Meenakshi Temple in Madurai: Meenakshi Amman Temple also known as Minakshi Sundareshwara temple is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. Located in the city of Madurai, the temple has a great mythological and historical significance. It is believed that Lord Shiva assumed the form of Sundareswarar and married Parvati at the site where the temple is currently located. Known for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world but could not make it into the list of seven wonders of the world. However the temple is definitely one of the wonders of India. It is also one of the main attractions of South India with thousands of devotees thronging every day. During the Tirukalyanam Festival Which takes place over a period of 10 days the temple attracts more than 1 million devotees. Despite many people visiting it every day the temple is well maintained and was named as one of the swachh icons in India.
Some facts about Meenakshi Devi temple
It is believed that the city is protected by its warrior princess Goddess Meenakshi.
The Meenakshi Sundareshwar temple which is dedicated to Meenakshi Amba is located at the centre of the city.
The locals of Madurai believe that the city was built as per the guidance of Lord Shiva.
It is also believed that the city is built like the shape of a coiled serpent named Halasya. The body of the snake denotes the border of the city and its tail and could point towards the centre where the Meenakshi temple is built.
According to some legends, there used to be Kadamba forest in the place of present day Madurai. One day a merchant saw Lord Indra worshipping the Lord lingam when this news reached the king he cleared up all the forest and constructed a temple around The Sivalingam. The same temple is well known till date as Meenakshi Temple.
The speciality of this temple is that out of the many temples in Tamil Nadu that are dedicated to Lord Shiva only this temple is dedicated to Goddess and him.
According to a legend from Thiruviliyattar Puranam the city of Madurai was ruled by a Pandian king named Malaydhwaja but the kingdom was fearless so the king organized a Yajana. The king got a three-year-old girl with three breasts as the result of yajna. King Malaydhwaja and queen Kanchamalai raised the girl child and educated her on everything including warfare. The people of Madurai named her Meenakshi because her eyes were like fish.
The same Meenakshi grew up as Minakshi Amma who is said to be the incarnation of Goddess Parvati.