Meenakshi Amman Temple
Located on the bank (southern) of the River Vaigai in Tamil Nadu is a Hindu shrine called Meenakshi Amman Temple. This “Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva” dedicated temple is situated in the Madurai district. This magnificent temple is said to have been first constructed during the 6th century by the survivors of the “Kumari Kandam”, a lost (apparently fictional) Tamil continent. Furthermore, this temple comprises of about 14 gateway towers i.e. gopurams with the tallest being 51.9 meters in height. In addition, this temple is also known to comprise of about 33,000 magnificent sculptures.
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a. How to reach Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple Map
1. By train:
The closest railway station to this temple is located in Madurai. The Madurai Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple then the ideal starting points would be Mangalore, Bangalore, Udupi, and Coimbatore.
- Via Mangalore:
There are two routes from Mangalore to the temple, and they are via NH275 and via NH75 and NH44.
- Via Bangalore:
There is one route from Bangalore to this temple, and it is via NH44.
- Via Udupi:
There is one route from Udupi to this temple, and it is via NH275.
- Via Coimbatore:
There are two routes from Coimbatore to this temple, and it is via NH44 and via Nagapattinam Coimbatore Gundlupet Highway and NH44.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this temple is located in Madurai. The Madurai Airport is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious significance of the Meenakshi Amman Temple
A legend states that, there lived a Pandyan King and his wife Kanchanmala in Madurai who were childless. Now this royal couple were desperate to have a child, and so they decided to perform a yagna called “Putra Kameshti” to appease Lord Shiva, with the hope that he would fulfil their desire to have one. Impressed by their devotion Shiva requested his wife Parvati to take the form of a child for the couple. Acceding to Shiva’s request, Parvati was then reborn from the sacrificial fire as a girl child possessing three breasts. Although, the king was worried about the child having a third breast, he was assured by Shiva that it would disappear as soon as she found her match. This child was then named Taadanthagai and raised as a princess. It was just before her coronation that she declared war and defeated Vishnu’s abode i.e. Vaikunta, Sathyaloka i.e. Brahma’s abode and Amravati i.e. Devas abode. After these victories, she then travelled to Mount Kailash to conquer Lord Shiva. However, it was during this journey that she realized that Shiva was in fact her soul mate, and she was in reality the avatar of Parvati. It was due to this realization then that it was decided that they would marry, and rule the city of Madurai. Thus this temple was thus constructed in honour of the Meenakshi i.e. Parvati remarrying Lord Shiva in Madurai.