Madurai – Meenakshi Amman temple, Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Thirukkovil

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Main Deities:  Meenakshi (Fish-eyed goddess), Sundareshwarar.

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These deities are also called with other names such as: Amma (mother), Amman, Shiva, Chockanathar, Chockalinga Perumal, Meenakshi Sundarar, Somasundarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Shanbaga Sundarar, Attavai Shevagan, Adiyarku Nallan, Adhiraveesi, Vilayaduvan, Abhideka Chockar, Azhagiya Chockar, Kadambavana Chockar, Puzhugu Neidhu Chockar, Kadambavaneswarar, Karpoora Chockar, Madureswarar, Irayanar, Peralavayar and other names.

BELIEF

Popular belief is that sincere prayers are always answered and wishes fulfilled.

If the devotees bath in the waters of Temple Holy Tank (Golden Lotus pond) on Amavasya (new moon) day, the first day of the month, days of eclipse and other auspicious days and worship the Lord, they will be blessed with all their aspirations for success.

WORSHIP Hours: 5.00am to 12.30pm & 4.00pm to 10.00pm on all days

How to WORSHIP:

Praying god is always connected with purity of body, mind and soul. Visit to a temple give sanctity and increase in concentration powers. Get rid of bad thoughts and enter temple with holy thoughts and worship. The restrictions are part of our culture, tradition for decency and social acceptance and avoid any diversions in the lord’s premises.

Devotees should enter the temple through East Gopuram, take a bath in the Golden Lotus pond and wear clean clothes. Devotees proceeding the temple should wear Saiva symbols such as holy ash, Uthiraksham, and carry with them coconut, fruits, incense and other items of offering to the extent possible. It is the practice to meditate the holy scriptures, and recite the sacred names of the deities while in the sacred premises.

Enter the sanctum through the main entrance. Men and women should stand in separate rows and worship the deity. Devotees should meditate the five holy alphabets, recite the sacred names of the Lord, sing divine songs and go round the shrine.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Devotees should not enter the temple without taking bath.
  • Devotees should not enter the temple wearing shorts, Lunges, and caps.
  • Chewing betal leaves, tobacco, Gutka is prohibited inside the temple.
  • Devotees are not allowed to enter the temple with foot wears or socks
  • Devotees with uncomfortable injuries are not allowed inside the temple.
  • Female devotees should not enter the temple during their menstruation periods.
  • Devotees should maintain discipline and follow the rules of Vaidhika Dharma.
  • Cleaning of the temple should be maintained.
  • Smoking and Spitting inside temple is strictly prohibited.
  • Devotees can get more or specific information from the Executive Officer of the temple.
  • Umbrella, Sticks, Materials made of animal skin should not be brought inside the temple.
  • Be warned: dress codes have been tightened, and no legs should be exposed for either gender, or shoulders (for women). If you’re deemed to be immodestly dressed an enterprising young man from the shop across the road will sell you a dhoti.

You are restricted from carrying cameras, mobile phones, bottles, food and many other items, so it is advisable to leave your bags and other carry-on items in your hotel room before visiting the temple.

Early mornings or late evenings are the best times to avoid crowds, and there’s often classical dance somewhere in the complex on the weekends.

CONTACT info/LOCATION:

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

East Chitrai Street | J K Plaza, 10/20, Bye-Pass Road, Madurai – 625001

Phone:   +91 452 234 4360

Email:  info@maduraimeenakshi.org

Web: https://www.maduraimeenakshi.org

MANAGEMENT:

The temple was brought under the direct supervision of the Board of Hindu Religious Trust Administered by a Joint Commissioner/ Executive Officer.

TEMPLE LEGEND, ARCHITECTURE:

Meenakshi temple built in 6-hectare large complex enclosed by 14 gopurams (gateway towers), all of which are carved with a staggering array of gods, goddesses, demons and heroes. It is the finest piece of sculpture, ancient spiritual temple. The architectural work was amazing. Golden lotus in the pond looks cool. Temple has more than 2000 years of history.

1310 AD – The temple was almost completely destroyed following the invasion of the Islamic conqueror Malikkapur.

14th century: The temple was restored to its pristine glory when the Hindu Kings came back to power in Madurai. The King Thirumalai Naicker played an important role in the construction of the new form of the temple according to records.

The temple which has five entrances, covers an area 847 feet (254.1 meters) long and 792 feet (237.6 meters) wide in the North South direction.

Towers:

The temple has four Rajagopurams or majestic towers, there are five towers on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord, three on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the Goddess and two golden towers or gopurams, all which have been exquisitely designed and sculptured. All fourteen towers have been segregated based on the stages they are,

  • Nine tier Rajagopurams – four
  • Seven tier, Chittirai gopuram – one
  • Five tier gopurams – five
  • Three tier gopurams – two
  • Golden gopurams – two

Halls & Sculptures:

  • Meenakshi Naicker Mandapam
  • Muthupillai Mandapam or Iruttumandapam
  • The Museum
  • The thousand pillars hall
  • Swamy Sannidhi(sanctum sanctorum) – Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothpavar, Durga Mandapams:
  • The celestial wedding hall
  • Mangayarkarasi mandapam and sculpture:
  • Servaikarar Mandapam
  • Muthuramayyar mandapam:
  • Nagara Mandapam:
  • New Mandapam:
  • Theradi Mandapams (the Mandapam at the foot of chariot shed):

Temple Holy Tank  (Golden Lotus pond)

This pond is also known as Adhi Theertham, Sivaganga and Uthama Theertham. This pond is situated within the temple complex.

  • Ezhu Kadal (Seven seas): According to legend, in deference to the plea of Godess Thadathagai, the Lord summoned the seven seas for Kanchanamala..
  • Kondazhi: This is also called Valaiveesi theppakulam.
  • River Vaigai: This river is also known as Poompunal Aru, Vaiyai, Poyyakulakodi, Sivagangai, Sivagnana Theertham and Vegavathi..
  • Kiruthamalai: another theertham is a tributary of Vaigai river.
  • Teppakulam (Lake):
  • Purathotti Nirmaliya Theertham: This is a theertham on the second corridor of the Swamy temple.

Stone Inscriptions

There are about 44 stone inscriptions on the walls of the corridors of the Sundareswarar shrine and that of Meenakshi Amma shrine. These inscriptions contain details of lands donated to the temple, the rituals for worship, the list of articles used for performing neivethiyam, the religious status of the people in ancient days, government procedures and social habits

Daily Pooja Schedules:

*Below mentioned time subject to change on Festival days

Pooja Name Daily Time
   Thiruvanandal pooja Morning 05 : 00 AM – 06 : 00 AM
   Vizha pooja Morning 06:30 AM – 07 : 15 AM
   Kalasandhi pooja Morning 06:30 AM – 07 : 15 AM
   Thrikalasandhi pooja Morning 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
   Uchikkala Pooja (Noon Pooja) Morning 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
   Maalai pooja Evening 04:30 PM – 05:15 PM
   Ardhajama Pooja (Night Pooja) Night 07 : 30 PM – 08 : 15 PM
   Palliarai pooja Night 09 : 30 PM – 10 : 00 PM

Accomodation :
The Temple has Three lodging facilities for pilgrims.
1.Birla Vishram,
15, West Chithirai Street,
Opp. to West Tower,
Madurai 625 001.
Phone : +91 – 0452-2345503

2.Sundareswarar Illam (Lodge) ,
15,West Chithirai Street,
Opp. to West Tower,Madurai 625 001.
Phone : +91 – 0452-2345503

  1. Bakthargal Thangum Viduthi,
    Ellis Nagar,
    Madurai 625 010.
    Phone : +91 –0452-2609868

TEMPLE FACTS:

  • The Sri Meenakshi Temple is considered to be the height of South Indian Vijayanagar temple architecture
  • The temple is as vital to the aesthetic heritage of South India as the Taj Mahal is to North India
  • Meenakshi Temple was on the list of top 30 nominees for the “New Seven Wonders of the World”
  • The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2,500 year old city of Madurai
  • The Meenakshi Temple has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature
  • Sri Meenakshi Temple is the abode of the triple-breasted, fish-eyed goddess Meenakshi Amman
    • ‘Fish-eyed’ is an adjective for perfect eyes in classical Tamil poetry
  • The temple attracts 15,000 visitors a day, around 25,000 on Fridays, and receives an annual revenue of ~US$1 million
  • There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple
  • The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival is celebrated during April and May and attracts 1 million visitors
  • The Tamil saying Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kaasi Visalakshi illustrates the importance of the Shakthi shrines.

The Meenakshi Temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak, but its history goes back 2000 years to the time when Madurai was a Pandyan capital (7th-10th centuries).

NEARBY SPOTS:

  • Gandhi Museum – Madurai
  • Alagarkoil Temple and Shrine
  • Pazhamudhir Solai
  • Koodal Azhagar Temple (2km)
  • Aayiram Kaal Mandapam
  • Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
  • Samanar Hills (10km)

Visit Meenakshi amma and get blessed.

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