Meenakshi Temple

A stunning mix of history and beauty
Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Temple, an architectural masterpiece, is located in the historical and the oldest city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Standing on the banks of the sacred river, Vaigai, the temple complex offers more than just architectural beauty. Built in the 7th century, the temple has exquisitely carved gopurams (towers) including two magnificently sculpted gold towers dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi (Parvati), the consort of Lord Shiva. The majestic entrance surely takes one on a spiritual journey. Down the decades this temple has been a centre of Tamil education. Hosting over a thousand of visitors every day, Meenakshi Temple marks the lovely relationship of peace and holiness all at once.

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Attractions

Gopurams
The appealing sculptures of animals, gods and demons are carved elegantly on the 14 different Gopurams (gateway towers) of the temple. The tallest gateway is the famous southern tower which rises royally 52 meters from the ground.

Shrines
Crowned with the Gold plated Vimana (tower over sanctum), the central shrine is a pure centre of attraction. It has a divine emerald-hued black stone statue of Goddess Meenakshi. It is surrounded by three enclosures, each protected by four minor towers.

Hall of Thousand Pillars
Each pillar of the hall is a marvelous example of the Dravidian art and architecture. The two rows of pillars are carved with images of a mythological beast. The Temple Art museum in the hall showcases the history of the Temple through photographs and drawings.

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Other Major Attractions
The Irutu Mandapam, consisting of pillars studded adorably with sculptures of Lord Shiva, is a place worth visiting. You can also visit other major places like the sacred Temple tank, shrine of lord Sundareshwar, Nandi pavilion, musical pillars etc.

Festivals
The major festival of Meenakshi Temple is the celebration of the marriage of the goddess Meenakshi, popularly known as Meenakshi Thirukalyanam in the month of April every year. This festival marks a major attraction for the pilgrims as they can bath their souls and body in the divinity of God.

How to Reach
The nearest airport is Madurai airport, located 10 km from the heart of the city Madurai. It is directly connected with the major cities of the country by rail and road.

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