The Meenakshi temple is situated in Madurai. It is one of the most ancient and largest temple. The Meenakshi temple is world famous for its marvelous architecture and it is one of the most popular temples in Tamilnadu. The twin temple of Shiva and Meenakshi is situated at the south gateway here and is about nine storeys high. The temple sprawls over an area about 6 hectares and it has 12 gopurams ranging of height about 45 to 50 m and the tallest one is at the south side.
Historical Importance about the Temple:
People believe that Madurai is the place where thewedding between Lord
Shiva and Meenakshi took place. Meenakshi temple is wonderful that no text can do justice.
The Madurai city and Sri Meenakshi Sundareswara temple originated together. According to History, Indra once killed a demon thus committed sin who was then performing penance. In his own kingdom he couldn’t find relief so came down to earth. He felt relieved of his burden while passing through a forest of Kadamba trees in Pandya land. His servitors told him there was Shivalinga under a Kadamba tree and that it was the linga that had helped him. He worshipped it and built a temple around it. It is believed that this is the linga, which is still under worship in the Madurai temple and the shrine is called the “Indra Vimana”.
Once a merchant of Manavur, named Dhananjaya where the Pandavas had arrived after the second deluge in Kumari Kandam, having been overtaken by nightfall in Kadamba forest so spent the night in the Indra Vimana. He was surprised to see signs of worship when he woke up in the next morning. He told the Pandya, Kulasekhara, in Manavur about this thinking that it must be the work of the Devas. Meanwhile Lord Shiva had told Pandya in a dream to build a temple and a city at the spot Dhananjaya would indicate. Kulasekhara did so. Thus the temple and city came into existence.
Meenakshi Thiru Kalyanam at Madurai
The annual solemnization of the marriage of Lord Shiva with Meenakshi is one of the most spectacular festivals at Madurai Meenakshi temple in Tamilnadu. Chariot procession of the god and the goddess are some of the colorful features of this festival. This is a famous festival celebrated in the month of Chaitra (April-May). This wedding festival of god and goddess is celebrated for twelve days from the second of the lunar month (two days after the new moon).
Thousands of devotees from all over the country visits Madurai on this occasion. The festival is very attractive characterized with royal decorated umbrellas, fans and traditional music and deities of Lord Shiva, Goddess Shakti and Goddess Meenakshi are taken out in a colorful procession.
Other famous Festivals :
Apart from this Navarathri and Shivarthri festivals are celebrated grandly
Transport Facilities to reach this beautiful temple:
By Air: Madurai is connected by air with Chennai and Mumbai. Madurai airport is 10 kilometers away from the city.
By Rail: Madurai has direct rail connections to all major cities such as Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kollam, Chennai, Rameshwaram, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Tirupathi and Tuticorin
By Road: There are roads well connected from Madurai to all parts of South India. From Madurai town buses, suburban buses, You can hire a taxi, cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are available to reach the temple.