It was the second half of the second day of my stay in Madurai. I and Sanvi visited the Gandhi Museum in the first half of the day, which was indeed an overwhelming experience. After a wonderful time spent in the museum, I decided to spend the evening in a temple. As Madurai is known for the famous temples, one would find several of them there. The Meenakshi temple is one such wonderful architectural representation found here which attracts not only people from South India towards it, but also from the rest of the country and even from the world.
The temple remains open till 10:30 pm in the night. In the morning session, the temple opens at 5 am and closes at 12:30 p.m. Again it reopens at 4 pm in the evening and closes late into the
night. We had a perfect timing, as we spent first half of the day at Gandhi Museum and came to the Meenakshi temple
in the afternoon.
The entire city of Madurai revolves around this temple as it is located in the center. Further, it is also one of the largest temples of India. The temple has a rich and long past as it is standing still since several dynasties. The large area of the temple compound occupies 65,000 square meters, conventionally making it counted among few of the largest temples of the country. The major attraction of the temple is the incarnation of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Meenakshi. There are four massive gateways in the compound which opens in all the four cardinal directions. It is bound to attract the eyeballs every passerby as the rich art forms and architectural patterns in the body of the temple, the paintings and sculptures are all masterpieces in itself.
Ayiramkaal Mandapam is an astonishing structure found in the temple which is the hall of a thousand pillars. The pillars are so high and gigantic that the bold sculptures made on it give a life-like representation. The pillars have a striking feature that they look like a straight line from every angle. Upon tapping, each pillar produces a different music note. My kid was really fascinated with all these. I enjoyed it too to the core of my heart.