Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Madurai-Athenes of the east

The city which is constructed in the form of lotus A.K.A lotus city.Lotus city is
famous for jasmine,that adds floral fragrance to the city.Madurai's jasmine are exported to
other parts of India as well as to countries like Germany, America and Italy.Riverbanks are
the birth place of cultures,being one of the ancient cities,madurai's mythological history was
wound with the vagai river.The place is more than 2500 years old and the commercial center
was developed in 550 AD.Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple is the excellent master piece of
the area.
Madurai has a rich historical background in the sense that Lord Shiva himself
performed sixty-four wonders called "Thiruvilaiyadals".
It is narrated in legend that Madurai was originally a forest known as
Kadambavanam. One day, a farmer named Dhananjaya who was passing through the forest,
saw Indra,worshipping a swayambhu under kadamba tree. Dhananjaya, the farmer
immediately reported this to King Kulasekara Pandya. Kulasekara Pandya cleared the forest
and built a temple around the Lingam. A city was soon planned with the temple as its centre.
On the day the city was to be named, Lord Shiva is said to have appeared and drops of
nectar from his hair fell on the town. So, the place was named Madurai - mathuram meaning
"sweetness" in Tamil.
As early as the 3rd century BC, Megasthanes visited Madurai. Later many people
from Rome and Greece visited Madurai and established trade with the Pandya kings.The
Cholas ruled Madurai from 920 AD till the beginning of the 13th century. In 1223 AD Pandyas
regained their kingdom and once again become prosperous.The 1371, the Vijayanagar
dynasty of Hampi captured Madurai and Madurai became part of the Vijayanagar empire.After
the death of Krishna Deva Raya (King of Vijayanagar empire) in 1530 AD, the Nayaks
became independent and ruled the territories under their control. Among Nayaks, Thirumalai
Nayak (1623-1659) was very popular, even now he is popular among people, since, it was he
who contributed to the creation of many magnificent structures in and around Madurai. The
Raja Gopuram of the Meenakshi Amman Temple, The Pudu Mandapam and The Thirumalai
Nayakar's Palace are living monuments to his artistic fervor.
Meenakshi Amman Temple:
Meenakshi Amman Temple is the holy temple of hindus located in the city of Madurai in
southern India. It is a vast temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess parvati. It is the best temple in
which both God and Goddess are worshipped together. It is the life line of the country,
especially southern India as Lord shiva is the highly worshiped god of the country. It has its
foundation way back in the 2500 AD.According to the mythology, Lord shiva visited Madurai
to marry Parvati and it has been the sacred abode of Goddess Parvarti since her birth. The
wonderful architecture of the place is amongst the seven wonders of the world and the
construction is highly minute with great art piece incorporated the walls and pillars of the
Thirumalai Nayak Palace:
About 1.5 Kms from the Meenakshi temple, this palace was built in 1636 by the ruler
whose name it bears. The imposing edifice is famous for the “Stuccowork” on its domes and
impressive arches. The Sorgavilasam (Celestial Pavilion), measuring 75m x 52m, constructed
entirely of brick and mortar without the support of a single rafter or girder, is a marvel of indo-
Saracenic architectural style. Among other striking features of the palace are the massive
white pillars, several of which line the corridor that runs along the courtyard. Connected by
high decorated arches, these pillars measure 20m in height and have a circumference of 4m.
Elsewhere, there are polished black stone pillars of varying heights. It was King Thirumalai
Nayak’s grandson who demolished much of the fine structure and removed most of the jewels
and woodcarvings in order to build his own palace in Tiruchirapalli.
Visiting time :between 0900hrs and 1300 hrs and again between 1400 hrs and 1700 hrs.
Gandhi Museum:
Housed in the old Palace of Rani Mangammal, the Gandhi Museum depicts the highlights of the
freedom struggle and contains a picture gallery of the Gandhian movement. Also can be seen are a gallery of
relics, Khadi and village industries section and South Indian Handicrafts section.
Visiting time :1000hrs to 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1730 hrs.
Alagar koil:
The temple is situated on a hill amidst panoramic surroundings. The shrine is know
as Alagarkoil and the hill , Solaimalai. The temple also contain some beautiful carvings and
makes the visit rewarding. Palamudirsolai, one of the six abodes of Lord Subramaniya is
located atop the Hill.About 21 Kms North East of Madurai, stands a celebrated Vishnu
Temple dedicated to Lord Alagar.
Mariamman Teppakulam:
Mariamman Teppakulam is a beautiful square tank spread over a huge area of almost
16 acres, located about 5Kms East of Meenakshi Temple. The tank is the scene of the
colourful float festival held in January/February to celebrate the birth anniversary of King
Thirumalai Nayak, who built this tank. The deities of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are
placed in a float, called “Teppam”, decorated with flowers and illuminated with hundred of
lights. This float is taken around the tank to the sound of traditional music. On the Northern
side of the tank a temple is dedicated to Mariamman , a famous village deity of Tamil Nadu.
Vaigai Dam:
Vaigai dam is a giant dam constructed on the river Vaigai and is
situated near Andipatti in southern India. The dam has been the life line of
the agricultural lands in the neighbourhood and because of it the areas
have flourished in leaps and bounds. It provides clean and fresh drinking
water to whole of the region of Madurai and Andipatti. Agricultural research
institution too has been developed near the dam so as to research on a
wide variety of crops including cereals and pulses.
Thirupparankundram Temple:
It is located 8 Kms South of Madurai Railway Junction. The temple
here is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. Its innermost shrine is
cut out of a solid rock.

Visit Madurai,Stay in Hotel The NOOK, 10 minutes   walk from  Madurai Railway station and  Periyar  Bus Stand
 Book Your Rooms Online  click here

No comments:

Post a Comment