0452 234 4360
Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Dedicated to
Aadi Shakti

Deity Posture

Architecture Style

Creator

Nayak king of Madurai Vishwanatha Nayaka

Completed on

1560

About Madurai Meenakshi Mandir, Tamil Nadu

Shaktipītha, literally meaning – the seat of power, in Indian subcontinent stand testament to the essence of this civilization, the civilization which put mother over God, this civilization where themortal remains of a woman have been enshrined for ages, to remind every woman that within her lies a goddess too. The Shaktipīthas take us to a time that is beyond our comprehension; on the walls of each shaktipītha temple stories from every age are etched; and on its sacred earth sadhakas fulfill their Sadhana till date. Shaktipīthas unify our country and diversify our culture. They have contributed immensely to the society that has bloomed around them and the propagation and perpetuation of different branches of philosophy within Hinduism. Shaktism has subsequently, through these Shaktipithas, contributed immensely to the emancipation and upliftment of women.

Legend:
According to Hindu Puranas, the 51 Shaktipithas were consecrated around the mortal remains of Sati, Shiva’s wife. According to oral traditions and written lore, Sati was the daughter of Daksha Prajāpati, who considered Shiva his rival. Sati being an incarnation of Adi Shakti, despite Her father’s disagreement, married Shiva. To spite Shiva, Daksha organized a grand yajna, and invited all devatas, Brahma, Vishnu and other celestial beings, deliberately leaving out the invitations to His daughter and Shiva. Sati, being wilful and affectionate of Her father, insisted on attending the yajna, despite Shiva's urging to not go. The result, as anticipated, was disastrous: Daksha Prajāpati, drunk on his arrogance, humiliated Sati in front of all present, by viciously insulting Shiva and disowning Sati. Sati’s indignant and enraged response to this grave offence was the sacrifice of Her own mortal
coil by self immolating through Her yogic powers; what followed was the unleashing of Mahadeva’s rage: a dance of terror which spared none in its path. Shiva danced the terrible tandav, holding Sati’s charred body in his arms, which caused great cosmic chaos and forced Vishnu to intervene by blowing a discus into her body, and severing it
into 51 pieces. Wherever a part of her body fell, the land became blessed and sacred. And Shiva retreated into the icy caves of his abode, awaiting the return of his beloved.

History:
The first temple at the site was built at the beginning of the first century. It has several mentions in the ancient Tamil Sangam literature. The temple became an important site of pilgrimage over the centuries and a prosperous town grew in concentric layers around the temple as center. The temple was extremely rich with gold plated walls and pillars studded with precious gemstones. In the 14th century, Muslim invaders attacked the temple and looted all the wealth. The Islamic barbarians brutally demolished the temple and destroyed the whole town. After the invaders were driven away by local Tamil kings, Madurai was rebuilt slowly. In the 16th century, Tamil
kings rebuilt the whole city and the temple as it’s center in a systematic way. The reconstruction took place as per the ancient Sanskrit text Shilpa-shastra. Even after the reconstruction in the medieval period, the temple continued to suffer under the colonial period. The temple was slowly suffocated and it’s wealth was robbed by the British. Recently the temple was again restored by the Tamil Hindus and it rose to its former glory in 1995. Since then the temple has been a major site of pilgrimage and an important religious town in Tamilnadu.

Architecture of Madurai Meenakshi Mandir, Tamil Nadu

The temple is built in Dravidian Architecture style in accordance with the Shilpa-shastra (the art of buildings and  infrastructure). It is the only temple in South India to have four gigantic Raja-gopurams. The temple has several concentric layers, each surrounded by high and strong masonry walls. It also has a large water tank.

How to reach Madurai Meenakshi Mandir, Tamil Nadu?

By Train: Nearest railway station – Madurai Junction
By Air: Nearest airport – Madurai Airport
By Bus: Buses available from all over Tamil Nadu.

Madurai Meenakshi Mandir, Tamil Nadu Timings

9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Madurai Meenakshi Mandir, Tamil Nadu Images

Madurai Meenakshi Mandir, Tamil Nadu on Map

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