Famous Madhurai Meenakshi Amman Temple :
Tamil Nadu Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, is in the list of top 30 nominees of the Modern New Seven Wonders of the World. Madurai is particularly famous for cotton and batiks. The Meenakshi Amman temple is one of the few temples in Tamil Nadu that has four entryways facing four directions. The temple attracts 15,000 visitors a day, around 25,000 during Fridays and gets an annual revenue of sixty million INR.
This famous Meenakshi Amman Temple is also popularly known as Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Tiru-alavai is a historic Hindu temple located in the south side of river Vaigai in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu state. The temple complex is located in the area of 6 hectares displaying the Dravidian style architecture.
The 2500 year old city of Madurai, Meenakshi Amman Temple comprises of 14 gopurams is dedicated to Godess Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar (beautiful deity) and two golden sculptured vimana (shrine) over sanctum of the main deities.
The Madhurai Meenakshi Temple is best known for its famous thousand pillar hall. Each stone pillar is elaborately carved and surpasses the other in beauty and style. The tallest four gopurams form the outer square; the southern gopuram is the tallest at 50m. Open to visitors, the gopuram has a magnificent bird’s eye view of Madurai. The twin temples have four gopurams apiece, smaller than the four outer gopurams but equally rich in ornamentation.
A pillared corridor rings the Golden Lotus Tank, the Potramaraikulam that is integral to the legend of the origin of the shrine and so, as venerable as the temple itself. Devotees walk down stone steps to bathe in its hallowed waters and cleanse themselves.
Festivals celebrated at Meenakshi Temple
Every year in the months of April and May, Vasonthosavam Spring festival is celebrated in the Meenakshi temple, another festival Avanimool is celebrated in the months of September and October, when temple cars are drawn around the streets of Madurai and Teppam festival also known as the annual float festival is held in the months of January and February.
In the months of April and May a Chithirai festival, is a 12 day festival celebrate. On this occasion, an elaborately decorated chariot bearing the images of the divine couple is taken around the city. The annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during April–May attracts 1 million visitors. The best time to visit Madurai is the months between October and March.