Temple Sculptures of Tamil Nadu - II

sukkranStarred Page By sukkran, 6th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Sculpture

Madurai is 2500 years old ancient city in Tamil Nadu, famous for its stunning Dravidian architecture and temple sculptures of the Meenakshi Temple which is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva.

About Meenakshi Temple

Madurai Meenakshi Temple is one of the South India's excellent, busiest pilgrimage places. It is usually drawing thousands of believers and tourists a day. This Sprawling temple is a house of extreme religious life.

There are 12 lofty pyramidal gateways (gopurams) with four of them reaching 46m positioned in different entrances. The sculptures of gods, devils, animals, and heroes decorate these towers in a knock off captivating mass of symbolism, glowingly painted in a splash of bright vibrant colors are actually looking stunning.

Main entrance to the temple complex is through the eastern passage. It is a hall of pillars graced by majestic sculptures of the goddess Shakthi in her many appearances. Devotees walk in a clockwise route, but you can drop in through any door and then walk at will.

Photo Credit: anappaiah @ flickr under CC license

Sculptures of Meenakshi Temple

photo credit: indibang @ flickr under CC license.

Adjacent to the gate is Nayaka Mandabam (hall), where devotees get all kind of religious materials and holy souvenirs. Near the inner gate, a temple elephant keep blessing - bestowed with a light tap of it's long trunk on the disciple's head. From here, you can walk in any direction, track down your way to the impressive thousand pillared hall.

This chamber also called museum has 985 beautiful pillars with exquisite sculptures, including a number of Musical pillars that provide the seven musical notes when tapped.

Layer upon layer of ghee and oil have turned surfaces of many of the sculptures smooth and black, with daubs of turmeric powder sprinkled on by believers seeking blessings and hope. There is a worthy if some disheveled, selection of wood, copper, Bronze and stone sculpture and an old nine meter high teak door.

Throughout the hall, large sculptures of strange, terrifying creatures and cosmic deities turn out at you from the heavy stone pillars. At the heart of the complex are the sanctum of the goddess Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar.

At the end of the visit devotees gather around the famous temple tank and take rest. Steps lead down to the water from the surrounding colonnades and in the centered stand a brass lamp post. People take a holy dip in this temple tank.

Sculptural Wonders

Photo Credit: cotaro 70s @ flickr under CC license.

Across the corridor, the small Rani Mangammal Hall, has aged ceiling painting of the wedding of Meenakshi and Lord Shiva, surrounded by wild animals in the background. Sculptures in the hallway depict figures such as the battling monkeys of Ramayana.

Walking back north past the temple, through a towered gateway, guides you to the area of the Sundareshwarar temple. Just inside, is the momentous strong sculpture of Lord Ganesha, called Mukkuruni Pillayar.

For the First Time Visitor

Photo Credit: ttarvind @ flickr under CC license.
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For the first time visitor, confronted with a confusing maze of shrine, sculptures and pillars, and no knowledge of the logic implied in their arrangement, it is very easy to get disoriented. However, if you are not in a hurry, this should not bother you.

Quite apart from the estimated more than million sculptures to draw your attention, the life of the temple utterly absorbing and many visitors find themselves drawn back at several different times of the day.

The endless Puja ceremonies, booming music of Nadhaswaram (pipe instrument) and Thavil (drum instrument), marriages, priests under divine instruction in the Vedas, the prostrations of countless devotees, best of all, a festival procession, something is always going on in this quite simply one of the most fascinating places in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Meenakshi Temple - Vid

Visit My Another Page: Temple Sculptures of Tamil Nadu - I

Tags

Architechture, Madurai, Meenakshi Temple, Sculptures, Sukkran, Tamil, Tamil Nadu, Temples

Meet the author

author avatar sukkran
I am sukkran aka sukkran trichy, from Trichy, India. I am an online writer, blogger, writing for many publishing platforms.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
6th Aug 2013 (#)

I love your pages and pictures sukkran so very much...thank you...

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author avatar Delicia Powers
6th Aug 2013 (#)

wonderful sharing! many thanks sukkran...

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author avatar madugundurukmini
7th Aug 2013 (#)

Madurai Meenakshi Temple is the wonderful

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author avatar Trillionaire
10th Aug 2013 (#)

Very intersting. Thanks for sharing.

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