The enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva, known here as Sundareshvara and his consort Parvati or Meenakshi. The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple.
The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. Especially impressive are the 12 gopuras. Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of dieties, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.
There are 12 temple towers(Gopurams). The outer towers are the landmarks of Madurai. They are:
1. East Tower (Nine Storeys). Height 161'3". This Gopura has 1011 sudhai figures.
2. South Tower (Nine Storeys). Height 170'6". This Tower has 1511 sudhai figures.
3. West Tower (Nine Storeys). Height 163'3". This Tower has 1124 sudhai figures.
4. North Tower (Nine Storeys). Height 160'6". This Tower has lesser figures of sudhai than other outer towers.
Pyramidal gates(gopurams) rise to a height of more than 50m. These towering gateways indicate the entrance to the temple complex at the four cardinal points, while lesser gopuras lead to the sanctums of the main dieties.
The figures of dieties on the tower are repaired, repainted and ritually reconsecrated every 12 years.
Critiques | Translate
Theana (623) 2006-03-01 14:34
Very impressive temple and the colours are amazing! Honestly I have never seen this temple anywhere before I found TE and people posted photos. I was wondering if there are many tourists visiting this place or is it rather a religious place for native people of the area?
razanoor (466) 2006-03-01 17:41
Nice colors and nice composition...i would have liked some sharpness in the image...and some texture in the sky at the back...the sky almost looks fake there...but still a nice work...and a nice note too.
ramesh432 (181) 2006-03-02 3:57
Good sharp and more colours, Are you post work on it...?
Good Composition and your note is helpful to everybody even I also donít know this all information about my Hometown.