Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

Saivam

 

Overview

Rding to legend, the sacred Suyambulingam discovered by the king of Gods Indira at Kadambavanam, was later enshrined by him in Madurai. The fact that the Lord is seen on the vehicle of Indira in this temple is said to be proof for this.
 
Many historical evidences of the temple have been found dating back from early A. D. The temple was almost completely destroyed in the year 1310 following the invasion of the Islamic conqueror Malikkapur.As kings who were followers of Islam were noted for their intolerance toward other religions, the invaders destroyed most of the ancient sculptures of the temple.
 
 
Thirugnanasambandar the Hindu saint you've mentioned the temple in his songs which go back to early 7th century. The Lord has been described as Alavai Iraivan in his songs.The temple was restored to its pristine glory in the late 14th century when the Hindu Kings came back to power in Madurai.This can also be termed as a new beginning of a new era in the history of the temple, when it was almost rebuilt. The King Thirumalai Naicker played an important role in the construction of the new form of the temple according to records.
 
 
The Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple is now under the administration of the HR and EC department of Tamil Nadu.
 
 
 
 
***********
There are about 44 stone inscriptions on the walls of the corridors of the Sundareswarar shrine and that of Meenakshi Amma shrine.
 
These inscriptions contain details of lands donated to the temple, the rituals for worship, the list of articles used for performing neivethiyam, the religious status of the people in ancient days, government procedures and social habits
 
 
 
 
Deities
 
The presiding Lord of this sacred shrine was in the times of yore known as Chockanathar, and Chockalinga Perumal.
 
Now the deity is known as Sundareswarar, Meenakshi Sundarar, Somasundarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Shanbaga Sundarar, Attavai Shevagan, Chockalingam, Adiyarku Nallan, Adhiraveesi, Vilayaduvan, Abhideka Chockar, Azhagiya Chockar, Kadambavana Chockar, Puzhugu Neidhu Chockar, Kadambavaneswarar, Karpoora Chockar, Madureswarar, Irayanar, Peralavayar and other names.
 
 
 
Holy Tank
 
It was in this pond that the Golden Lotus for Indra to perform his pooja bloomed. This pond is also known as Adhi Theertham, Sivaganga and Uthama Theertham. This pond is situated within the temple complex. This theertham was created by Lord Sivaperuman by thrusting his Soolam (three ptonged spear) into the earth in deference to the plea of Nandhi Devar and other deities. It was here, that the plank of Sangam appeared and established greatness of the moral text called Thirukkural. It was here that Chockalingam was found by the grace of the Lord, by the first Guru of Dharmapura Adheenam and Saint Srilasri Guru Gnanasambandar. In keeping with the boons granted by the Lord to a stork, upto this date no fish nor other life is found in this miraculous sacred pond. Since this theertam was created before all other theerthams it is called Adhi Theertham and because it is much greater importance than all other theerthams, it is also called Parama Theertham as Gnana Theertham because it confers prosperity on all who bathe in it. As it grants heavenly abode it is also called Mukthi Theertham and as Sivaganga because the water from Ganga from the head of Lord Siva confluences with it and as Uthama Theertham because of its purity than any other theertham..
 
If the devotees bathe in the waters of this pond of Golden Lotus on Amavasya (new moon) day, the first day of the month, days of eclipse and other auspicious days and worship the Lord, they will be blessed with all their aspirations for success.
 
Ezhu Kadal (Seven seas) :
 
According to legend, in deference to the plea of Godess Thadathagai, the Lord summoned the seven seas for Kanchanamala..
 
Kondazhi:
 
This is also called Valaiveesi theppakulam. This is another holy theertham situated at Ellis Nagar..
 
River Vaigai:
 
Legend has it that the Lord ordained River Ganga to flood in the area in order to slake the thirst of Gundodaran. This river is also known as Poompunal Aru, Vaiyai, Poyyakulakodi, Sivagangai, Sivagnana Theertham and Vegavathi..
 
Kiruthamalai:
 
Kiruthumalai, another theertham is a tributary of Vaigai river....
 
Teppakulam (Lake):
 
The teppakulam was constructed by Thirumalai Nayakkar in 1645, about three kilometers east of the temple. Every year on the day of Thaipoosam Godess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar are taken in procession on a decorated float on this lake, when they bless the devotees. This is one of the famous festivals of Madurai....
 
Purathotti Nirmaliya Theertham:
 
This is a theertham on the second corridor of the Swamy temple...
 
 
 
*********
 
Structure
 
The temple which has five entrances, covers an area 847 feet (254.1 meters) long and 792 feet (237.6 meters) wide in the North South direction, the circumference of the Adi Veedhi which is the path within the great walls is 830 feet (249 meters) on the east west and , measuring 730 feet (219 meters) from North South direction.
 
If the devotees bathe in the waters of this pond of Golden Lotus on Amavasya (new moon) day, the first day of the month, days of eclipse and other auspicious days and worship the Lord, they will be blessed with all their aspirations for success.
 
 
 
 
Towers
 
The temple has four Rajagopurams or majestic towers, there are five towers on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord, three on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the Goddess and two golden towers or gopurams, all which have been exquisitely designed and sculptured. All fourteen towers have been segregated based on the stages they are,
 
    Nine tier gopurams - four
    Seven tier, Chittirai gopuram - one
    Five tier gopurams - five
    Three tier gopurams - two
    Golden gopurams - two
 
RAJAGOPURAMS (NINE TIER GOPURAMS)
 
1. The tower on top of the sanctum sanctorm of the God (east)
 
    * This tower was constructed by Maravarman Sundarapandian the Pandian King (1216 - 1238)
    * The tower is 153.3 feet in height, and the base measurers 111.3 feet by 65.6 feet..
    * This bears 1011 episodes from puranams sculptured in it.
 
 
2.SOUTH RAJAGOPURAM
 
    * It was constructed in the year 1559 by Siramalai Sevanthi Murthy Chetti.
    * It is the tallest of the temple towers measuring 160.9 feet in height, with a base area of 108 feet by 67 feet
    * 1511 mythological figures are seen in it.
 
 
3. NORTH RAJAGOPURAM (TOWER WITHOUT ROOF)
 
    * Construction of this tower was started by Krishnaveerappanaicker (1564 - 1572) and completed by the family of Amaravathi Pudur Vayinagaram Nagappa Chetti in 1878.
    * This gopuram remaied unfinished for a number of years and was therefore called Mottai Gopuram meaning a tower without a roof.
    * This is 152 feet in height and the length of the base is 111.6 feet with a width of 66.6 feet..
    * This houses 404 carvings depicting mythological stories.
 
 
4.THE WEST RAJAGOPURAM.
 
 
 
    * This was constructed by King Parakrama Pandian duri ng his reign between 1315 and 1347.
    * This has a height of 154.6 feet with a base length of 101 feet and a width of 63.6 feet.
    * This tower houses 1124 sculptures of mythological importance.
 
 
THE TOWERS OF SWAMI SHRINE
 
There are five towers above the sanctum of the Lord.
 
 
 
1.Swami shrine gopuram (three tiers).
 
    * Built by King Kulasekarapandian (1168 - 1175).
    * Of all the towers of the temple,this is the most ancient.
    * This is situated at the entrance to the Swami Sannidhi near the Lords flag staff mandapam.
 
2.Gopura Nayaka Gopuram, also called Swami Sannidhi gopuram (five tiers).
 
    * It was constructed by a person named Vasuvappan in 1372
    * It is situated between the flag post of the Swami Sannidhi and the Thirukalyana Mandapam or marriage hall.
    * Standing 66 feet tall, it has a base area of 42 feet x 33 feet.
    * It has 280 mythological figures on it.
 
3. The Mukkuruni Vinayagar gopuram or Nadukkattu gopuram or Idaikattu gopuram (five tier) .
 
    * It was constructed by Siramalai Sevanthi Murthy Chetti in 1559
    * It is situated opposite to the shrine of the Mukkuruni vinayagar which is situated in the passage that leads from the Amman sannithi to the Swami Sannithi.
    * It is 69 feet in height with a base area of 44 feet x 33 feet. 112 mythological figures are sculptured on it.
 
4. Wooden gopuram (timber) or the Swami Sannithi west gopuram.
 
    * It was constructed by Mallappan in the year 1374.
    * It is situated in west end of the second corridor of the swami sannithi.
    * It is 72 feet in height with a base area of 48 feet x 31 feet.
    * 340 mythological figures are seen on it.
 
5.Sinnamottai gopuram (small roofless gopuram) or Swami Sannithi North Gopuram (five tiers).
 
    * It was constructed by Sevanthivellappa Chetti in 1560.
    * This tower is also situated on top the second corridor of the Swami Sannithi on the north side near the Kalyanasundareswarar Sannithi.
    * There are 184 sculptures on it.
 
 
AMMAN SANNITHI GOPURAMS:
 
There are five towers above the sanctum of the Lord.
 
 
 
1.Amman sannithi gopuram (three tier).
 
    * It was constructed by Anandathandava Nambi between 1227 and 1228.
    * It is seen on top of the entrance of the Amman Sannithi at the west end of the Killikoondu mandapam.
 
2.Kadahagopuram or Amman Sannithi west gopuram
 
    * This was constructed in the year 1570 by a person called Veerathummasi.
    * It is seen on top of the first corridor surrounding the Amman sannithi in the west end..
    * It is about 64.6 feet tall, with a base area of 50 feet x 28.6 feet.
    *There are 228 mythological figures on it.
 
 
 
3.Chittira Gopuram or Amman Sannithi gopuram
 
    * It was constructed by Kallathiappan Mudaliar in the year 1569.
    * It is situated inbetween the Meenakshi Naicker mandapam and the Muthupillai mandapam in the Amman sannithi.
    * As it contains 730 aesthetic sculptures of exquisite refinement it is also called the Chittira gopuram.
    * It 177 feet in height and has a base area of 78 feet x 38 feet.
 
 
 
***************
 
 
Halls & Sculptures
 
This mandapam which is the eastern entrance of the Amman Sannithi is said to have been constructed by the queens Uruthirapathiammal and Tholiammal (1623-1659) who were the wives of Thirumalainaicker.
 
The eight forms of Goddess Sakthi the consort of Lord Shiva, Kaumari, Rowthiri, Vaishnavi, Mahalakshmi, Yangnarubini, Shyamala, Maheswari and Manonmani have been sculptured into the pillars of the mandapam individually.
 
There are drawings depicting the life of Meenakshi Amman on the roof of the mandapam.
 
There are statues of Vallaba Vinayagar and Murugan at the entrance of this mandapam.
 
Meenakshi Naicker Mandapam
 
This mandapam which is seen next to the Ashta Sakthi mandapam was constructed by Meenakshi Naicker belonging to the Naicker clan in the year 1708.
 
There are sculptures depicting Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva who took the form of a hunter and huntress to rid a Brahmin of his sin.
 
The twelve Sun signs of zodiac have been depicted in a square shape structure on top of the mandapam.
 
This mandapam is 160 feet in length and has pillars that have been arranged in six rows.
 
Muthupillai Mandapam or Iruttumandapam
 
It was constructed by Kadanthai Mudaliar in 1613.
 
There are statues of Pitchanar, Munivars or saints of the Tharukavanam and wives of the saints.
 
Mythology has it that Lord Shiva took the form of Pitchanar to preach to the Munivars of Tharukavanam.
 
The statues of Munivar, Mohini and Kadanthai Mudaliar are seen at the southern side of the mandapam.
 
The Museum
 
Since 1966, the thousand pillars hall is also doubling as the museum of the temple. Among those items of artistic elegance and cultural excellence are:
 
Paintings explaining the quintesscence of the ancient arts of archtecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance and other forms of aesthetic importance.
 
Antique panchaloka (five metal) idols.
 
Collection of rare photographs.
 
Rare antique items.
 
Articles of Saiva and Vaishnava religions.
 
Antique coins.
 
Carvings in tusks and antique items.
 
Paintings from the Nayakka period depicting the 64 miracles performed by Lord Sokkanathar.
 
This mandapam is now being renovated and modernised using latest techniques.
 
The saying that one needs thousand eyes to view the hall of thousand pillars is not without truth.
 
Swamy Sannidhi(sanctum sanctrom) - Dhakshinamoorthy,Lingothpavar,Durga Mandapams:
 
On the walls of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord are the Dhakshinamoorthy Mandam with a pinnacle, the Lingothpavar mandapam has sculptures of Maal and Ayan unable to find the feet and crown of the Lord and the Durga mandapam.
 
These mandapams were built by Kambavarayar.
 
The celestial wedding hall:
 
The sacred wedding hall to the south of Veeravasantharayar mandapam was built by Vijayaranga Sokkanatha Nayakkar (1706 - 1732). His sculpture is etched on a pillar.
 
The ceiling of the sacred wedding hall are covered with teak planks with exquisite art work. The 64 miracles of Lord Sivaperuman have also been painted on the dome of the mandapam. There are also paintings depicting the twin worlds and fourteen worlds.
 
Earlier the celestial wedding of the Lord and Goddess used to be solemnized in this mandapam. Now the wedding takes place at the new wedding hall where the North Aadi street and West Aadi street meet. After the wedding, the Lord and Goddess would proceed to the old wedding hall to bless the devotees.
 
A scene from the wedding of the celestial couple form the backdrop of the wedding dais in the mandapam. Sculptures of the Meenakshi and Sokkanathar are found at Kambathadi mandapam and new mandapam.. Paintings of the celestial weddings adorn the walls of entrance to Amman Sannidhi and the western wall of the parrot cage mandapam.
 
The golden chariot of the temple is kept in this mandapam. During the festivals the Lord and Godess would be taken out in procession from this mandapam. The golden chariot procession also starts from this mandapam.
 
Mangayarkarasi mandapam and sculpture:
 
This mandapam is situated opposite the old wedding hall.
 
In view of the kumbabishekam. this mandapam was renovated according to the present style between 1960-63.
 
This mandapam houses statues of Arikesari, Maravarman, his consort Mangayarkarasiyar, Minister Kulachirayar and Thirugnanasambar in poses worshipping Lord Sivaperuman.
 
Servaikarar Mandapam
 
Situated opposite the old wedding hall, this mandapam was built in 1795 by Marudhappa Servaikarar.
 
Muthuramayyar mandapam:
 
Situated near the Servaikarar mandapam, this mandapam was built by Muthuramayyar.
 
One of the pillars in this mandapam bears the statue of Muthramayyar.
 
Kasiviswanathar and Visalakshi Amman shrines are situated in this mandapam.
 
In a pillar opposite there is a statue of Sarabeswarar.
 
It is in the mandapam opposite this hall, that the sacred task of Annadhan is distributed everyday. About 250 persons are fed free every day.
 
Nagara Mandapam
 
Nagara mandapam situated opposite the Amman sanctum in East Chitra street was built in the year 1635 by Achutharayan, minister of Rani Mangammal.
 
This mandapam was built for the purpose of sounding the Nagara drum toannounce important events and festivals to the devotees. Even though many shops are situated in the premises, the practice of beating the Nagara drum continues.
 
New Mandapam:
 
The New Mandapam, situated opposite the East Rajagopuram was built by King Thirumalai Naicker with the work starting in 1626 and ending in 1645.
 
The dimensions of this mandapam known as Vasantha mandapam and Thirumalai Naickerr Choultry are: length - 333 feet (100 meters), width 105 feet (31.5 meters) and height 25 feet (7.5 meters).
 
On both sides of this mandapam have been carved the statues of ten famous kings of Naicker dynasty. These statues which range from King Viswantha Naicker to Thrimalai Naicker had been chiseled in a life like manner.
 
On the pillars surrounding the mandapam, along the first six rows on the eastern side are carved figures of equestrian heroes, yalis, Ekapathamoorthy and that of Gajasankarar. In the adjacent inteior are sculptures of Thadagapirattiar, her tours (dikvijayam), Lord Shiva facing her, feeding of piglets, moon, sun, tiger feeding fawns and two dwarapalakars.
 
On the six pillars next to the western entrance to the mandapam, there are sculptures of Thiripurasankarar, four heroes on horses, Ravana trying to lift Mount Kailash and others.
 
In the interior of the mandapam, there are scenes of Meenakshi celestial wedding, Indra, Bramha, Sankaranarayanan, Arthanareeswarar, Oorthandavar, Kali, feeding the granite elephant with sugarcane and other sculptures.
 
On the pillars are 25 poses of Lord Shiva,
 
According to the work Thiruppani Maalai all the sculptures in the mandapam were executed by Sumandira Moorthy Asari.
 
Since the sculptures were new at the time the mandapam was built, it was called Pudhu Mandapam(New Mandapam). There are interesting episodes of events that took place while the sculptures were being carved.
 
Theradi Mandapams(the Mandapam at the foot of chariot shed):
 
Theradi Mandapams are situated along the East Masi street.
 
During the Chitra Festival, the procession deities Meenakshi and Sundareswarar arrive at this mandapam on the day of car festival before being taken out in procession. in their chariots.
 
The shed housing the car of Amman was built by Pappu Chettiar. Now the cars of Amman and the Lord have been renovated with modern technology.
 
The shed of the Lord was built in the year 1795 by Anandazhvan Ayyan.
 
 
****************
 
 
 
Paintings
 
The drawings depicting incidents of the Thiruvilayadal or miraculous dramas of Lord Shiva belong to the Naicker period.
 
There are paintings depicting the 64 miracles of Lord Shiva, all which were enacted in Madurai. These aesthetic drawings can be seen on the northern wall facing the Pottamarai kulam of tank of the golden lotus. These drawings are at present being given a facelift by using natural dyes at a cost of Rs 26.25 lakhs.
 
Many paintings which have been damaged due to neglect are now being kept in the museum in the 1000 pillar hall or mandapam of the temple
 
Thiruezhukootrikkai drawings
 
Drawing explaining the meaning of the songs sung by Nakkeerar have been drawn in the shape of a charriot in the Petchiakkal mandapam
 
Panchakkasabhai drawings Panchakkasabhai drawings
 
Drawings showing the five sabhas or Panchaga sabhas of Tamil Nadu can be seen opposite to the Velliammbala Nadarajar Sannithi.
 
The art belongs to Rani Mangammal period.
 
These drawings can be seen on the roof of the Palaya unjal mandapam (old swing hall) in the eastern side of the unjalmandapam.
 
These drawings depict Queen Mangammal and her court watching the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam or celestial wedding.
 
The drawings of the six abodes of Lord Muruga can be seen at the entrance of the New glass unjal mandapam.
 
The drawings of the Meenakshi Thirukalayanam and Pattabishekam in the entrance of the Amman Sannithi have also been touched.
 
iagramatic representation of heaven and earth.
 
Diagramatic representation of heaven and earth.
 
There are drawings depicting earth and heaven on both sides of the wedding stage in the old Kalyana mandapam.
 
The Kalyana mandapam also has drawings of 64 Thiruvilayadal and other celestial incidents
 
 
 
 
Pooja Schedules
 
Daily Pooja schedules
Pooja Name
 
Days
 
Time
   Thiruvanandal pooja
 
Morning
 
 
05 : 00 AM - 06 : 00 AM
   Vizha pooja
 
Morning
 
 
06:30 AM - 07 : 15 AM
   Kalasandhi pooja
 
Morning
 
 
06:30 AM - 07 : 15 AM
   Thrikalasandhi pooja
 
Morning
 
 
10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
   Uchikkala Pooja (Noon Pooja)
 
Morning
 
 
10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
   Maalai pooja
 
Evening
 
 
04:30 AM - 05:15 AM
   Ardhajama Pooja (Night Pooja)
 
Night
 
 
07 : 30 PM - 08 : 15 PM
   Palliarai pooja
 
Night
 
 
09 : 30 PM - 10 : 00 PM
 
 

Location

Country
India
State
Tamil Nadu
City
Madurai
Location
Madurai
Address
Contact Info
Phone:
Mobile :
Fax :
Near Cities
Nearest Bus Terminal
madurai periyar bus stand
Nearest Railway Station
Madurai Jn (MDU)
Nearest Airport
Madurai Airport
IN
latitude : 9.834509850 longitude :78.093399050
Corporation : Madurai
GPS Code : VOMD

Nearest Places

  • Rding to legend, the sacred Suyambulingam discovered by the king of Gods Indira at Kadambavanam, was later enshrined by him in Madurai. The fact that the Lord is seen on the vehicle of Indira in this temple is said to be proof for this.

  • ABOUT Thirumalai Nayak Mahal

  • vaikai damBuilt over the Vagai River at Andipatti, this massive dam is a sight to behold. It is the central source of drinking and irrigation water for Madurai and hence of great strategic and political importance. Over the years, it has become a popular picnic spot, especially for group excursions.

NEAREST PLACES

NEAREST PLACES TO VISIT

About us

Tourismeveryone.com is one of most and great name in internet world. Our aims to "what you need, we will give".

here collection of tourist places and its tour cost world wide.

Twitter feed
Contact us

#1, Puzhuthivakkam
Chennai, TN - 600091
P: (91) 9043520329
E: tourismeveryone@gmail.com


Follow us