1.Meenakshi Amman Temple(472ft High)also called as Meenakshi Sundareswarar is a famous Hindu temple located on the southern bank of Vaigai River in temple city of Madurai, #TamilNadu.It is dedicated to Parvati(Meenakshi)& her consort Shiva(Sundareswarar). @LostTemple7

2.Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple was built by King Kulasekara Pandya (1190-1216 CE).This popular temple visits over 15000 visitors daily & around 25000 on #Friday !Friday sees the most number of devotees visit the temple with the number going as high as +25,000.
3.Meenakshi Temple also hosts an annual festival called Meenakshi Thirukalayanam that is held in April. A celestial wedding of the god and goddess marks the end of the festival. About 1 million devotees visit the temple during this festival.
4.the temple has been tagged as one of the seven wonders of India along with stunning Architecture.The temple is built using Dravidian South Indian style of architecture, and is one of the most impressive temple structures in South India.
5.The principle deity here is MEENAKSHI, a form of Goddess Parvati. The idol of the goddess is carved in emerald hued stone. The Meenakshi idol has 3 breasts as Meenakshi was born with three breasts and was blessed that the 3rd breast would vanish once meets right man of her life
6.Story behind-According to a legend, Meenakshi emerged out of a ‘Yajna’ (sacred fire) as a 3-year-old girl. The ‘Yajna’ was performed by a king named Malayadwaja Pandya along with his wife Kanchanamalai.
7.Since the royal couple had no child,King offered his prayers to Lord Shiva, requesting him to grant them a son. But to their dismay, a triple-breasted girl emerged from sacred fire.
8.When Malayadwaja & his wife expressed their concern over the girl’s abnormal appearance, a divine voice ordered them not to fret over the girl’s physical appearance.
9.They were also informed that the girl’s 3rd breast will disappear as soon as she meets her future husband. The relieved King named her Meenakshi & crowned her as his successor.This sculpture depicts📸Lord Vishnu giving away his sister Parvati's hand in marriage to Shiva.
10.Meenakshi ruled over the ancient city of Madurai & also went on to capture the neighboring kingdoms. Legend has it that she even captured Indralok, the abode of Lord Indra, & was on her way to capture Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, as well.
11.When Shiva appeared before her, Meenakshi’s third breast disappeared & she knew that she had met her better half. Shiva and Meenakshi returned to Madurai where their wedding took place. It is said that the wedding was attended by all the gods and goddesses.
12.Since Parvati herself had assumed the form of Meenakshi, Lord Vishnu, Parvati’s brother, handed her over to Lord Shiva. Even today, the wedding ceremony is celebrated every year as ‘Chithirai Thiruvizha’ which is also known as ‘Tirukalyanam’ (the Grand wedding).
13.The Sundareswarar shrine is known as one fifth of ‘Pancha Sabhai’ (five courts) where Lord Shiva is believed to have performed the cosmic dance.There are over 33,000 sculptures in the temple complex of Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.
14.Gopurams🌸 The temple has 12 lofty gopurams, out of which 4 major ones are placed facing the four directions. There are 4 inner gopurams that act as the entrances to the shrine. These gopurams are heavily carved, & is reconstructed every 12 years.
📸Photos credit_ From @Pinterest (credit goes to specific owners )

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