Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
Been there recently?
Constructed in Dravida style, it is one of the finest and largest temple complexes in India. Spread over an area of 14 acres within a tall compound wall, the two main temples are Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, i.e., Parvati and Shiva. The Temple complex is an amalgamation of many smaller shrines, 14 towers, and more than 30000 sculptures, pillars, and halls visited by about 15000 people per day. The highlight of the temple are the four large towers facing in four directions, which form the outermost layer of the complex. The tallest of these towers stands 170 feet tall with nearly 1500 sculptures. The thousand-pillar hall is another exquisite structure artistically built to host cultural events. Now, it is used as a museum depicting the history of the temple. Though some ancient literature of the 3rd century makes mention of this temple, the inscriptional evidence suggests that it was first built during the 13th century. Most parts of the current mammoth structures were built during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Madurai is well connected by road, rail, and air from Chennai.
Nearby Places to See
Tirumala Nayaka, king of the Nayaka dynasty, built this magnificent structure in the 17th century. Over 250 pillars support the former royal residence.
This 90-foot-tall waterfall, which can be found 35 kilometres from Madurai on the edge of a protected forest, is a great spot for a family outing.
Keelakuyilkudi, a small village about 10 kilometres from Madurai, is home to a rocky hill on which ancient Jain and Hindu cave temples were constructed between the second and tenth centuries. All 24 of the Jain Tirthankaras’ symbols are carved into the rock. On the basis of the mention of this school in Sanskrit and Kannada inscriptions discovered here, archaeological findings point to the existence of a Jain school in this area.
It is a museum entirely devoted to Mahatma Gandhi that is situated inside the city limits. This showcases his life through letters, things he used, articles about him, pictures, etc. The clothes he wore on the day he was killed are the centrepiece of the museum’s exhibit.
Just 5 kilometres away from the famous Meenakshi Temple is this stunning destination. In the 17th century, King Tirumala Nayaka constructed the massive lake. All four sides of the lake feature lovely stairways. A man-made island in the middle features a pond, a mantapa, and a temple dedicated to Ganesha. Several underground channels lead from the lake to the nearby Vaigai River.
Things to Buy
Things to buy include Cotton fabrics, Locally made sarees & bangles.
Foods to Relish
Cottonseed milk, Little Onion Dosa, Kalkandu Sadam (prepared from rice, sugar and green gram), Mutton Kari Dosa, Elumbu Roast (made from goat meat), Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian meals, Jigarthanda (mix of milk and ice cream), Madurai halwa .