Madhurai Meenakshi Amman temple :

God and Godess :

  • Sri Sundareswarar Meenakshi Amman
  • Lord Sundareswara
  • Lord Vinayaka
  • Nataraja swamy

Location :

Madhurai Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareswar temple,
Madhurai city,
Madhurai district-625001,
Tamilnadu.

Timings :

  • Morning 05:00 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Evening 04:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Temple History :

Madhurai Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareswar temple is a famous temple in national and international wide. This temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old of city Madurai. The name of Mother Goddess is Meenakshi, which is known as Angayarkanni, Meaning mother Meenakshi look after her devotees of her eyes. The fish does not have eyes lash so the eyes never close and ever open. Similarly, the goddess Meenakshi never closes the eyes and keep them ever open to take care of her devotees.This temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigal river in the temple city Madurai, Tamilnadu. It is dedicated to Parvati Devi as Meenakshi Amman and her consort shiva named as Sundareswarar. This temple had 14 Raja Gopuras(gateway towers) in the height of 40 – 50 m. The tallest tower is 51.9 meters on the southern side. Mother Meenakshi has many names as Pachai Devi, Maragathavalli, Thadathagai, Abishekavalli, Abhiramavalli, Kayarkan Kumari, Karpooravalli, Kumari Thurayal, Komagal, Sundaravalli, Pandipiratti, Madurapuri Thalaivi, Manickavalli, Mummulai Tiruvazhumagal. Lord Nataraja changing legs in dance: The divine wedding of Mother Meenakshi with Lord Shiva was going on in a grand way.

The Meenakshi temple is believed to have been founded by Indra (king of Deva celestial deities) while he was on a pilgrimage to atone for his misdeeds. He felt his burden lifting as he neared the Swayambu lingam (self-formed lingam, a representation of Shiva used for worship in temples) of Madurai. He ascribed this miracle to the lingam and constructed the temple to enshrine it. Indra worshiped Shiva, who caused golden lotuses to appear in the nearby pool. Tamil literature speaks of the temple over the last two millennia. Thirugnanasambandar, the famous Hindu saint of Saiva philosophy, mentioned this temple as early as the 7th century and described the deity as Aalavai Iraivan.The initiative to rebuild the structure was taken by first Nayak king of Madurai, Viswanatha Nayak (1559–1600) under the supervision of Ariyanatha Mudaliar, the prime minister of the Nayak Dynasty and the founder of the Poligar System. The original design by Vishwanatha Nayak in 1560 was substantially expanded to the current structure during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak (1623–55). He took considerable interest in erecting many complexes inside the temple. His major contributions are the Vasantha Mandapam for celebrating Vasanthorsavam (spring festival) and Kilikoondu Mandapam (corridor of parrots). The corridors of the temple tank and Meenatchi Nayakar Mandapam were built by Rani Mangammal.

The central shrine of Meenakshi Amman temple and her consort Sundareswarar are surrounded by three enclosures and each of these are protected by four minor towers at the four points of the compass, the outer tower growing larger and reaching higher to the corresponding inner one. The Meenakshi shrine has the emerald-hued black stone image of Meenakshi. The Sundareswarar shrine lies at the center of the complex, suggesting that the ritual dominance of the goddess developed later. Both the Meenakshi and Sundareswarar shrines have gold plated Vimanam (tower over sanctum).The golden top can be seen from a great distance in the west through the apertures of two successive towers. The area covered by the shrine of Sundareswarar is exactly one-fourth of the area of the temple and that of Meenakshi is one-fourth that of Sundareswarar.The tall sculpture of Ganesh carved of single stone located outside the Sundareswarar shrine in the path from Meenakshi shrine is called the Mukuruny Vinayakar. A large measure of rice measuring 3 kurini (a measure) is shaped into a big ball of sacrifice and hence the Ganesh is called Mukkurni Vinayagar (three kurinis).

This deity is believed to be found during a 17th-century excavation process to dig the Mariamman temple tank. The presiding Lord of this sacred shrine was in the times of yore known as Chockanathar, and Chockalinga Perumal. Now the deity is known as Sundareswarar, Meenakshi Sundarar, Somasundarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Shanbaga Sundarar, Attavai Shevagan, Chockalingam, Adiyarku Nallan, Adhiraveesi, Vilayaduvan, Abhisheka Chockar, Azhagiya Chockar, Kadambavana Chockar, Puzhugu Neidhu Chockar, Kadambavaneswarar, Karpoora Chockar, Madureswarar, Irayanar, Peralavayar and other names.

Temple Architecture: 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, 4 Nine Tire Gopurams,1 Seven Tire Gopuram,1Chittirai Gopuram,2 five tire gopurams,2 three tire Gopurams and 2 Golden Gopurams. 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 Naivethyam ( Prasadam), the religious status of the people in ancient days, government procedures and social habits.

Festivals :

  • Pongal(Harvest festival) – January
  • Jallikattu(taming the bull) – January
  • Chitirai festival – April
  • Festival of cradle
  • Avanimoolam festival – September
  • Navaratri festival – September/October
  • Dance festival – January/march/November/December

Ticket price for rituals, darshanams & special sevas :

  • Thriruvanandal pooja – 05:00 AM To 06:00 AM
  • Vizha pooja – 06:30 AM To 07:15 AM
  • Kalasandi pooja – 06:30 AM To 07:15 AM
  • Thrikalasandhi pooja – 10:30 AM To 11:15 AM
  • Uchikkala pooja – 10:30 AM To 11:15 AM
  • Maalai pooja – 04:30 PM To 05:15 PM
  • Ardhajama pooja(Night pooja) – 07:30 PM To 08:15 PM
  • Palliarai pooja – 09:30 PM To 10:00 PM

Nearest Temples Around Madhurai Meenakshi Amman temple :

  • Madhurai Dhandayudhapani Temple – Madhurai district – 0.40 km
  • Madhurai Arulmigu Madana Gopala Swamy Temple – Madhurai district – 1.00 km
  • Thiruparankundram Arulmigu Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple – Madhurai district – 8.00 km
  • Thiruvedagam Edaganatheswarar Temple – Madhurai district – 19.00 km
  • A.Valayapatti Kallalagar Temple – Madhurai district – 22.00 km
  • Dindigul Srinivasa Perumal temple – Dindigul district – 63.00 km
  • Dindigul Kalahastheeswarar Gnanambigai temple or abhirami temple – Dindigul district – 63.00 km
  • Thirumayam SatyaMurthy perumal temple – Pudukottai district – 70.00 km
  • Pillayarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar Temple – Shivaganga district – 73.00 km
  • Sathuragiri Sri Sundara Mahalingam temple – Madhurai district – 76.00 km
  • Srivilliputhur Andal Temple – Viridhunagar district – 81.00 km
  • Srivilliputhur Vaidyanatha temple – Viridhunagar district – 82.00 km
  • Chinnamanur Sivakami Amman pula Nandeeswara temple – Theni district – 99.00 km
  • kovilpatti Sri Poovananathar Swamy Temple – Thoothukudi district – 102.00 km
  • Uthamapalayam Sri Kalatheeswarar temple – Theni district – 105.00 km
  • Cumbam Arulmigu Kambaraya perumal Kasi Viswanathar Thirukoil – Theni district – 115.00 km
  • Palani Idumban temple – Dindigul district – 118.00 km
  • Palani Dandayuthapani temple – Dindigul district – 119.00 km
  • Kalugumalai Kalugasalamoorthy Temple – Thoothukudi district – 122.00 km
  • Thanthondrimalai Venkataramana Swamy temple – Karur district – 125.00 km
  • Devarmalai Kathir Narasinga perumal temple – Karur district – 125.00 km
  • Narthamalai MuthuMari Amman temple – Pudukottai district – 125.00 km
  • Avudaiyarkoil Atmanatha swamy temple – Pudukottai district – 128.00 km
  • Thoothukudi Sri Sankara Rameshvarar ThiruKovil – Thoothukudi district – 138.00 km
  • Kulithalai Kadamba Vaneswara Swamy temple – Karur district – 146.00 km
  • Elumathur Arudra Kabaliswara swamy temple – Erode district – 175.00 km
  • Tiruchendur Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple – Thoothukudi district – 180.00 km
  • Tiruvannamalai Sri Arunachaleswar Temple – Tiruvannamalai district – 184.00 km
  • Erode Sakti Vinayagar temple – Erode district – 195.00 km

Nearest Bus Stations :

  • Madhurai – 6.00 km
  • Tirumangalam – 19.00 km

Nearest Railwaystations :

  • Madhurai – 2.00 km
  • Tirumangalam – 20.00 km

Nearest Airports :

  • Tiruchirapally International Airport, Trichy – 135.00 km
  • Coimbatore International Airport,Coimbatore – 208.00 km
  • Pondicherry Airport – 371.00 km

Photos of the temple :