Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi ). The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted.
The Meenakshi temple complex at Madurai is a city temple. It has eminent and exquisitely carved towers enveloping the temple, dedicated to Goddess Meenakashi in Madurai. Considered as the south gateway, the Meenakshi temple consists of the twin temples of God Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi, each one as high as about nine storeys.
The exact time of temple's origin is not confirmed but the structures that are standing today date mostly from the 12th to the 18th century. The present temple standing today was built in the 17th century A.D. by th Nayak rulers. The temple is superb example of sculpture and magnificent architecture.
The Meenakshi temple has majestic stonewalls and towers rising out of the swarming streets of the city center. The image of Goddess Meenakshi is said to be carved out of a single emerald. This exotic temple was renovated by various kings, adding coiled corridors and larger-than-life sculptures. According to the legend of this temple the marriage of the goddess Meenakshi to Shiva actually took place in Madurai and is still celebrated every summer with great enthusiasm and gaiety.