Madura Meenakshi Temple

Madura Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Temple is a famous hindu temple in Madurai. Meenakshi Temple is also known as Meenakshi Amman or Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, which is located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

The Temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareswar, a form of Lord Shiva.

The temple is a major pilgrimage destination within the Shaivism tradition. However, the temple includes Vishnu in many narratives, sculptures and rituals as he is considered to be Meenakshi’s brother. This made this temple and Madurai as the “southern Mathura”, one included in Vaishnava texts.The Meenakshi temple also has Goddess Lakshmi, flute playing Krishna, Rukmini, Brahma, Saraswati, other Vedic and Puranic deities, as well as artwork showing narratives from major Hindu texts.

The Meenakshi temple attracts tens of thousands visitors a day over a million pilgrims and visitors during the annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, celebrated with much festivities and a ratha (chariot) procession during the Tamil month of Chittirai (overlaps with April-May in Georgian calendar, Chaitra in North India). The Temple is adjudged best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ in India as on October 1 2017 under Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s Flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The Meenakshi temple has two separate shrines for the goddess Meenakshi and god Sundaresvara, just like most Shaiva temples.The Devi shrine is on the south side, while Deva shrine is to the north, thus placing the goddess as the pradhana murti or the “more important” right side within the complex, states Fuller.