Meenakshi Amman Temple – Greatness of Temple
Madurai Meenakshi is globally famous. Religious and political history of Tamilnadu begins from here. Mother Meenakshi sets an example of fair administration. Lord Shiva is all to all. A temple worshipped by great saints. This is the sacred land where Lord Shiva danced changing his legs. Indira and Varuna worshipped here. As this the first of the 64 Shakti Peetas in the country, all pujas are first dedicated to Mother Meenakshi and then to Lord Shiva.
This is the place where a heated argument took place in the court of King Shenbaga Pandiyan about the meaning of a poem, the Lord defending poet Tharumi and got him the golden purse. This is the place that respected the freedom of expression through poet Nakkeeranar telling the Lord face to face that a poetic mistake cannot be justified by showing his eye on the forehead thus threatening his right.
Madurai is the place where Saivite Saint Tirugnanasambandar established the glory of Saivism by defeating the Jains through water and fire tests (Punal Vadam and Aunal Vadam). Lord came to the rescue of an old lady Vandhi as her coolie to patch the breach in Vaigai and received the cane blows from King Arimardhana Pandian. The temple is ever active with some festivals each day with fragrance of divinity filling the environment. A place of exquisite beauty of sculpture and painting making the temple a treasure of arts related to divinity.
Praised as Shivarajadhani, capital of Shiva Kingdom, the city planning of Madurai is unmatched. The temple has five entrances and 14 towers with the South Tower being the tallest. The Thousand Pillared Mahamandapam is near the north tower. There are five musical pillars. There are also many statues sounding music. This is the biggest part of the temple. There are 985 pillars. The idol of Lord Nataraja is in the centre of the Mandapam. Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthy.
Of the five Sabhas where Lord performed his cosmic dance, Madurai Sabha is known as Rajatha (silver) sabha where the Lord changed the legs. This dance is called Sandhya Thandavam. The 7 feet tall Mukkuruni Pillayar-Lord Vinayaka was found from the Mariamman Theppakulam-tank. There are no fish or water creatures in the Pottramarai tank, due a boon granted to a crane by Lord Shiva.
Multi-purpose information centre: The Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) has established a Multi-Purpose Information Centre at the temple at a cost of Rs. 5 lakh with a view to disseminating information on all temples in the state in three languages for the convenience of north Indian devotees and foreign tourists. The centre is set up near the Amman Sannidhi entrance on the eastern side of the temple. There will also be a topographical map, which would provide the location of all important areas in the temple, near the South tower entrance.
A person, fluent in Hindi and competent in handling computers is being recruited to manage the centre. Information on puja timings of all temples in the state besides logistical details and availability of accommodation will be made available to the devotees. A touch screen system providing all information on the Meenakshi temple such as its history, significance, festivals and important events would be installed.
Silver doors for Palli Arai: The Nattukkottai Nagarathar Sangam has come forward to install a door made out of pure silver for the ‘Palli Arai’ of Mother Meenakshi. They bear the entire cost of the door being made out of 70 kilograms. The Nattukkottai Nagarathar Sangam is making the door themselves.