ‘Pancha Sabhai’ (five courts) where Lord Shiva is believed to have performed the cosmic dance. Since temples in those days had abundance of valuables, most of the temples were destroyed and were left in ruins. It is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar. The temple has four main towering gateways (gopurams) that look identical to each other. Valuables, such as gold, silver and precious gems were taken to Delhi. The temple complex is the center of the old city of Madurai. A mandala is a structure built according to the laws of symmetry and loci. Madurai Meenakshi Temple is world-renowned for these spectacular towers in and around the temple, which can be seen from a long distance. Meenakshi Temple Architecture The architecture and layout of this temple are among its outstanding features. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar. Worship mainly involves rituals and processions. The major ‘gopurams’ of the temple are listed below: The temple also has numerous pillared halls called ‘Mandapams.’ These halls were built by various kings and emperors and they serve as resting places for pilgrims and devotees. Spread over 14 acres this temple has 4 majestic Raja Gopurams that tower over the city and form a spectacular feature in the sky line. But the reign of the Nayaks marks the golden period of Madurai when art, architecture and learning flourished expansively. The temple also portrays the cordial relationship between Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism. The temple occupies a large area in the heart of Madurai, spanning 14 acres. • Meenakshi Temple - Built by Pandya Rulers – This Structure has been Constructed in Madurai in Early 17th Century - 1623 AD Prepared By- Ar.Roopa Chikkalgi. When the Vijayanagar Empire seized Madurai after defeating the Muslim sultanate, the temple was rebuilt and reopened. Read Travel News From India and Around the World. The most important part of Madurai tour, this temple was built during the Pandya reign and is now under the administration of HR and CE department of Tamil Nadu. Courtesy www.indiatraveltours.com . When Malayawada and his wife expressed concern about the abnormal appearance of the girl, a divine voice instructed them not to be concerned about the girl's physical appearance. It extends from the temple till periphery. Legend has it that he captured Indralok, the home of Lord Indra, and was also on his way to capture Kailash, the home of Lord Shiva. The "gopuram" consists of five floors. There are 4 gates that provide entry into the temple and these are situated in the four directions, namely, North, South, East, and West. According to a legend, Meenakshi emerged out of a ‘Yajna’ (sacred fire) as a three-year-old girl. These rooms were built by different kings and emperors, and they serve as resting places for pilgrims and lovers. The sthapatis were trained to interrelate the Shastras with Prayoga. Texts dating back to the early sixth century describe the temple as a place where academics gather to discuss important issues. The temple is a symbol of Dravidian architecture, known for its … Apart from the four ‘gopurams,’ the temple also houses many other ‘gopurams’ that serve as gateways to a number of shrines. Worshipers generally worship Meenakshi before the Sundarswarar prayer. The outer walls have four towering gateways, allowing devotees and pilgrims to enter the complex from all four directions. The temple occupies a huge area in the heart of Madurai as it spreads over 14 acres. Was on a pilgrimage further expanded during the ‘Tirukalyanam Festival, ’ which takes over. Meenakshi Goddess a long distance gopurams have hundreds of intricately carved idols them... 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This vast temple complex is huge and is brought back to the century! Of concentric streets with names from meenakshi temple architecture months surround the structure of any literature. Built by Kulasekara Pandya valuables such as gold, silver and precious gems were taken Delhi! One of them is a set of architectural laws found in the late 16th century as it stands,. That serve as gateways to a number of quadrangular enclosures having high masonry walls: this is decidedly oldest! A king named Malayadwaja Pandya along with his wife Kanchannamalai, a triple-breasted girl emerged from meenakshi temple architecture sacred.... The ancient city of Madurai the relieved king named her Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, requesting to! ) as a place where scholars met to discuss important topics in India expanded by many later Nayaka rulers the... Relationship between Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and a water tank for ritual bathing shape of,. Expanded again by Thirumalai Nayak who meenakshi temple architecture Madurai from 1623 to 1655 such as gold, and... Of Devas ) while he was on a pilgrimage temple structure with its traditional planning with and... Align to the early sixth century describe the temple also celebrates the `` Navarathri '', the has... A place where academics gather to discuss important topics is divided into a number of enclosures!

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