Meenakshi Temple Inside

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2016

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View of Golden Lily Tank with gopurams on west and north (right of pic). Both the Meenakshi and Sundareswarar shrines have gold plated Vimanam (tower over sanctum)." Centre of pic u can see gold plated vimana. "If Pandya rulers, till 1334, gave it majestic towers, the Vijayanagara kings 1377-1560 added monolithic pillars and the Nayaks 1600-1750 large prakarms and pillared halls".

Entrance to temple - think from south side. Centre you see temple flanked by vimana design on both sides. Images left to right is with multiple hands, one foot in air, next is Ganesha, centre below temple is man and extreme right is women not sure whom they represent.

As you enter from south side there is a long corridor with golden lily tank on the right. All pics from cell phone since camera not allowed. To see pics of external part of mandir Click here

View of the east side gopuram - golden lily tank in front. The Meenakshi shrine is one of the 51 Shakthi peetams. It is one of the five (pancha) sabhas of Lord Nataraj.

Pic by Mahesh Venkateswaran whom I met in Barsana near Mathura, he is nice to give us permission to use this pic. Entrance to Kambattadi Mandapa.

In this mandapa are many wow stone images. Left is Sri Vignap Prasatha Moorthy. Right is Sri Sukasunar. Stone images that you see are in the Kambattadi Mandapam - sculptures from Saivite tradition.

Looks like Shiva Parvati, though not fully sure. Level below are warriors on horses. Level three looks like animals. Lowest level cannot ascertain.

Let us protect sculptures. In Tamil Azhagu Sirpangalin aninalam kappom. In case of any errors please write back. The name Madurai is traced from Madura or the nectar of Shiva.

KALYANA SUNDARESHWIRAR image. "Madurai is an ancient city. The Ramayana refers to it, so does kautilya''s Artha Sastra, Megasthenes wrote about Madura in 302 BC."

Right is Bhadrakali. Left is Oordhva Thaandavar or URDUVA THANDAVA - Siva lifting his right leg to the crest of his head to vanguish Kali in a dance, though the same is not visible.

AGORA Veerabadrar or VEERABHADRA image. Also seen in Vishwanath Mandir in Kashi ie Varanasi and Tenkazi.

AGNI Veerabadrar or VEERABHADRA image. Also seen in Vishwanath Mandir in Kashi ie Varanasi and Tenkazi.

Long corridors. All inside pics with cell phone. Wish had a APPLE phone only for this day. Since interior parts of temple dark all lit up. Wish they allow serious photographers to take pics inside for a fee of course.

SRI VIRABHATHIRAR image, form of Shiva. In Hindi think would say Virbhadra.

Image looks like Dakshinamoorthy.

SANKARA NARAYANAN image.

THIRIPURA SAMHARAR image. Temples beautiful. Wish all boards were in English also.

Close to the holy sanctum.

Entry to I think Meenakshi sanctum. Barring the touristy temples like at Mahabalipuram and Thanjavur, very few temples have boards telling what is what. So when non Tamil speaking devotees like me go we miss out seeing important things or see and do not know what we are seeing. All major temples should have boards in English and a flier which lists down key things to see also in English.

One of the many stone images close to sanctum. To see old black and white pictures of the temple Click here

South side gopuram tower.

Arumugan or Lord Muruga with his consort. Below him is Ganesha.

RISHIBA HATHIKAR image. According to a book it is called RISHABARUDANAR - Siva seated with Parvati on his mount, Nandi.

I think this is NATARAJA image.

SHRI CHANDRASEKHAR image.

Pic of corridor - when light was good and natural pics came out well.

Inside the thousand pillared hall which has 985 beautifully sculptured pillars. The Temple Museum is situated inside this Hall.

Stone image inside hall.

Shiva in the form of Nataraja inside hall.

Many brass shops around the temple. U will get good price in Madurai because of the large number of devotees the temple attracts.

Hall with corridor and Yalis. Pic by Mahesh Venkateswaran.

Note mythological animal YALI on right of pic.

Shiva and Parvathi on Mt.Kailash. When Ravana attempts to lift Mount Kailash, Shiva presses him down. Immediately realising his mistake, Ravana sings Saama Gaanam playing his Veena.    Centre of pic is Ravana trying to lift Mount Kailash with Siva and Parvati seated on top.

Stone image near Meenakshi sanctum. Sometimes I wonder what was the motivation behind rulers and people constructing such magnificent temples.

Local reading newspaper on road around temple.

Devotees cooking on the pavement that surrounds the temple. What I like about Tamil Nadu is the simplicity of the people - little frills and no showing off.

ARJUNA and Sri Bhasin Padhashdharamoorthy image.

In Yogic posture on one of the many columns.

Sudharsana Chakra Dhana Swarupam of Lord Shiva. Just seeing the various images was a treat. If the temple gave a small flier of all the images with short descriptions would make it even more enjoyable. Hope to visit Meenakshi Temple again.

Entry to Meenakshi and Siva Sannathi. It means sanctum. In a temple there are many deities apart from the main deity. Each and every deity is kept in a garbagruha (enclosure). This is called Sannathi. To see good collection of Meenakshi Temple pics Click here