Google+ Badge

Friday, November 18, 2011

Madurai Meenakshi Temple

We were in Madurai on Ganesh Chathurthi Day(1-9-2011). We reached in the evening & checked into TTDC Hotels near Arasaradi - we were given a nice double deluxe A/c suite with an annexe @ Rs.1250/-(which included a Sr,Citizens discount of Rs.350/-). After getting refreshed we went straightaway to the Madurai Meenakshi Temple:( Please log onto www.sankriti.blogspot.com/2008/10/madurai-meenakshi-temple.html for the earlier post of 2008).
In the outer prakaram of the Meenakshi sanctum we captured photographs of the King Thirumalai Naicker and his consorts who were associated significantly with the construction of the temple during the 17th Century.We noticed that the Lotus Pond was completely dry - but nevertheless looked so majestic in the fading light of the evening. The Vibhuti Pillayar continued to draw generous crowds - as per tradition, devotees picked up Vibhuti from the trough and showered the Pillayar with it.Since the day was Ganesh Chathurthi, a day of celebration for Lord Ganesha we noticed that the Mukkuruni Pillayar was adorned with Silver Kavacham (covering) apart from other adornments including plenty of flowers and garlands - it was truly magnificent to behold.(He got his name because a gigantic modhakam is given as an offering to him on the Vinaayakar Chathurthi Festival.This modakam is made with 3 kurunis of rice.A kuruni is a type of measure. It is equivalent to 4 padis. Mukkuruni is 3 X 4 = 12 padis of rice.12 measures of rice are taken and cleaned well with water. Then it is soaked. It is then pounded in a 'ural' - mortar. The flour is mixed with gram, coconut, cane sugar, salt, cardamom, etc. It is then moulded and wrapped in a cloth and made into a bundle. It is then steamed in a giant 'kopparai' - steamer which was made especially for this purpose. When appropriately cooked, it becomes a gigantic 'Modakam'.)
We paused for a few minutes at the Rajatha Sabhai - to admire the lareg dancing figure of Nataraja in Silver Kavacham. At the sanctum sanctorum of Sundareswarar we revisited the Astha Dik Gaja mandapam - a remarkable sight of eight elephants carved in stone around the sanctum - 2 elephants in each direction. Outside the sanctum is the Kambathadi Mandapam - which has the Nandi, the Dwaja sthambam and an array of magnificent stone sculptures.
At the Kili Mandapam we found devotees rubbing sandalwood on a large cylindrical stone to produce sandal paste - an old tradition that has been revived at this temple.We also noticed magnificent sculptures of the Mahabharatha heroes - the Pancha Pandavas ie.Dharma, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula & Sahadeva.
We found nice beautiful and bright frescoes depicting temple legends on the walls adjacent to the Lotus pond.We also visited another Mandapam near Adi Veethi which had some amazing sculptures - see pics below:

38 comments:

  1. Very nice and interesting photos!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for a most interesting visit to this beautiful temple and or so many photos that give some insights as to the celebration of religion in India.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've always been fascinated by indian culture and people.The pictures in your post are an interesting display of indian figures and traditions.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome to my City RR...Hope u have a great time...Unfortunately Iam not in Madurai to meet u :(

    ReplyDelete
  5. Indians certainly love statues! More so than Hawaiians.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The temple at Madurai is a wonder in itself. One of those I awe.What men could achieve in terms of beauty and creativity centuries ago.
    The sad thing is that the devotees (?) who throng do not care for the beauty of such a monument.
    What ever made the kings of yore build these marvels or to to appease Gods ,they are unravelled in excellence. Wither if we care not.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Namaste! Such a magnificent temple and wonderful stone carvings! Nice to catch up with you!
    Kind regards from EAGAN daily photo in Minnesota

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fascinating photos! Thanks for stopping by Willow Manor and leaving a comment...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful shots from the temple. It was very much crowded when I was there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well written and nice shots.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very different from all the temples I visited in your country. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love Indian statues!! they represent the best in both female and male form :))

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice pictures and narration! We had a virtual tour!

    We had visited this temple 23 years back! You reminded me of the beauty of the temple now through the pictures, than you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi,
    Sculptures and a frescoes have unique atmosphere. They are lively.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment.
    Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Ramakrishnan Sir, Thanks for sharing the wonderful pics and glorious knowledge about Madurai..:). Your blog seems very different full of versatile knowldege.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blogs and sharing your thoughts there..:).

    ReplyDelete
  16. thanks for stopping by Moonlight and Dreamz ... more so, as it gave me an opportunity to visit your blog and I loved your posts and the pics. Very informative and a beautiful exposure to South India.

    ReplyDelete
  17. i had been to this place when i was very young... i hardly remember any of the pics... but this place is a amazing! :)

    thank you for the pics :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. How beautiful. I have visited the Madurai but that was many years back. Thanks for reviving my memories... The architecture looks beautiful, as in all the Southern Temples of India.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wonderful and amazing temple . Craving and paintings are simply amazing .

    ReplyDelete
  20. It is sure a very beautiful place and thanks for sharing it with us...

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have visited Madurai Meenakshi temple several times and I love to visit again and again because of its beautiful sculptures and get peace over there by sitting for hours. You have taken wonderful shots and nice description.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for taking us along the wonderful trip to the temple where I can’t go in person. Your photos show the details of how beautiful the temple is. I’m so attracted by the spiritual aspect of your country. I feel something familiar as the Hindu gods came into Japan when Buddhism was imported from India via China and Korea and the Hindu gods became guardian gods of Buddhism.

    Thank you for your visit and a lovely comment.
    Greetings from Japan

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
  23. lovely pics!! looks like you had a wonderful darshan. Lord Ganesha is my favourite God!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I felt so good when I saw Madurai temple...I wanted to ask you one thing..I see everywhere in south.onre pillar in the centre and people prostrating in front of that..what is the significance?

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Renu: The dwaja-sthambam(Flag Staff or Pillar) symbolises the kundalini-sakthi. Its base is considered as moolaadhara and its top the sahasraara. The log (dwaja) represents the vertebral column and spinal column of the human body. Similarly the coverings of dwaja by copper, bell-metal etc. arc symbolic of the other bones and ribs around the vertebral column. The vaahana at the top of the dwaja represents the sahasraara chakra through which, it is considered, the ultimate consciousness leaves. The general belief, therefore is that the deity is seated above the vaahana and hence the dwaja is worshipped. Worshipping of dwaja itself equals to worshipping the main idol of the temple. When a devotee sights the flag-staff and bows, he resolves to rise higher like the tall sthamba.

    ReplyDelete
  26. @ Stardust: You certainly can enter this Temple and traverse the many outer corridors and enjoy the art, architecture & sculptures.(You may not be allowed into the innermost sanctum where the deity is installed). There is so much of architecture,sculpture,bas reliefs at Madurai that one can spend days together to view, photograph & understand the history & legends.
    More posts on Madurai Temple will follow

    ReplyDelete
  27. A nice tour of the Meenakshi temple through your lens and narration. The Vibhuti Pillayar is amazing! Beautiful frescoes and the sculptures speak volumes of the past and the culture!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Nice pics. And this one temple we keep visiting very often. Planning one during the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  29. @Ashok: Actually I visited on 1 Sep'2011. Glad to note that you belong to Madurai.

    ReplyDelete
  30. We often visit the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. Last visit was in June 2011. In this post, you have given information of the temple which we are not aware of.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow. Meenakshi. I've visited that temple and had very memorable experience there. I inadvertently joined the queue of the faithful hindus who had to get inside the main sanctum. When I realized I was in the long line, they wouldn't let me get my way back so i had to join the snail paced crowd - but it was such an experience I was glad happened. Pretty memorable being inside the inner sanctum... one of the priests gave me a red dot (what do they call it, I forgot) on my forehead. Lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello Ramakrishnan, These sculptures are really beautiful! Thank you for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I was there in 2007.... Lovely place to be.... Such a big temple!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fantastic photo tour, great sculptures!

    ReplyDelete