Contd.... Day 2:
Woke up a bit late around 8 am , had a good breakfast again at Sabarees.
Then we parked the car near KPS residency, and thought to visit temple .
This time we went through Auto, it was Piaggio Ape.
A diesel auto, they charge you exhorbitantly seeing persons from outsiders.
He asked to pay 80 rs for a mere 1 km.
And he thinks we were fools, took us round on different roads and finally to the temple, the previous day we had been to temple on Hawk, and the distance was less.
We paid him 60 Rs as we were 6 members.
A cop came to our rescue and grilled him, as my dad new Tamil he spoke to the cop.
So my suggestion to visitors, park your car and visit the places nearby in Auto.
Its a best option to avoid tight parking and scratches caused by morons.
People here have absolute no sense of driving.
The moment they see outside state vehicle, they honk madly.
So the next day we entered Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple from West gate, the last day we had entered through East street.
As soon as we entered the temple, we hired a guide for 300 Rs.
He was very helpful in taking us inside, he insisted us to take Special Darshan ticket 50rs each (1 for Meenakshi temple)+50 Rs(For Lord Shiva temple).
We did it and he lead us to all another door, where we had a good darshan as against previous day for 15 Rs ticket, it was much farther distance.
This time it was just the door next to Sanctum Sanctorum.
Had a good darshan , we put 100 rs dakshina to the pandit's plate.
So we were let to have a good darshan for 10 min.
Then as soon we came out our guide told us to visit Shiva linga immediately, so we did and came out from this darshan in flat 10 minutes.
So around 9-10 am the rush is less and one can have a good darshan of both temples.
It was after this the guide took us to each idol and started briefing us about history of temple.
Goddess parvathi the wife of Shiva named here Meenakshi Sundareshwar(Beautiful deity).
The temple is 2500-3000 years old architecture.
The temple has totally 14 gopurams.
The southern Gopuram is one of the tallest upto 170 feet , from all other Gopurams.
The temple was built under the reign of Pandya Dynasty. Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple
The goddess got the name Meenakshi as the eyes resemble the eye lid of fish, with beautiful Nathu
of diamonds(Diamond jewellery on Nose). Tadaatagai
(Meenakshi's childhood name
) was trained carefully in all the 64 sastras.
In her childhood Meenakshi after coming out from holy fire had 3 breasts.
Its said that she had to wage war on the three worlds across eight directions.
After conquering Sathyaloka(Brahma's Abode), Vaikunta( Vishnu's Abode) and Amaravati(the abode of the Devas), she advanced to Kailasha(Shiva's Abode).
She easily defeated the Bhoota ganas(Shiva's army) and Nandi(the celestial bull of Shiva) and headed to attack and conquer Shiva.
The moment she looked at Shiva, she was unable to fight and bowed her head down due to shyness, the third breast vanished immediately.
Tadaatagai(Meenakshi)realized that Shiva was her destined husband.
Both Shiva and Tadaathagai returned to Madurai and the king arranged the coronation ceremony of his daughter, followed by her marriage with Shiva.
There is a temple at Thirupparankundram of lord Vishnu, who is brother of Meenakshi.
The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai.
Vishnu, the brother of Meenakshi, prepared to travel from his holy abode at Vaikuntam to preside over the marriage .
Due to a divine play, he was tricked by the Deva, Indra and delayed on the way.
The marriage was presided over by a local god from Thirupparankundram an incarnation of Vishnu.
After the marriage, the pair ruled over Madurai for a long time and then assumed divine forms as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi who are presiding.
It is said that still the Madurai temple is ruled both by Shiva & Meenakshi.
Shiva's reign is for 5 months in a year, rest 7 months is ruled by Lord Meenakshi.
So over the year first 5 months by Shiva & next 7 months by Meenakshi.
At the end of the term the Pattabhisheka
(Changing the ruler of temple) takes place, during their reign in a year. Lord Shiva's Pattabhisheka Vishnu Hands over his Sister to Lord Shiva(Kanyadaan) Our Guide
More to be contd..... Interior of Madurai temple & exterior Gopuram, along with Museum at the temple with 1000 pillars and sculptures that can give sound of tabla......