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Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Temple holds quite a few names such as Meenkshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple or Tiru-alavai. Initially named as Meenakshi Amman Kovil is a Hindu temple, holding the historical importance is nestled in the southern banks of river Vaigai in Madurai city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, the fisheyed one also known by a name of Meenakshi and her husband, the Lord Shiva, locally named as Sundareswarar.

The dual shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati adds the complexity to the arrangement. The shrine of Lord Shiva is placed at the center of the complex. The temple stands as the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city, Madurai. There are 14 gateway towers in the entire complex and these are called as gopurams and their height ranging from 45-50 m and among them the tallest is the southern tower, having the height of 51.9 m.

The temple is an important figure for the locals, and it has been mentioned since the olden times in the literature of Tamil Nadu, however the present structure was built somewhere around 1623 to 1655. The temple hosts visitors with an estimation of 15,000 in regular days and around 25,000 on Fridays, making annual revenue of rupees sixty million. It is estimated that there are around 33,000 sculptures in the templeand the temple had been listed among the top 30 nominees of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”. There is a 10 days long festival held in the temple, which is celebrated annually during the months of April to May, is another attraction of the temple.

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