The Meenakshi temple is believed to have been founded by Indra (king of Deva celestial deities) while he was on a pilgrimage to atone for his misdeeds. He felt his burden lifting as he neared the swayambu lingam (self formed lingam, a representation of Shiva used for worship in temples) of Madurai. He ascribed this miracle to the lingam and constructed the temple to enshrine it. Indra worshipped Shiva, who caused golden lotuses to appear in the nearby pool.Tamil literature speaks of the temple over the last two millennia. Thirugnanasambandar, the famous Hindu saint of Saiva philosophy, mentioned this temple as early as the 7th century, and described the deity as Aalavai Iraivan. The temple is believed to have been sacked by the infamous Muslim invader Malik Kafur in 1310 and all the ancient elements were destroyed.The initiative to rebuild the structure was taken by first Nayak king of Madurai, Viswanatha Nayak (1559–1600) under the supervision of Ariyanatha Mudaliar, the prime minister of the Nayak Dynasty and the founder of the Poligar System. The original design by Vishwanatha Nayak in 1560 was substantially expanded to the current structure during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak (1623–55). He took considerable interest in erecting many complexes inside the temple. His major contributions are the Vasantha Mandapam for celebrating vasanthorsavam (spring festival) and Kilikoondu Mandapam (corridor of parrots). The corridors of the temple tank and Meenatchi Nayakar Mandapam were built by Rani Mangammal.Rous Peter (1786–1828), the Collector of Madurai in 1812, got nickname 'Peter Pandian’ as he respected and treated people of all faiths equally. He donated a set of golden stirrups studded with diamonds and red stones to the temple.Goddess Meenatchi is believed to have saved Rous Peter from a fatal incident. He also wished that after his death, his body be buried in a position that would enable his eyes to face the temple.
This temple hails from the earliest Age of Sangam period. There are references of this temple in Paripadal and Silappadikaram. The presiding deity was praised and worshipped by the Sangam tamil Poets as the president and guardian deity of the Sangam and called him by the name "Thuvarikoman" (the King who ruled over from Dwaraka) and Koodal Alagar. Koodal refers to the assembly of Poets and scholars.The Ancient Pandya rulers celebrated Avani Onam festival in praise of Sri Koodal Alagar for a period seven days. This festival is vividly described in Maduraikkanchi, on the ten lengthy poems called Pathupattu of the Sangam period. Ilangovadigal praises the Lord as "Needu Neer-Vaigai Nedumal" meaning the Lord who spanned the universe by taking three strides. (Thiruvokrama) Who is now seated at the bank of the river Vaigai in Archa form. Brahmanda Purana vividly describes this kshetra in seven chapters. Sri Koodal Alagar is seated in the Ashtanga vimana flanked by his consorts. The legendary Kings Prithu, Malaydioaja workshipped Sri Koodal Alagar, who bestowed them with prosperity and attainment of moksha at the end.Alwars are mystical saints who glorified the presence of Narayana in temples by their hymns. Among them vishnu chittha has a unique position. He was invited to visit the Pandya Court at Madurai in order to settle the disputes among the various religious sects. Vishnuchitha established the supremacy of Sriman Narayana by quoting profusely the vedic texts in support of his argument. At the end of his argument a miracle happened. The purse containing gold coins suspended in a pole landed down in the hand of Vishnuchittha.
Thiruparankundram 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. Presiding deities of the temple are Lord Muruga and Goddess Devasena. Other deities - Shiva, Vishnu, Durga and Ganapathy - are represented as well.Entrance in the ancient cave temple leads through a row of massive square pillars ornamented with lotus-shaped medallions. 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. 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.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.
Thirumalai 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 and Islamic styles. The building, which can be seen today, was the main Palace, in which the king lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. In its heyday, Tirumalai Nayak Palace at Madurai was considered to be one of the wonders of the South. This palace is situated 2 km south east of the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Thirumalai Nayak succeeded his brother Muttu Virappa Nayak on the Madurai there in A.D 1623. The political situation in south Tamil Nadu was confused with the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, and the once feudatory Nayak governors of Madurai, Thanjavur, Gingee and Mysore were quarrelling to divide the dissolving Vijayanagara Empire. The Muslim kingdoms in the Deccan began to press southwards. Immediately after becoming king, Thirumalai Nayak withheld the payment of tributes to the Vijayanargara kings. He also gathered a large army in Thiruchirapalli and strengthened its fortifications.
Mariamman Teppakulam is the pond located near to Vandiyur Mariamman Temple and situated at a distance of about 2 km from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Literally, Teppakulam means temple pond mainly used for devotional festivals. The tank is connected to Vaigai River through an ingenious system of underground Channels. It has total of 12 long stairs (steps) made of granite on all four sides. The temple as well as the stairs was built by the King Thirumalai Nayak. In the centre of the tank there is a Madapam called Maiya Mandapam (Central Mandapam) with Vinayakar temple and garde.This is the location where the king Thirumalai Naicker excavated the soil to fabricate the bricks required for constructing his palace, Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. The pit that was thus formed is seen as tank now. It is approximately 305 M long and 290 M wide, nearly equal area to that of Meenakshi Amman Temple. Built in 1645 A.D.,this is the biggest tank in Tamil Nadu. foot tall Mukuruny Vinayakar idol in Meenakshi Amman Temple is believed to be found during excavation process of this pond.Mariamman Teppakulam is famous for the celebrations of the Float festival, which is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai (January 14th to February 15th). The celebrations take place on a full moon night (Thaipusam) and the pristine water turns colourful as the temple is lit. The idols of Goddess Meenakshi and her consort Lord Sundareshwarar, the deities of the Meenakshi Amman Temple come down to the tank in colorful floats, presenting a mesmerizing sight. Pilgrims across India come to Madurai to participate in the festival.
Gandhi Memorial Museum, established in 1959, is a memorial museum for Gandhi located in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India. Known as Gandhi Museum, it is now one of the five Gandhi Sanghralayas (Gandhi Museums) in the country. It includes a part of the blood-stained garment worn by Gandhi when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse.Years after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 an appeal was made to the citizens of India nationwide to build memorials for Gandhi. With the help of contributions from poor and rich citizens of India, a trust was established with the name Mahatma Gandhi National Memorial Trust, for this cause. This museum was inaugurated by the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 15 April 1959. Gandhi Memorial Museum in Madurai comes under the Peace Museums Worldwide selected by United Nations Organisation(UNO).The palace of Rani Mangammal has been renovated and converted into the museum.A Original letter written personally by Gandhi to Narayanan Sathsangi of Devakottai. A congratulatory message sent by Gandhi to freedom fighter and poet Subramania Bharati is also preserved in this museum. Yet another interesting letter is the one, written by the Mahatma to Adolf Hitler addressing him as Dear Friend. Located in a quiet place, it is a very good memorial of Gandhiji, it contains a "Visual Biography of Bapuji" containing photos, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, quotations and some of the selected Photostat copies of many of letters written by him and some of his renderings. This section contains 124 rare photographs depicting various phases of Mahatma Gandhi right from his childhood days until being taken to the crematorium. The pictures displayed here are carefully selected making viewers remember the importance of a national leader, who lived his life as an example to all.
Arulmigu Kallalagar Temple,
Alagar Kovil, Melur Taluk,
Madurai District - 625301.
Phone : 0452 - 2470228