Aadi Special

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple - 2

The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Mahavishnu, the brother of Meenakshi, prepared to travel from his holy abode at Vaikuntam to preside over the marriage. Due to a divine play, he was tricked by the Deva, Indra, and delayed on the way. The marriage was presided over by a local god from Thirupparankundram Pavalakanivaai Perumal, an incarnation of Vishnu.

After the marriage, the pair ruled over Madurai for a long time and then assumed divine forms as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi who are presiding deities of the temple.

Following the tradition, every evening, before closing the temple, a ritual procession led by drummers and a brass ensemble carries the image of Sundareswarar to Meenakshi’s, to be taken back to his day setting the next morning. The celestial marriage is celebrated annually during Chithirai Thirvizha.

The central shrine of Meenakshi and her consort Sundareswarar are surrounded by three enclosures and each of these are protected by four minor towers at the four points of the compass, the outer tower growing larger and reaching higher to the corresponding inner one.

The Meenakshi shrine has the emerald-hued black stone image of Meenakshi. The Sundareswarar shrine lies at the centre of the complex, suggesting that the ritual dominance of the goddess developed later. Both the Meenakshi and Sundareswarar shrines have gold plated vimanam. The area covered by the shrine of Sundareswarar is exactly one-fourth the area of the temple and that of Meenakshi is one-fourth that of Sundareswarar

Potramarai Kulam

The sacred temple tank is Potramarai Kulam. According to legend, Lord Shiva promised a stork that no fish or other marine life would grow here and thus no marine animals are found in the lake. In Tamil legends, the lake is supposed to judge the worth of a new piece of literature. Authors place their works here and the poorly written works supposed to sink and the scholastic ones float: Thirukkural by Tiruvalluvar was one such work.

Only a fraction of 17th and 18th century paintings of the Nayak period survives and one such portion is found in the small portico on the western side of the tank. It depicts the marriage of Sundareswarar and Meenkashi attended by Vijayaranga Chokkanatha and Rani Mangammal.

(Concluded)

More Aadi Special

Usha Raja

 
More Aadi Special
 
 
 
Photo Gallery
 
Videos

Trailer of Neethane En Ponvasantham

Trailer of 'Nanban'