Meenakshi Amman Temple – Procedure for Worship
Worshipping Arulmighu Meenakshi Amman at first had been the manner of prayer traditionally.
Devotees should enter the temple through East Gopuram, pass along Ashtasakthi Mandapam, Meenakshi Nayakar Mandapam and Mudali Mandapam, take a bath in the Golden Lotus pond and wear clean clothes. Foremost, they must worship the Viboothi Vinayakar on the south of the sacred pond. From the southern bank, devotees could worship the golden pinnacles of Swamy and Amman temples. They can see the 64 miracles of Lord Shiva on the walls surrounding the pond.
After worshipping Sitthi Vinayakar, Kumaran and other deities in the parrot cage mandapam, must go round the altar at the Amman Sannidhi, and then enter the sanctum through the main entrance. Men and women should stand in separate rows and worship the deity. Devotees should meditate the five holy alphabets, recite the sacred names of the Lord, sing divine songs and go round the shrine.
While going round the first corridor, Airavata Vinayakar on the south east, Valla Vinayakar on the south west, Nirutha Ganapathy and Muthu Kumara Swamy and Chandikeswarar on the northwest must be worshipped.
While going round the second corridor, the devotees could see a statue of Thirumalai Naicker in the east, kolu mandapam and Koodalkumarar Sannidhi in the west. After worshipping Kumarar, the devotees should proceed to the second corridor of Swamy shrine. It is the normal practice to seek the permission of Nandi Perumal to grant permission to enter the temple.
After that the Anugnai Vinayakar and the Nandi is located at the main entrance to the Swamy temple. After that the devotees should proceed along the six pillared pedestal and worship Chandrashekarar and other deities and the Natarajar who danced changing his legs at the Velliyambalam and then worship the Lord at the sanctum.
While going round the first corridor of the Swamy temple, Vandhiyammai, Sivalingam, Sun, Kalaimagal, the Saints, Somaskander, various Lingams, Pitchadanar, Kasiviswanathar, Ellam Valla Siddhar, Durgai Amman, Kadamba tree, Kanakasabhai Natarajar, Chandikeswarar, Atcharalingam, Mahalakshmi, Rathnasabai Natarajar, Vanniyum well, Lingam and Bhairavar should be worshipped in that order before coming out.
On the north of the main entrance is the shrine of Arulmighu Palani Andavar. Having worshipped the deities including Sadayappar between the Nandhi Mandapam and coming round the hundred pillar hall, Agni Veeraputhirar, Ahora Veerapathirar, Ooothuva Thandava Moorthy and Badrakali, devotees should proceed to the Tirugnanasambandar mandapam and offer worship to the four deities, Mangayarkarasiyar, Kulachirayar and Nedumaranayar and then after paying obeisance to the flag pole, they should sit down for a while. Later the idols of Hanumar, Krishnar and other deities on the pillars at the back and then enter the middle way and leave through Amman Sannidhi.
Devotees proceeding the temple should bathe and wear Saiva symbols such as holy ash, Uthiraksham, and carry with them coconut, fruits, incense and other items of offering to the extent possible. It is the practice to meditate the Holy Scriptures, and recite the sacred names of the deities while in the sacred premises.
On the first day of every Tamil month, special prayers with Abhishekam 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.