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Meenakshi Temple India, Madurai Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi Temple: Meenakshi temple or the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is located in the city of Madurai in the Indian state of Tamilnadu. The city of Madurai is 2500 years old and is the nerve of Tamilian culture. The Meenakshi temple was earlier built by Kulasekara Pandya but the modern beauty of the temple is attributed to the 'Nayakas' who ruled in the 16th century. Meenakshi temple is a Dravidian style of architecture. The Meenakshi temple is a magnificent temple. Itís a great architectural work and design. The magnificence of the Meenakshi temple has been mentioned in the Tamil literature from
time immemorial. The temple is devoted to Hindu God Shiva and his wife Parvathi. There are 14 Gopurams (ornate towers) in the temple.

The Architecture of the temple: Meenakshi temple has a magnificent architecture. It is one of the wonders of Asia. The Meenakshi temple has 14 gopurams or ornate towers including the two on the entrance. The towers are of granite and they are covered with sculptures of deities, animals, monsters and legends from Puranas. The magnificent sculpture of the temple celebrates the beauty of queen Meenakshi. The sculptures also depict the marriage of Meenakshi with Sundareswarar. The temple is enclosed by tall walls from all sides.

The Legend: The legend is that Lord Shiva in form of Sundareswarar came to marry Meenakshi who was an incarnation of Parvati. Meenakshi, the daughter of Queen Kanchanamala and King Malayadwaja Pandya was born during 'yagna' or sacrificial rites. She was three year old when she came out of the fire of the sacrificial rites. She grew in to a very charming young woman. She was very brave and ruled her kingdom serving her people. She defeated several kings and occupied their lands. Lord Shiva who was aware that she is an incarnation of Parvati came down on earth in form of Sundareswarar to marry her. He married her and then they ruled for several years. Later on they went for their heavenly abode. The Meenakshi temple exists at the place from where they had left for their heavenly abode.

Tourism: The Meenakshi temple in Madurai is one of the wonders of Asia. Itís a testimony to the skills of artisans. The magnificent temple attracts people from world over. There are festivals organized around the temple. The Chitrai festival celebrated in the month of April-May attracts a huge crowd. The festival celebrates the marriage of queen Meenakshi. The temple is also a pilgrimage site for the Hindus. Thus Meeankshi temple attracts people from world over both tourists and the pilgrims alike.

How to Reach: The nearest airport is Madurai, which is situated 10 kms away from the city connected with Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchi & Coimbatore through direct flights. Madurai s an important railway junction of the Southern Railway. Madurai is on the Madurai-Tiruchirappalli-Dindigul-Quilon route.

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