Interesting facts about the historical Meenakshi Temple

The historic Hindu temple is famous for more things than one! The Meenakshi Amman Temple, located on the banks of river Vaigai in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, is a historic Hindu temple. It is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, also known as Meenakshi, along with her consort, Shiva, who is named Sundareswarar here. The legend behind the temple As per ancient mythology, Lord Shiva, in the form of Sundareswara, came down to the place in order to marry Meenakshi, which is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. She is said to have descended to Earth for the penance of Malayadwaja Pandya, the king of Madurai. Hence, the temple is a perfect mix of legends, myths and of course, stunning making techniques. It is the focal point of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. In the 7th century, the famous Hindu saint Thirugnanasambandar mentioned this temple, which also has mentions in the ancient Tamil literature. Boasts of architecture at its best As most of us know, the Meenakshi temple complex is not only one of the oldest but also one of the largest of its kind. In terms of architecture, the temple has 12 gopurams (towers), which range from from 45 to 52 metres (147 to 170 feet) in height. There are paintings and sculptures all over the Mandapams. As estimated, there are almost 33,000 sculptures in the temple. The most famous Nataraja sculpture is enclosed in a huge silver altar and the Thousand Pillar Hall (Aayiram Kaal Mandapam) has around 1000 carved pillars with Dravidian sculpture. PotramaraiKulam, which means the Golden Lotus Pond, inside this temple is a holy site.Both Meenakshi and Sundareswarar shrines have Vimanam (tower over sanctum), which are gold plated. Has a place in one of the Seven Wonders of India Since various kings have renovated the temple over the years, there is a distinct impression of their artistic taste. For its architectural importance, the temple recently bagged a place in the list of the Seven Wonders of India. The Meenakshi Temple is both an important pilgrimage site and a commercial centre and around 15 to 25 thousand visitors come here everyday. If you are coming to the Sri Meenakshi temple, do not miss the Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, an annual festival celebrated for 10 days in a year. And guess what? It is visited by almost 1 million pilgrims each year