madurai

Shree Meenakshi Sundareswarar TempleThe Meenakshi Temple : It is the elegant twin temple of Sundareswarar and Meenakshi and the life of Madurai City revolves around this temple. The construction process of the temple began 2000 years ago. Contributions from different rulers 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 call this temple complex as a 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 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.

Alagar.jpgKoodal Alagar : This is a temple in the heart of the City, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and one of the 108 Divya Desams. Koodal is another name for Madurai and Azhaghar means The beautiful hence he is called Koodal Azhagar. Koodal Azhagar in three postures: in Sitting posture as Koodal Azhagar , in Standing Posture as Sri Surya Narayanan, and Sri Ranganatha in Reclining Posture[ Lying down] are in three separate Sanctum Sanctorums one above the other. Convenient steps have been provided to reach all the floors. The shadows of Ashtanga vimanam ( tower ) do not fall on the ground. Lord Azhagar is taken on procession for a dip in the Vaigai River on the Chitra Paurnami Day [ Full Moon Day – Apr-May] is the most colourful festival that brings the entire Madurai Town to Stand Still. A 10 day float Festival is celebrated in the month of Masi [Feb-Mar] on the Masi Magam[star] day.

Mariamman.gifMariamman Theppakulam : It is also called as Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam just 2 kms from Meenakshi Temple in the Town. Well laid out Underground water Channels connect this Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam. It has 12 step Ghats on all four sides of the 16 acre Teppakulam measuring almost 300 meters by 300 meters in size. It is said that, this pit was dug to fetch sand to build Thirumalai Nayakar Palace. The pit was later converted with brick work as a Holy tank and Thirumalai Nayakar Built the Vandiyur Mariamman Temple too on the northern side of the tank. In the middle of the tank there is a Mandapam called Maiya Mandapam [center Mandapam] with a small Vinayagar Temple and a Garden. The Float Festival at Mariamman Teppkulam one of the most colourful temple festival, annually held in the month of Thai [Jan-Feb] to mark the birth anniversary of King Thirumalai Nayak. Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar are seated on an illuminated Float [Theppam] colorfully decorated with flowers and the Theppam moves around the tank with the traditional musical treat in the background, watched by thousands of devotees.

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Thiruparangundram  : It is 8 kms from Madurai Junction. Cave shrines are calculated as 8th century creation of the Pandiyans and the temple of the later Nayaks. One of the Six Special Abodes of Lord Murugan dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya is located here. The Sanctum Sanctorum is carved out of a single rock and the temple is believed to be in existence for many centuries. The walls and the pillars are carved with Sculptures that still fascinates the visitors.

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Azhagar Koil :  This
Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu called as Azhagar Kovil is located here, just 18 kms from Madurai Town. Ruins of an ancient fortified town can be seen around this temple even today. Temple underwent renovations and additions during the timeline of its existence. It is said that Ydishtra and Arjuna visited this temple during Mahabaratha period. Koorathazhwar, a disciple of Vaishnavite saint Ramunaja regained his lost vision here. The temple has the shrine of 2000 year Sudharsana-Chakra worshipped by thousands of devotees. Skandapuranam, Thirumurugatrupadai of Poet Nakkeerar and Arunagiri Nathar’s Thirupugazh reveres this holy shrine.

Palamudir SolaiSolai Malai Temple [Pazhamuthir Solai] :  This temple is on the hillock reachable by a 3 km trekking on the Azhagar Malai from Azhagar Temple.  This is the only one among Murugan’s Aru Padai Veedu temples, where He graces the devotees with His consorts Valli and Deivanai. The wedding festival is celebrated along with Skanda Sashti festival. Pazhamudircholai is a temple located about 16 kilometres north of Madurai atop a hillock covered with dense forests. One of the six important abodes [Arupadai Veedu] and close to the famous Azhagar Kovil [Lord Vishnu] . Divine Poet Avvaiyar, while relaxing under the Naval Tree, encountered Lord Murugan in the form of Shepherd Boy on that tree, who played a prank with her to make her realize that Materialism should be removed from the mind to visualize the truth and seek God. It is also said that the actual temple was Azhagar kovil relocated as Pazhamuthisolai by the then ruler of Madurai – Thirumalai Naicker of the Nayaks dynasty.

 

 
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