Madurai is a temple city about 2,500 years old in Tamil Nadu, India. It is famous for its Meenakshi Amman temple and enchanting Jasmine flowers.
It is also called Meenakshi Sundereshwarar temple. It is dedicated to Mother Goddess Parvati, known also as Meeenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva. Meenakshi means ‘fish-eyed,’ the one whose eyes are extremely beautiful in the shape of a fish. This is the only temple where the Goddess Meenakshi is the principal deity of the temple and not Shiva or Sundereshwarar although there is a temple of Shiva just next to that of Meenakshi Devi. Devotees from all parts of India and other countries come to pay their obeisance and reverance to Mother Goddess.
It is a Shakti peeth, an energy centre. There are some special places like this one where the Divine infuses a great amount of spiritual energies so that people get some power to progress on their spiritual path and the long journey that it demands.
The most prominent structures of the temple are the Gopurams or towers which are visible from every part of the city wherever you go. They are exceptionally high and very beautifully decorated. They are painted brightly with figures of deities, gods, goddesses and semi gods. The city is based and thrives on river Vagai since a long time. There is a mini city inside the temple and people all over the year come in large numbers out of their devotion and love for the mother goddess. It is not at all possible to see the entire temple in just one day; it requires a few visits. This time, we concentrated on the outer side and left out the inner area comprising of a huge water tank. Photography is allowed in some inner parts and chambers and we obviosly could not resisit the idea of taking many pictures on our visits.
An overview of whatever little we could see in two days……
Large fields of growing yellow Chrysanthemum flowers for the garlands of the Gods and Goddesses residing in many temples in the temple city. Very refreshing site and experience. So very different!
The temple as seen from outside
The entity warding off evil beings at the tower top in all corners
Before we go inside the main chamber, there is a wide corridor buzzing with various activities. Constant repairs and improvements were seen being undertaken by the temple authorities. People also take some rest in this place to enable them to see the remaining of the temple premises. I was told by our driver that the entire temple premises is spread in 15 acres area! I don’t have the exact figure, it may be right also looking at the gigantic size of the structures everywhere.
A lot of walking, a lot of seeing and a lot of overwhelming feeling initially and followed later by that of devotion, calmness, admiration and reverance came…. .
Inside the temple, Ashta Shakti Mandapam
Many hands igniting their lamps of devotion
One thousand pillars hall or mandapam
The hall in the Northern side of Sundereshwar temple has 1000 pillars mostly carved. Built at a later stage by the Prime Minister of the Nayak dynasty dedicated to Lord Shiva as Nataraja and Mother Parvati or Meenakshi. It also has an art and architecture’s museum now .
Nataraja and Parvati in the hall, Shiva in bliss, in a dancing pose.
Pillars in a diagonal row
Dravidian architecture on pillars
A model of Meenakshi Amman and the temple she resides in. Found a nice way to get closer, a nice moment, shall cherish it for long. Thanked Mother by whispering to her and bowed down in humility and gratitude mentally…..
Our gifts in return
A generous, big lump of sandalwood paste
A sari with Mother’s Temple’s Gopuram, a souvenir…….
The most famous weave and pattern of Madurai was coveted.
Dear readers, with this short post and a photo gallery, we come to an end with the exhibition of pictures of the several pilgrimages that I made in the end of Dec’12 to South India. Hope you have enjoyed seeing them as much as I have taken delight in composing short posts and photo gallery with them.
Each visit to the holy place is a divine experience and so many new revelations are given by the Almighty and my Guru during those times. Sometimes there are inconveniences and lack of good food and hygeine, but it is overccomed and ignored. I share my experiences with you as posts and add pictures in the posts to collaborate what I have seen or realised. The pictures are most of the time used to convey many subtle things and so many times to say something visually instead of using words and sentences.
When you conjoin the words with the pictures, your canvas will become larger. That is the purpose served by my pictures. They are here to enhance your spiritual imagination, strengthen your visualization powers and in future use the powers of imagination and visualization to expand your Spiritual Consciousness……
P.S Pardon me if I have not been able to reply to your comments and emails in the last few days. Shall revert to you when blogging activities diminish. Some other things crop up and are equally important to attend to. But remember you are always on my mind and I will communicate with you shortly. You should always stay in touch.
Regards and thanks.