Meenakshi Amman Temple – Social Services
Karunai Illam for girls runs by this temple. At present 50 are there. Books and other allied materials, Boarding, lodging, for girls are provided by this temple. The benevolent temple provides education for those children. Free dresses and medical facilities for all the inmates are provided by the temple. A new building has been built for providing free education shelter and dress to poor and girl children.
Free Marriage Scheme
Free weddings are performed at this temple for the benefit of indigent Adi Dravidars, Adivasi and backward classes. Under this scheme the couples undergoing free weddings are gifted new clothes, Thirumangalyam and other presentation at a cost of Rs.3, 000. 20 guests are also fed at temple’s cost. On 17.2.2002, grand free weddings were conducted for 70 couples. On that day, the temple also bore the cost of the wedding of 72 couples in Chennai. So far 175 couples have benefitted from this scheme of free weddings.
Those availing this benefit should be of marriageable age and unmarried. Necessary documents should be brought from Village Administrative Officers and submitted at the office. Application forms for assistance under this scheme are available at the office of the temple. Further details could be obtained from the temple office.
Special Entry for Physically Challenged
Persons who are physically / mentally challenged, aged or terminally ill and who cannot able to walk will be allowed for Darshan through special entrance at Sanctum. One dependant will be allowed along with them.
Battery car is in service for physically challenged and aged persons inside the temple premises at free of cost.
To seek the blessings of the deities for the quick recovery of patients at the emergency wards of the Government hospital, Madurai joint prayers are conducted at 5.30 p.m. on every Fridays. These unique prayers were inaugurated on 8.11.2001 under the chairmanship of Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment, Hon. P.C. Ramaswami in the presence of the HR and CE Secretary Mr. P.A. Ramiah IAS and other officials.
On every Friday morning, representatives from the temple would proceed to the government hospital and get a list of patients under emergency care, their names, lagna, star and in the evenings in the presence of City’s dignitaries and doctors from the hospital, stanzas for cure of illnesses by Oduvar moorthies and then the names of the patients would be read and joint prayers conducted.
After that archanas would be performed in the name of patients in the sanctums of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar. The following morning, priests would proceed to the hospital and hand over the `Prasadam’ individually to the patients and they are consoled.
Moreover, patients at other hospitals and homes, who send their names, stars, lagna and addresses; `Prasadam’ are dispatched by post after archanas in their names. This joint prayers system had won the appreciation of people from all over Tamil Nadu which is reflected in the numerous letters that the temple authorities receive daily.
Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is involved in many valuable community services like education, Annadhanam.
Parking facility is also available in Ellis Nagar Parking area near Periyar Bus stand.
Safety Cloak room facility is also available for the devotees at all Tower entrances.
Spiritual & Moral Education Classes
As announced by the Hon. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, spiritual and moral education classes are conducted for children every Sunday from 4.00 p.m. to 5 p.m. More than 35 children are benefitting from these classes. These classes were inaugurated by the Hon. C. Durairaj, Minister for Local Administration on 126.96.36.1992.
This scheme was also extended to the Arulmighu Mariamman temple at Theppakulam from 18.8.2002 on the advice of the Hon. Chief Minister. There are about 35 children attending these classes.
In order to slake the thirst of devotees coming to the temple, Reverse Osmosis plant had been set up at the entrance to each towers and purified drinking water is made available to them.
To enable pilgrims from outside areas and travellers to stay, two and three bedded rooms and air conditioned rooms are available at affordable rates at `Birla Vishram’ travellers lodge on behalf of the temple. This lodge is situated near the entrance to the West Gopuram.
In order to disseminate spiritual knowledge to devotees a library with 1750 volumes is functioning in South Aadi Street.
On important days discourses are delivered by spiritual leaders and college professors in the temple and satellite temples to promote spiritual thinking among the devotees. Saiva religious training classes, spiritual seminars, religious reawakening classes are conducted every year by the Temple.
To provide an insight into the importance of the temple, to understand the concept easily, to learn the history of the temple, audio and video cassettes as well as a tourist map of the temples of Madurai district, Thiruvilayadal Puranam, Thiruvadhavoor Thalapuranam, explanation of Hinduism, Meenakshiammai Pillai Thamizh, Angayarkanni Anupoodhi, The Great Temple of Madurai, Madurai through Ages and other works and pictures of Swamy and Amman are available at the temple book stall.
Girls Higher Secondary School
Under the auspices of the Temple administration, a girl’s higher secondary school called Arulmighu Meenakshi Sundareswarar Girls Higher Secondary School is being run near Theppakulam, Madurai Since 7.6.1963. There are 1,266 students on roll here with a staff of 46, including the head mistress and other employees.
The temple is running a mercy home where indigent students are being provided lodging, food, clothing, text books, notes and other requirements. At present there are 46 girls in the home.
Free marriages are performed at a cost of Rs.3, 000 for poor couples with temple funds.
In order to offer archana in Tamil, books for this purpose obtained from the office of Madurai Joint Commissioner had been distributed to all priests in the temple and now archana is being conducted in Tamil.
There are 18 guides authorized by the temple administration to guide devotees from other States and foreign countries.
On the first day of every Tamil month, special prayers with abhishegam are offered at the shrine of Sangam poets on the second corridor of the Swami Sannidhi. Special prayers are also conducted on the birth star days of the temple Adiyars and 63 Saints.