The Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai is open all year, but its beauty is best admired when both the weather and the occasion are perfect for the perfect experience. Madurai’s summers are hot and humid, but the monsoons are pleasant, so July and August are good times to plan your trip. That said, from April on, it is also great to visit in May, especially if you want to attend the Chithilai Festival. However, October to March is the best time to visit the magnificent temples and explore the city, as the weather is pleasant all day long.
Also, when it comes to temples, early morning and evening for evening rituals are the best times to visit.
Madurai Meenakshi Temple History
The temple is believed to have come into existence when King of Devas Indra found sacred `Suyambu Lingam, a form of Lord Shiva, discovered at Kadambavanam and enshrined at Madurai. However, the building now stands as a result of Sadayavarman Sundara Pandyan’s work in the 12th century, followed by the extensions made by Nayaka rulers between the 12th and 18th centuries.
As far as legends go, they tell about Goddess Parvati taking birth in the home of King Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai as a reward for their ‘Yagya’. She was born with the physical abnormality of having three breasts, but ‘Heavens’ reassured the parents of the vanishing of the third breast as soon as the girl met her husband. This eventually happened when trained in all war arts, she won over Vaikunth (the abode of Vishnu), Amravati (the abode of the celestial deities Devas), and Sathyalok (the abode of Brahma), who couldn’t meet her eyes as soon as she saw Lord Shiva in his abode Kailasha. Realizing her destiny with the Lord, she returned to her home in Madurai, where the couple got married in front of the world. They are now the main deities of the Meenakshi Temple.
Meenakshi Temple’s brief history
Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu
built by: Krashekaral Pandian
Architectural style: Dravidian style
dedicated to Meenakshi (Goddess Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva).
Myths about the Meenakshi Temple
According to legend, Meenakshi was born during a yajna when he was three years old. A king named Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamari. Couples who were unable to conceive a child prayed to Lord Shiva for a son. Instead of Lord Shiva, a girl with three breasts appeared before them. As the royal couple worried, a divine voice told them that her daughter’s third breast would disappear when she met her future husband. Meenakshi then ruled Madurai, and neighboring kingdoms were also conquered by her. Legend has it that she also captured Indralok. In her search for Kailash, Lord Shiva appeared to her, and soon her third breast disappeared. She knew he was her future husband. Their wedding took place in Madurai and was attended by all the gods. The wedding is still celebrated today as ‘Chithilai Tiruvisha’.
Important information about Meenakshi Temple Madurai
Meenakshi Temple Hours of Operation: The temple is open daily from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Meenakshi Temple Entrance Fee:
There is no entrance fee for visiting the temple. However, if you want to visit, there are museums whose entrance tickets cost INR 5 for Indian tourists and INR 50 for foreign tourists. Darshan Period: The Meenakshi Amman Temple is arguably Madurai’s most famous tourist attraction, and you could be queuing for hours to visit the inner sanctuary to see the idols of the deities. However, if you want to skip the line, the temple offers special darshan tickets. The fee is INR 50 to see the statue of Goddess Meenakshi and INR 100 to see both deities.
Dress code for temple visits:
Only appropriate clothing covering shoulders and legs is permitted. Make sure you are not wearing shorts, dresses, lungies, hats, or even socks. No valuables are allowed inside the temple. Umbrellas, walking sticks, or similar items such as purses and belts made of animal skins are strictly prohibited inside the temple. Also, please note that cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple.
Meenakshi Amman Temple Festival:
There are many reasons to enhance the beauty of the temple. One of them is the different types of festivals held during the 12 months of the Tamil calendar. Even so, there is only one big festival at this temple. The Chithilai Tiruvisa, or Tilkalyanam Festival, attracts millions of tourists every April. If you want to get a real taste of Madurai’s culture and festivals, this is the perfect time to visit the temples.
Surrounded by countless legends, this long festival celebrates the divine union of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva and offers a great insight into Tamil culture, cuisine, and history. Besides this main festival, many other festivals are held and celebrated inside the temple, such as the Vasantham Festival, Unjal Festival, Mullai Kottu Festival, Ardra Darsan Festival, and Thai Utsavam. Each festival has its own meaning and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. If you are unable to visit the temples in the summer, Navratri is also the best time to visit the temples. Afterward, you can attend the Navratri festival and witness the colorful puppets called ‘gol’ displayed in the temple.
Architectural Highlights of Meenakshi Temple:
Meenakshi temple architecture
Known as one of the largest temples in South India, Minakshi Sundareshwarar Temple features magnificent architecture dotted with fascinating murals.
There are 4 Raja Gopurams, 2 Golden Gopurams, 1 Chithilai Gopuram, 5 Five-Stage Gopurams, and 2 Three-Stage Gopurams, all of which are majestic.
The most famous facts about this temple are that it has a hall with a thousand pillars, a sacred pond with golden lotus flowers for ceremonial bathing, a wedding hall, countless small shrines, gardens, and elephant huts. There is.
The temple is so beautifully maintained that in 2017 it was named India’s ‘Best Swaha Icon Site’ by the central government.
How to get to Meenakshi Temple in Madurai:
From the Airport: If you fly from Chennai to Madurai, it will take around 3 hours to reach the temple. Once you arrive at Madurai Airport, you can easily find a taxi that will take you to the temple in about 90 minutes.
From the train station: The train journey to Madurai will be filled with spectacular scenery. Madurai is well connected to all cities, so you can take a train to Madurai Junction station, and from there it’s just 10 minutes to the temple. Get to attractions in no time with an autorickshaw or taxi, depending on your needs.
From Matutavani Bus Station: If you are going to Madurai overland by government or private bus to visit the temples, get off at Matutavani Bus Station and reach Minakshi Sundareshwarar Temple in just 20 minutes.