Meenakshi Amman Temple, or popularly called as Madurai Meenakshi Temple, is a famous religious destination in Tamil Nadu. Being the largest temple complex in Tamil Nadu, there are a lot more other interesting facts about this temple.
Let's get to know about some of the other interesting facts about Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.
The huge Meenakshi Amman temple complex
Photo Courtesy: Jorge Royan
One among the Seven Wonders of India
Recently, the temple has been tagged as one of the seven wonders of India along with other stunning monuments like Taj Mahal.
There are over 33,000 sculptures in the temple complex of Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.
Photo Courtesy: Suresh
Architecture of the Temple
The temple is built using Dravidian South Indian style of architecture, and is one of the most impressive temple structures in South India.
The temple has 12 lofty gopurams, out of which 4 major ones are placed facing the four directions. There are 4 inner gopurams that act as the entrances to the shrine. These gopurams are heavily carved, and is reconstructed and cleaned every 12 years.
Aayiram Kaal Mandapam
Photo Courtesy: Jomesh
Hall of Thousand Pillars
The Hall of Thousand Pillars, or Aayiram Kaal Mandapam is a wonderful piece of architecture and is believed to be built out of a single rock. There are many ancient paintings inside the museum of this temple. This is the only part of the temple that is open to visitors and devotees of all beliefs. This is the largest hall in the temple, and has huge statues of Nataraja and Sivakami in the centre of the hall.
The temple carvings at Meenakshi Amman Temple
Photo Courtesy: Mohan Krishnan
The Idol of Meenakshi
The principle deity here is Meenakshi, a form of Goddess Parvati. The idol of the goddess is carved in emerald hued stone. The Meenakshi idol has three breasts as Meenakshi was born with three breasts and was blessed that the third breast would vanish once meets the right man of her life. The third breast is belied to have vanished when she met Lord Sundareswarar, a form of Lord Shiva. The eyes of the idol are large, beautiful and mysterious, true to the name Meenakshi which means "Fish eyed".
There is a temple dedicated to Lord Sundareswarar, which has 5 gopurams. Unlike other temples, here the offerings are first given to Goddess Meenakshi, whereas in other temples the respects are given to the male deities first.
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