Meenakshi Temple

Location : Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Deity Worshipped : Lord Somasundara (Lord Shiva) And Goddess Meenakshi
Built By : The Pandyan King, Kulasekhara
Festivals Celebrated : Meenakshi Kalyanam In April-May And The Teppam Festival

About the Temple City of Nectar
Meenakshi Temple is location in Madurai.   It is the oldest and second largest city of Tamil Nadu.  Located at the banks of River Vaigai, it  was once a capital of Pandyan rulers.   The point of interest about this city is that it came up after Meenakshi Temple was constructed and enshrined.

Kulasekhara, a Pandyan King, got built this Temple driven by his belief that the divine nectar fell from Lord Shiva's locks at the spot.  The lotus-shaped city came up later around the Temple and named 'Madhurapuri' (City of Nectar) now called "Madurai".

About The Temple
The dating of original temple lies in the limbo or prehistory. It present structures are dated by the historians between the twelfth and eighteenth century in phases. The temples occupy a vast area  ( 258 m by 241m.)  There are the two main shrines, twelve Gopuras, many  Mandapas and a tank.  The various structures of this Temple Complex enthrall with its unique sculpture and architecture.

Gopuras are the gateways to the temples in South India with the massive pyramid- like structures.   The walls serve as engraved or painted notice boards with legendary and historical information.  Mandapas in Indian Temple Architect are the pillared pavilions or hall outside the temple for public rituals. 
    
The main shrines are devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Minakshi. There are various shrines devopted to other deities.  The Pandyan kings followed by kings of other south Indian dynasties built new and renovated old structures.  Thus this temple complex is an architectural and scriptural panorama spanning three-four centuries.   

The Golden Lily Tank
This tank  is an architectural marvel. Its northern corridor leads directly to the shrine of the Goddess. Its pillars carry images of some of the Sangam poets. Walls of its corridors carry paintings of the divine sports of the Lord. Its paintings on its wooden panels have been removed and now kept  Temple Museum in the thousand-pillared Mandapa.

How to Reach
Air : Madurai is connected by air with Mumbai and Chennai. Madurai airport is 10-km away from the city.
Rail : Madurai has direct rail connections to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kollam, Chennai, Rameshwaram, Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tirupathi and Tuticorin.
Road : There are excellent roads connecting Madurai to all parts of South India. Madurai city has 5 Major Bus Stands- Periyar Bus Stand, Anna Bus Stand, Palanganatham Bus Stand, Arapalayam Bus Stand, Mattuthavani Bus Stand. From Madurai town buses, suburban buses, taxis, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are available to reach the temple.
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