Sunday, January 4, 2009
MEENAKSHI TEMPLE, MADURAI
Located in the second largest city of Tamil Nadu i.e Madurai.
The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for Meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls.
The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks.
The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple.
The enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva, known as
Sundareshvara and his consort Parvatior Meenakshi.
According to legend Madurai is the actual site where the wedding between Shiva and Meenakshi took place.
Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.