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Meenakshi Amman Temple

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Meenakshi Temple

The Pandyan king Malayadhwaja and his queen Kanchanamala performed the 'Putra Kameshti Yaga' for a child. At the suggestion of Shiva, his eternal consort Parvathi consented to become the child of the pious king. She rose effulgent from the sacrificial fire as a little girl, with breasts; the third of which would disappear when Shiva set his eyes on her. The girl was named Thadathangai and she was brought up as a 'princess' under divine instructions. Princess Thadathangai succeeded her father to the throne and led armies on successful campaigns of conquest. In her last campaign in North India, she challenged Shiva himself at Kailas, but when She saw the great Lord, She fell in love with him. The bridegroom followed her home, married her, took the name Sundara Pandya and together they ruled Madurai. The legend says that the Lord performed several miracles during his wedding. There was nothing on the side of the bridegroom's party to match the regal splendour of the preparations made for his marriage; the story goes that on the wedding day, much to the astonishment of all, god Sundareshwara, the bridegroom came only with a dwarf "Gundodhara'. Meenakshi, with a view to show her husband that she was very rich and powerful than him, haughtily remarked that the grand wedding arrangements would go waste since the bridegroom had not brought with him a large retinue befitting the occasion. God Sundareshwarar said that it would be sufficient if they would be able to feed the dwarf brought with him. To the amazement of all, everything that Madurai could produce in shape of things to eat and drink was not enough to satisfy appetite of Gundodhara, as the legend relates. Gundodhara quickly consumed both cooked and uncooked things and started asking for more. When there was nothing else left to eat, the dwarf began cry for water to quench his thirst. All the water in the wells reservoirs of the city had gone in the same way as the food. It was only Mother Annapurneshwari that could satisfy his hunger and Ganga his thirst, when they were summoned for the purpose by Lord Shiva. Sundareshwarar asked the dwarf to place his palms on the ground and directed a flow of water which is said to be the picturesque Vaigai river on the banks of which grew the charming city of Madurai. Temple opening & closing time : 5.30am - 12pm, 4pm - 9pm