Meenakshi Amman Temple Significance

Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai Significance in English

A 2500-year-old shrine is known as Meenakshi Amman Temple, located on the south bank of the Vaigai River in Madurai, which is known as the Sleepless City. The main deity of the temple is the fish-eyed goddess.

The Southern Tower of Madurai Meenakshi Temple is the highest of the 14 entrance towers. The temple holds a significant place in the Tamil Literature. But, the present system is built between the years 1623 – 1655. There are 14 entrance towers at Madurai Meenakshi Temple, which range in height from 45 – 50 meters. The Southern Tower, which is of height 51.9 meters.

Among the “Seven New Wonders of the World”, it holds a spot among the top 30 lists with its Southern Tower, which is of height 51.9 meters (170 feet). Nearly 15000 people visit this temple a day and its yearly revenue is about 6 crores. There are about 33000 sculptures in this temple.

In Madurai, a number of festivals are held, including the Meenakshi Thirukkalyanam festival, which occurs between April and May, and is one of the biggest festivals there. Due to its status as one of the best festivals in the region and attracting over ten lakh visitors each year, Madurai’s main festival takes place in April or May and is known as the City of Festivals.

The Madurai Meenakshi Temple, which holds great historical significance, is believed to have been established by none other than Indhra, the King of Devas. Legend has it that Lord Indhra, on a spiritual journey to atone for his wrongdoings, stumbled upon the magnificent Swayambu Lingam during his way to Madurai. Mesmerized by its divine aura, he felt compelled to establish a temple in its honor.

In a fervent prayer to Lord Shiva, Indhra was blessed with a divine vision. The Lord appeared before him, seated gracefully on a resplendent Golden Lotus that floated above a tranquil pond. This awe-inspiring sight left Indhra in awe, reinforcing his belief in the sanctity of the temple.

The significance of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple extends far beyond its physical presence. Its mention in Tamil Literature dates back over 2000 years, attesting to its enduring importance in the cultural fabric of Tamil Nadu. Even in the early 7th century, Thirugnanasambandar, a renowned Saiva philosopher, eloquently described the temple and its presiding deity, Sundareshwara, as the embodiment of divine grace and magnificence, lovingly referred to as Aalavai Iraivan.

This temple stands as a testament to the deep spiritual roots embedded in the history of Madurai, captivating the hearts and minds of devotees for centuries. Its intricate architecture, adorned with exquisite carvings and vibrant sculptures, serves as a visual feast for all who behold it. The Madurai Meenakshi Temple truly embodies the essence of devotion, spirituality, and the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.

Madurai is regarded as one of the most sacred places in Hindu mythology due to the belief that the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place here. Other notable holy sites include Kanchipuram Kamatchi Temple, the Thiruvanaikaval Akilandeswari Temple, and the Visalatchi Temple in Varanasi.

The primary deities of the temple are Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwarar. Situated in the center of the temple hall is the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Shiva. A grand altar is dedicated to the deity Natarajar, also known as Velliyambalam. Adjacent to it is a shrine honoring Lord Ganesha, famously known as Mukuruni Ganesha, and the idol was discovered in the temple lake during an excavation. On the left side of Lord Shiva, we find the shrine of Goddess Meenakshi.