Monday, March 3, 2008

Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Madurai

The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple (In Tamil: மீனாக்ஷி அம்மன் கோவில்) is a historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamilnadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi or Fish-eyed Goddess). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai, home of the Tamil language.

According to Hindu legends, Lord Shiva, in the form of Sundareswarar, with his divine group of followers, appeared here in Madurai to marry Pandya King Malayadwaja Pandya's daughter, Meenakshi, believed to be an incarnation of Hindu Goddess Parvati. This temple is one of the most sacred abodes of Parvati. Also we can say it as "First Sakthi Peedam".

The temple has a stunning architecture and it was a frontrunner in the election for the modern seven wonders of the world for its architectural importance. The complex houses 12 magnificent gopurams or towers that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built only recently in the early 17th century.

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