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General Information

Area 22 sq. kms.
Population District : 30,38,252 (2011 census)
    City : 30,38,252 (2011 census)
Altitude 101 meters above sea level
Climate
  Max. Min.
Summer : 37.1ºC 25.0ºC
Winter : 29.0 ºC 20.0ºC
Rainfall 85 cms average
Clothing Tropical
Season Throughout the year
Languages spoken Tamil, Sourashtra, English and Hindi
STD Code 0452

Places of Interest

Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple : Meenakshi is the Presiding Deity of this 2500 years old Temple, popularly called as Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, a town by itself, is located in the heart of the Madurai town. Lord Siva is named as Sundareswarar in this temple Meenakshi means [meen = Fish, akshi= eyes] Goddess with Fish Shaped Eyes.Meenakshi Kalyanam

Legend about Meenakshi : The Pandian King Malayadwaja Pandian  [successor of Kulasekara Pandian] and his wife Kanchanamala were childless for a long time. They performed ‘Putrakama Yishti Yagam’ [Yagam / Homam performed for begetting a child] and Goddess Parvati appeared out of the Yagna Fire as a three year old Girl, with three breasts. Voice from the heavens said that the third breast will disappear, when she finds her match in Lord Siva. The king named the girl as "Tadaatagai” and also announced her as the heir to the throne. She was trained extensively in all the 64 Arts including field of war fare science. She went on Dig Vijayam [victory spree], across the stretch and width of the country. While in Kailayam [Mt.Kailash], she meets Lord Siva. She could not fight Lord Siva, because she was shy of her third breast. She later identified Lord Siva and a Celestial Proposal was made. It is then, she understood that she is the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. As instructed by Lord Siva, Tadaatagai returns to Madurai along with Lord Siva. As per the Divine wish, Tadaatagai weds Lord Siva, with Lord Vishnu performing the Celestial Wedding on the Earth , representing Goddess as her brother. After the demise of the King she became the Queen of Madurai. It is also believed that they both ruled the Land of Madurai for a long period and then assumed the form of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, the presiding deities of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Meenakshi Amman Temple is an elegant twin temple of Sundareswarar and Meenakshi and the life of Madurai City revolves around this temple. The construction process of the temple began 2500 years ago. Contributions from different dynasties and special contribution from Thirmalai Naicker, made this complex to extend by leaps and bounds over an area of 65000 sq.m and people rightly and popularly call this temple complex as the City of its own. Four Nine tier Gopurams, One Seven tier Chittirai gopuram, Five numbers of Five Tier Gopurams, Two Three Tier Gopurams and Two Golden Gopurams are the majestic towers of the temple. Because Golden Lotus for Indira’s Puja blossomed in the tank inside the temple, it is still called as Golden Lotus Tank [Pon Thamarai Kulam]. The Hall of Thousand Pillar of the Thirumalai Naicker period is called as Ayiram kaal Mandapam in Tamil. The architectural excellence of this hall is that the pillars viewed from any angle will be on a straight line. The musical pillars carved out of stone decorate the corridors of the outer courts. Temple is open between 5.00 am and 12.30pm :: 4.00pm to 9.30pm.

During the period of Nayakar rule in Madurai, Thirumalai Nayakar linked the Azhagar Thiruvizha and the Meenakshi – Sundareswarar Thirukalyanam [Wedding] ceremony, when Azhagar arrives in his Golden Chariot to conduct the Wedding, which gives Madurai a heavenly atmosphere even today. The 64 miracles of Lord Shiva that are enumerated and available now, are the reproduction of the Sanskrit version of the Halasya Mahatmyam. 


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