Are you planning a trip to Madurai, the City of Temples? The Meenakshi Amman temple tops the list. Dedicated to the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi, the mesmerizing Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple is a must-visit tourist destination. The temple stands out for its vibrant architecture and colorful carvings, but what makes it more fascinating are the legends associated with it.

Meenakshi Amman Temple History

meenakshi amman temple history
Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple was built during the reign of the Pandyan King, Sadayavarman Kulasekaran I.

The Meenakshi Amman Temple is devoted to Goddess Meenakshi, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti, and Sundareshwar, an avatar of Lord Shiva. Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple was built during the reign of the Pandyan King, Sadayavarman Kulasekaran I. The Pandyan King built the main Goddess Meenakshi shrine and three huge Gopurams at the center of the temple complex. Various sections of the temple were destroyed during the Mughal invasions in the 12th and 13th Century. The current structure of the temple that we see today was restored and expanded during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak. There are various mentions of this temple’s existence in ancient poems that date back to the 7th Century. 

Legends Associated With The Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

The Meenakshi temple is renowned for its intricate architecture and carving, but what makes it more fascinating are the legends associated with it.

There are tales that the Pandyan King, Malayadwaja, and Queen Kanchanamalai were a childless couple who prayed to the Gods to fulfill their wishes. The couple performed various rituals with utmost devotion in the hope of a child. Then, Goddess Parvati appeared in the form of Goddess Meenakshi as a 3-year-old. Legend has it that Lord Shiva built this temple, and it was this place where he married his consort, Goddess Meenakshi.


beautiful meenakshi temple
Bold and life-like sculptures depicting various mythical tales.
  • – The temple contains 14 majestic towers known as Gopurams which contain bold and life-like sculptures depicting various mythical tales. The temple features four 9-story Raja gopurams, 2 gold gopurams, a Chittirai gopuram, five 5-tier gopurams, and two 3-tier gopurams, a stunning display of art.
  • – Meenakshi Amman Temple houses a shrine devoted to Aiyaram Kal Mandapam which is a 1000-pillar Hall. The temple’s gigantic 1000-pillar hall is a fascinating mystery that contains 985 unique and intricately carved pillars with bold and live-like scriptures of the gods.
  • – The Golden Lotus Pond, also known as Pottamarai Kulam is a large pond at the center of the temple complex.

Things To Do At The Meenakshi Temple

People visit the Meenakshi temple not just to offer prayers but also to see and admire the other highlights of this beautiful temple. Here’s a list of things that you should do while here:

Temple Tour

The Meenakshi temple is known for its stunning Dravidian-style architecture and carvings on the pillars that portray the rich culture and history of the land. Uncovering the vibrant and colorful scriptures on the Gopurams(14 majestic towers of the temple) is a blissful experience for the devotees.

Visit The Potramarai Kulam

The Golden Lotus pond is a large waterbody at the center of the temple complex, where devotees can take a dip in the holy waters. The devotees can cleanse themselves before entering the pristine temple complex.

Admire The Stunning Scriptures

Visitors can visit the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple to witness over 33,000 stunning scriptures with 14 gateways. With a height of 170 feet, the Southern side entry of the temple is the tallest among all the gopurams.

Explore The Aiyaram Kal Mandapam

The temple complex contains a shrine devoted to Aiyaram Kal Mandapam, a 1000-pillar hall which is carved out of one single granite. The temple’s gigantic hall is a heaven for art lovers that contains 985 unique and intricately carved pillars. These pillars are designed in a way that produces musical notes when tapped, but no one knows how.

Shop At Puthu Mandapam

The Puthu Mandapam houses a vibrant market where you can buy various things, indulge in delicious cuisines, and collect souvenirs. The enthralling market has been functioning since 1920, where you can spend hours which makes it a worthwhile experience.

Witness The Night Ceremony

The Night ceremony, also known as the BedChamber, is the last prayer of the day that commences at 10 PM. The sculpture of Lord Shiva is carried in a palanquin from his shrine to Goddess Meenakshi, where legends say she awaits her husband.

Book your tickets for the Night Ceremony in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple Now.

Meenakshi Amman Temple Timings

meenakshi amman temple history
Festival days attract numerous devotees to the temple.

The operational hours of the Meenakshi temple are from 5:00 AM to 12:30 PM and then the temple reopens from 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM. 

While planning a visit, ensure 2-3 hours extra for deity darshan and full exploration of the temple. The festival days attract numerous devotees worldwide, so the darshan takes 4-5 hours.

Best Time to Visit The Meenakshi Temple

The Meenakshi temple in Madurai is open throughout the year, both the setting and the weather conditions make the temple visit a memorable one. The monsoon months in Madurai ranging from July to August provide a pleasing experience for the tourists. Avoid the summer months of Madurai as the excruciating hot and humid weather will not allow you to have a comfortable visit.

If you are planning to witness the mesmerizing Chithirai festival, the months of April and May are favorable for visitors. 

How To Get To The Meenakshi Amman Temple


Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001

By Air:

Most of the major airline carriers provide easy commutes from renowned places to the Madurai Airport. Various domestic and international flight services like Air India, SpiceJet, etc are available at regular intervals. The distance from Airport To Meenakshi Temple is 10 km.

By Taxi:

The city is well-connected to major National and State Highways, which makes the cab rental services the most convenient way to reach the temple.

Taxi Fare: Around INR 270-340 approximately.

Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours, depending on the traffic.

By Bus:

If you are planning to travel to Meenakshi Temple, the various bus services like TNSTC offer a comfortable commute to the temple. The nearest bus stop is the Mattuthavani Bus Stand, which is 6.1 km and a mere 15-minute ride to the temple.

By Train:

The railway station in Madurai provides numerous train routes that provide frequent and comfortable commutes from various parts of the country. The distance between the Madurai Junction Railway station and the temple is 1.3 km. Post reaching the station, you can choose the various cab or bus services for a hassle-free journey on your way to the divine temple.

Also Read: Discovering Heritage: Places to Visit in Madurai

who built madurai meenakshi amman temple
Beautiful hand crafted idols.

In conclusion, the Meenakshi Amman temple is a living temple that has withstood the test of time and is still revered by millions of people around the world. So, if you are planning to visit South India, the history and vibrant architecture of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple makes it a must-visit destination. The aforesaid tips will help you make the most out of your trip to Meenakshi temple. Do let us know about your reviews in the sections below. 


What is not allowed in Meenakshi Temple?

Photography and videography are restricted in the temple premises. So, be sure to leave your phones, cameras, scissors, handbags, etc in your vehicle.

Is Madurai Meenakshi a Shakti Peeth?

Yes, the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple is directly a Shakti Peeth. The temple is devoted to Meenakshi who is the incarnation of Goddess Parvati.

Why does Meenakshi Amman have a parrot?

The main idol of Goddess Meenakshi can be seen holding a parrot which symbolizes Kama, the God of Love.

What is the story of Meenakshi Amman?

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva arrived in Madurai as Sundareshwar to marry His consort, Meenakshi, the daughter of Malayadhvaja, the Pandya King. The temple was built in devotion to the union of Lord Shiva and Meenakshi, who was an avatar of Goddess Parvati.

Who built Meenakshi Amman Temple?

According to the Legends, the Meenakshi Amman temple was built by the Pandyan King, Sadayavarman Kulasekaran in the Pandyan reign(1190 CE to 1205 CE). 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here