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Marvelous Madurai

Madurai is a major city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and a popular Hindu pilgrimage center.

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Meenakshi Amman Temple - Madurai

Meenakshi Amman TempleMeenakshi Amman Temple (also called : Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Tiru-aalavaai and Meenakshi Amman Kovil) is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai and is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature though the present structure was built between 1623 and 1655 CE. It houses 14 gopurams(gateway towers), ranging from 45-50m in height. The tallest is the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculpturedvimanas, the shrines over the garbhagrihas (sanctums) of the main deities. The temple attracts 15,000 visitors a day, around 25,000 on Fridays,and receives an annual revenue of sixty million. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple. It was on the list of top 30 nominees for the "New Seven Wonders of the World". The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, celebrated during April and May, attracts 1 million visitors.

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal - Madurai

Thirumalai Nayakar MahalThirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th-century palace erected in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak, a king of Madurai's Nayaka dynasty who ruled Madurai from 1623–59, in the city of Madurai, India. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic styles. The building, which can be seen today, was the main Palace where the king lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. In its heyday, Tirumalai Nayak Palace at Maduraiwas considered to be one of the wonders of the South. This palace is situated 2 km south east of the Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Alagar Kovil - Madurai

Alagar KovilAzhakar Kovil (Thirumaliruncholai or Azhakar temple), is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu situated 21 km from the city of Madurai, which lies in the Tamil Nadu state of India. When some historic and original facts surface, people tend to treat them with reverence as it seems to be happening in Thenur, a village in the interiors, 20 km off Madurai city. Villagers here relive an event with much fanfare which is believed to have been performed here four Centuries ago. “Mandooga Maharishi’s redemption is an event that was unique to our village. We are trying to revive the ritual,” says hereditary temple trustee P. Neduchezia Pandian.

Pazhamudircholai - Madurai

Pazhamudircholai"Pazhamudircholai is a Hindu temple, located about 16 kilometres north of Madurai, India atop a hill covered with dense forests. One of the six important abodes (Arupadaiveedu) of Lord Muruga, it is close to the Vishnu temple of Azhagar Kovil. It is said that the actual temple was Alzhagar Koil, which was shifted or relocated now as Pazhamudircholai during Thirumalai Naicker rule in Madurai. The great Tamil poet and saint Avvaiyar had been tested by Lord Murugan here. In order to play with Avvaiyar who was one of the very famous devotees of Lord Muruga, the Lord played a drama. One day Avvaiyar became tired while traveling because of very hot summer and so came under the shadow of a fruit tree. She was very hungry and thirsty. At that time, a small boy who was sitting on the tree asked her whether she wanted fruits from the tree. Avvaiyar told that she wanted fruits. At that time the boy asked Avvaiyar whether she wanted roasted fruits or unroasted fruits. Avvaiyar who was a famous Tamil poet, litterateur and having in-depth knowledge in Tamil thought, ""Is there any roasted fruit in the world?"" and decided that the small boy didn't have knowledge even about a fruit. But, as she was very tired, she didn't want to argue with the small boy and asked him to pick unroasted fruits for her. The boy shook the tree and so fruits fell under the tree. The mud under the tree had stuck on the fruit. Avvaiyar took the fruits and blew on the fruit to remove the mud. The boy interpreted it in the way that as the fruits were roasted and had become warm, Avvaiyar had blown the fruits to cool them. The boy asked Avvaiyar whether the fruits were warm? Avvaiyar was astonished, how a small village cowboy had played such an intelligent drama! She had thought that the small boy had no knowledge about fruits and how the fruits in the tree may become roasted fruits. But blowing the air on the fruit to remove the mud is like blowing air to reduce the heat as the fruit is roasted. What a beautiful comparison. Such a beautiful comparison would not have risen in her mind even though she had gained rich knowledge in Tamil. She asked the small boy, ""Who are you actually?"" Then small boy disappeared and in his place, Lord Murugan appeared. Avvaiyar realized that it was a play of God and she understood that there were more and more things that she had to learn. She bowed to Lord Murugan and requested him to bestow her with bountiful knowledge."

Thiruparankundram - Madurai

ThiruparankundramThiruparankundram temple is dedicated to the Lord Subramaniya. It is situated 8km south from Madurai district. Thiruparankundram is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramaniya. This is cave temple, One of the sangam poet Nakkirar has sung a log poem about this Temple is called Thirumurugatrupadai. Devayanai Marriage, Thirumalai Nayak and Mangammal Sculptures are there in this temple. The most important sculputure is Lord siva with flag of Rishaba in his hand cannot be found anywhere else. The important festival in this Temple is Vaigasi visagam, which is celebrated as Lord Subramaniyar's birthday, and Surasamharam, which is celebrated in the month November or December every year. Inside the cave temple there has been preserved ancient painting of Nataraja - dancing Shiva. Cave temple contains also the sculpture of presiding deity Sri Subramaniyaswamy (Muruga). Rock-cut temple contains also 41 inscriptions revealing the early history of the temple. Before the ancient rock-cut temple there is built front part - mugha mandapam. In the south-eastern part of Kambaththadi mandapam there has been found a 30 m long tunnel. Temple contains also two historical wooden carts which are used for ceremonial purposes in certain proccessions. Separate entrance leads into Sani Bhagawan - another shrine in this temple. In the western side there is rock-cut chamber which houses the lingam but in the eastern side there is one more shrine with Vishnu and Durga opposite to him. Temple contains many more carvings of deities.