Meenakshi temple in Madurai, Tamilnadu

south Gopuram in Meenakshi temple
North Gopuram in Meenakshi temple

Meenakshi temple is wonderful that no text can do justice.  Meenakshi Temple

East Gopuram in Meenakshi temple

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

West Gopuram in Meenakshi temple

Shiva and Meenakshi took place.  Meenakshi temple is wonderful that no text can do justice.

The Origin of the Meenakshi temple:

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.

Major festivals:

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 :

Inside the Meenakshi Temple

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.

Hampi the World famous tourist destination of Karnataka

Hampi, world heritage in Bellary district, Karnataka

Hampi, World Heritage Site

Hampi is one of the  India’s best  historical tourist destination. Hampi was used to be known as the capital of Vijayanagar, one of the greatest Hindu empires in India’s History. Now, Hampi is located in Bellary District, Karnataka.

The places to visit in Humpi:

The other places to see while visiting Hampi is Virupaksha temple, Vithala temple, King’s balance and Lotus Mahal.

History of Humpi:

In 1336 A.D. Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of Viayanagara Empire, with the help of his devotee disciples Hakka and Bukka.  Afterwards the empire became famous for its support towards renovation/reconstruction of temples through out India.  It also became famous for re-establishment of Indian culture, its support for music and art and literature.  This empire stretched physically covering Karnataka, Andhra and Maharashtra and became a by-word for golden rule, with the prime purpose of caring for the people and their welfare.

Famous Festival In Hampi :

Hampi festival has been celebrated from the times of the Vijayanagar reign.  Hampi festival, also known as the Vijaya Utsav.  This Utsav has been reiterated as the “Nada Utsava” by the Government of Karnataka.  This festival is held from third November to fifth November every year and is attributes to the mega cultural extravaganza.  Hampi is World Heritage Site and is international tourist spot too.

Hampi is known for revealing the Great  Indian Culture and Arts:

Popular artists of all over India come forward in bringing the grandiose days of the Vijayanagar period to the present day.  The rich culture of Kannadigas in the field of music, dance and art thus showcased complement the beautifully carved ruins of Hampi.

Bright colored handicrafts and leather puppets created by the traditional craftsmen of the past are reproduced with the same skill by their present generation.  It vibrates the air with past grandeur when musical instruments such as pipes and drums traditionally played.  To attract people all over the world to this magnificent land the Government of Karnataka promotes this festival every year.

The main attractions in this festival are:

The main attractions are Men dressed in the military fashion of the golden era , decorated elephants and horses are posted underneath the red, yellow, blue and white cloth “Gopuras” are posted along the lanes of Hampi. The two kilometer path which was known as the Raja Marga near the Virupaaksha temple has been decorated as the Vijayanagar theme , the purpose behind this is  to reveal the world to know by  recreating that  most world famous open trade in diamonds, gems and gold of the Golden Era used to be done here .  To entertain the guest’s classical dance exponents and classical vocalists are set with their brilliant performances in five avenues.

Other attractions are:

The other attractions are Janapada Kalavahini, Jumbo Savari, Light and sound show and even more.

Best time to visit Hampi is :

Hampi is located in Bellary District, Karnataka.  Ideal time to visit here is October to March.

How to reach this magnificent land of Humpi:

By Air : Bellary is nearest airport, 74km from the city of Hampi.

By Train : Nearest railway station is situated at nearby Hospet, which is well connected to and from Bangalore, Bellary, Gadag, Bijapur and Hubli-Dharwar.

By Road : Hospet is well linked by bus services, which is 350km from Bangalore and also you can even hire a cab and can travel from bangalore to hampi and can enjoy your tour.