Exquisite Meenakshi Amman Temple
Exquisite Meenakshi Amman Temple in India can impress anyone who ever saw it, without making exceptions. Even such experienced and sophisticated traveler as Marco Polo could not help praising its delightful architecture. Meenakshi Amman Temple was listed among New Seven Wonders of the World, and is true work of architectural art: from the bottom to the walls and pillars are covered with 33 thousand magnificent sculptures, painted in bright colors. For Tamil people the temple has always been the center of education, culture, literature, art, music and dance. Among the prominent people depicted in carved figures – Rati (wife of Kama), Karthikeya, Ganesha, Shiva, and many more, alongside with endless number of mythical figures of yali – beast with body of lion and head of an elephant. The Temple includes Art Museum exhibiting icons, photographs, drawings, and other exhibits of the 1200 years old history of the temple. Among the most interesting objects of the temple are the Musical Pillars, which produce a different musical note when struck.
Meenakshi Temple, or as it is called Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, is located on the left bank of the Vaigai River, in the city of Madurai, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple was built in honor of Goddess Parvati also known as Meenakshi and her husband Shiva, who in this part of the country is also called Sundareswarar.
Meenakshi Temple is a huge complex of buildings, which covers a vast area right in the heart of Madurai. Inside can be accessed through one of the four existing gates. The complex consists of fourteen towers, which in buildings of this type are called gopurams. Each Gopuram is towering 45-50 meters above the ground. They are built around a beautiful pond. The biggest Gopuram – South Tower – has a height of 52 meters.
And the oldest is considered the eastern Gopuram, which was built in 1216-1238. Also, on the site are two large gold Wimans – sculptural tower pavilions, which house the main shrine of the temple. On one Wiman is carved from black stone with an emerald tint the image of the Goddess Meenakshi, the other – a sculpture of Sundareswarar. In addition to Parvati and Shiva, the temple worships Lord Ganesha, which sculpture is placed near the Sundareswarar Wiman.
The church is not only a tourist attraction but also an important religious place, where in addition to foreign travelers can be found faithful. 50 priests perform the puja (rituals) in the temple during festivals and on a daily basis.
According to ancient legend, the goddess Meenakshi had eyes in the form of fish and was undefeated in battle.
In 1310, this delightful church was almost completely destroyed, as the conquered the land Muslims did the same with almost all the temples of other religions. However, towards the end of the XIV century it was completely restored when the Hindu kings were again able to regain the throne.
Because of its special status, and the convenient location, the organizers of city festivals and festivals like this temple.
Since this place is very important for pilgrims, thousands of people visit it every day.
The temple of Parvati has a cabin – a place where a woman can step, but entering of man is strictly forbidden.
All the sculptures that you can see here, tinted and carefully restored every 12 years.
Despite the fact that after the last recovery, the age of this church is only slightly more than 400 years, its history is 2,000 years.