Sri Meenakshi Sundareswara Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, is said to be the place where Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva) and Meenakshi (Parvati), his consort, were married. A 12-day festival is held each year in Madurai to celebrate this wedding. Shiva is known here as Sundareswarar, “Beautiful Lord”
This is a huge complex with many colorful towers (Gopuras) and grand pavilions (Mandapas). The Hall of a Thousand Pillars actually has 985, but each one is beautifully carved in Dravidian style. It is mentioned some 2500 years ago. This particular Temple was built in about 1600. Another restoration was completed in 2009.
Weddings and marriage blessings are very popular here. Meenakshi and all women are honored here, more so than in society at large. Near the entry we bought garlands of fresh flowers. Alan and Lisa each carried an extra one for their special wedding ritual.
Enjoy the random selection of slides! Some show an elephant giving blessings (putting a garland around our necks and placing his trunk on our heads); one of Alan and Lisa just before their blessing by a priest; some are from the Temple Art Museum.