One of the oldest and most significant temples in India is the Meenakshi Amman Temple, often referred to as the Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple. The temple, which is in the city of Madurai, is very important both historically and mythologically. At the location of the current temple, it is thought that Lord Shiva took the guise of Sundareswarar (the handsome one) and wed Parvati (Meenakshi).
Meenakshi Temple, known for its breathtaking architecture. It was nominated as one of the seven wonders of the world but was unable to make the cut. The temple is unquestionably one of India’s “Wonders,” nevertheless.
According to experts, Meenakshi Temple has a history that stretches back to the first century C.E., making it at least as old as the city. According to legend, Kulashekarar Pandyan, a monarch who headed the Pandyan dynasty. Erected the temple in accordance with the directions Lord Shiva gave him in his dream.
A few religious writings from the first to fourth centuries C.E. discuss the temple and identify it as the main building in the settlement. Early 6th-century texts mention the temple as a venue for scholarly gatherings and important subject discussions.
The temple, which spans 14 acres, takes up a sizable space in the centre of Madurai.
Large walls that surround the temple were constructed in reaction to the invasions. When viewed from above, the entire construction resembles a mandala. The temple complex contains a number of shrines.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Vishwanatha Nayak, the Hindu ruler of the Nayaka dynasty, restored the temple. The Meenakshi temple and the temple city plan were redesigned by the Nayaka kings in accordance with the Hindu books on architecture known as the Shilpa Shastras. The Meenakshi-Sundaresvara temple was the focal point of the city’s radiating avenues. The Hindus began their custom of paradeing the bronzes from the temple into the city with great fanfare in each of these months.
How to reach there
The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is easily accessible by air, rail, and road. Here are the several ways you can get to the temple:
By Air: Madurai Airport, which is 13 kilometres from the city centre, is the closest airport. To go to the temple from there, hire a taxi or auto-rickshaw.
By Train: The main railway station in the city, Madurai Junction, has excellent connections to significant cities throughout India. To go to the temple from there, hire a taxi or auto-rickshaw.
By Road: Madurai has excellent access to the highway system, and there are numerous bus connections from important cities in Tamil Nadu and other states.
The temple is a convenient tourist spot in the city and is easily reachable regardless of your mode of transportation.