Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple dates back to the 7th century and is quite an old temple in Madurai.
Located on the banks of the vaigai river, the temple has 14 Gopurams which is the specialty of the temple.
The height of the Gopuram ranges from 45 to 50metres and the tallest among them is the southern Gopuram which is 170 feet high.
The temple was reconstructed in the 16th century by Vishwanatha Nayak and was nominated one among the “New Seven Wonders of the World” out of the 30 nominees.
Being a prominent temple, it attracts people from all over the world and has 33,000 sculptures for the people to see and get amazed.
The main deity here is Goddess Meenakshi, the form of Parvathi unlike other temples and her consort is Lord Shiva in the name of Sundareswarar. Mythologically, it is believed that Indra was the one who recognized the temple and the story says that Goddess Parvathi had promised Kanchanamalai, the wife of Malayadwaja Pandya that she will be born to them.
Goddess was born with three breasts and a Godly voice said that the third breast will disappear when she sees her future husband. She was named ‘Taadagai’ and was made to learn 64 sastras. She conquered the three worlds and moved towards the Shiva Loka during her crowning ceremony, where she couldn’t fight Lord Shiva and was filled with Shyness. Then she realized she was Goddess Shakthi and the third breast disappeared at the sight of Lord Shiva. Later, on the Earth, they got married with a great pomp. The marriage is celebrated every year as Chthirai Thiruvizha.
After their tenure as Prince and Princess, they occupied the temple for the Goodness of People.
Meenakshi means ‘Fish Eyed’, Meena(Fish) and Akshi (Eye). If you visit Madurai, 14 Gopurams will never let you go without seeing Meenakshi as they are so inviting and pleasing.