Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai
Meenakshi Amman Temple a historic Hindu temple located on the southern banks of River Vaigai in the temple city of Madurai is also known in different names like Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Tiru-aalavaai and Meenakshi Amman Kovil.
A temple which is said to be the soul and salvation of the 2500 year old Madurai is devoted to Parvati and her consort Shiva, acknowledged as Meenakshi and Sundareswarar respectively.
According to Tamil literature, the present structure was built between 1623 and 1656. But according to Shilpa Shastra it is said that the temple was actually built in the 6th century BC by survivors of the Kumari Kandam. In the 14th century, the Mughal Muslim Commander Malik Kafur plundered the temple and looted it of its valuables. It was rebuilt by the Nayak ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar around the 16th century.
It houses 14 gateway towers known as Gopurams in India, among them the tallest is the southern tower, the two golden sculptured towers and the shrines over the sanctums of the main deities.
The temple attracts visitors of 15,000 a day and around 25,000 on Fridays. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple.
It was on the list of top 30 nominees for the “New Seven Wonders of the World”.
The temple is the most prominent landmark of Madurai and most visited tourist attraction in the city.