Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai - A Specimen of Grand Architecture and Art

 

The main purpose to visit Madurai, the Athens of East was to explore a different ambience of traditional India in which religious activities are highly imbued. Discovering new places has always been an attraction for me. And in the workaholic atmosphere of Bangalore I barely get time to visit temples or any such institutions, so I decided to have an experience of that too. And for that what could be a better choice than Madurai, a land of famous temples. Checking online I had prepared a list of temples that I would like to visit, and Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai was topping the list.

 

Sri Meenakshi Temple Madurai
Sri Meenakshi Temple Madurai | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

 

Located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River Meenakshi Amman Temple is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort Shiva; it forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 old city. On entering the temple I was surprised to see the architecture of this century-old temple standing with a number of concentric quadrangular enclosures. The one thing that glued my focus were the bright stone figures of animals, Gods and demons carved on the walls of the ten Gopurams surrounding the temple. To me it was indeed a tantalizing specimen of art and compelled me to contemplate how much labor and patience would have resulted in it.

 

Temple Wall Painting
Temple Wall Painting | Image Resource : wikimedia.org
Gopuram
Gopuram | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

 

A three-storied 'Gopuram' stands at the entrance of the Meenakshi shrine where Devi Meenakshi is depicted as the fish-eyed goddess, radiating love and grace. The stone figures displayed on the sanctum of Sundareswarar were just amazing pieces of art. But topping them all lay the Hall of thousand pillars, which is an excellent testimony of Dravidian architecture. I was spellbound to see the arrangement of 985 pillars, which appeared to be in a straight line irrespective of the angle from which they are being viewed. There is a unique exhibition of rare artifacts and idols in this hall.

 

Madurai Meenakshi Temple Piller
Madurai Meenakshi Temple Piller | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

 

I never imagined that for a person having interest in adventure sports, a temple and its surrounding could appeal so much. Having liked Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, I was confident that my next ventures would also not disappoint me. After the tour of my first destination I returned to my hotel to gear myself for the next destination of my list, Mariamman Teppakulam Madurai.

 

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Hey, I am Adway Chavan, an IT professional who spends all of his working hours staring at a computer screen...well, almost all. IT is my passion whilst nature, wildlife and adventure are the buzzwords I live by. I am also an amateur photographer and have travelled extensively in India and abroad. I never ever turn down a travel idea and spend all my holidays visiting national parks and forest reserves, biking up mountains and taking road trips. I have also indulged in bungee jumping, paragliding and sailing. One day I hope to take up the greatest challenge of all and go trekking in the Himalayas! Till then, watch this space!

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