It consists of monuments inside a number of concentric enclosures, each layer fortified with high masonry walls. To appease Vishnu, Meenakshi and her husband meets him in the middle of the river and accept his wedding gifts, but he steadfastly refuses to enter the city Madurai, thus venting the local Shaiva-Vaishnava rivalry.There are many tales associated with the temple’s legendary wealth. The special room is full of fragrant jasmine flowers and has mirrors on the walls.

In the case of Andaal, She sends Suka Rishi in the form of a parrot as the messenger of Her love for Lord Vishnu. Such is the importance of parrot in her life: “Meenakshim ,Madhureswareem, Sukhatharam Sri Pandya Baalaam Bhaje” =Salutations to Goddess Meenakshi, goddess of Madurai, who has a parrot in her hand, who is the daughter of Pandya king. Like the tale of sapphire pendant of the Goddess that was sent to England so that Queen Victoria could see it; it was subsequently returned. It is Parakeet that is associated with Hindu tradition – but the general term used is parrot. The main icon of Meenakshi shows her holding a parrot, symbol of Kama, god of love. And of the jewellery gifted to the Goddess by an Englishman called Rose Peter in the 19th century in gratitude for drawing him from a building that was subsequently struck by lightening; he asked that he be buried facing the temple. Madurai was the city where the earliest gathering of Tamil poets, known as Sangam, was held.Historians date Sangam literature to around 2000 years ago, but there is speculation that it is much older. She also has a small dagger on her waist band, reminding everyone who is the overlord. After the city's destruction in the 14th century, the Tamil tradition states that the king Vishwantha Nayaka rebuilt the temple and the Madurai city around it in accordance with the principles laid down in the Shilpa Shastras(… There is even a thousand pillared hall, which has the famous ‘musical’ pillars made of stone. Meenakshi (also known as Meenatchi and Tadadakai), is a Hindu goddess and tutelary deity of Madurai who is considered an avatar of the Goddess Parvati. When their eyes met, Meenakshi realised she was Parvati reborn.

Vishnu, Meenakshi’s elder brother known as Alagar as per Tamil Temple lore, travels on a horse from his temple across the river Vaigai to attend the ceremony but reaches too late and so turns back irritated. Land encroachers beware, BDA is watchin... Here, it is important to note that, it is she who receives the groom’s hand, as against a conventional wedding where the groom receives the bride’s hand. The goddess is also extolled by Adi Shankara as Shri Vidya. Some may be surprised that Sri Devi is sustaining and cherishing Kamadeva whom Her own husband Shiva had once upon a time incinerated. But when was the last time you heard of a queen who travelled from Madurai in the south to Kailasa in the North to find herself a groom. Shiva’s shrine, separate from Meenakshi’s, and smaller, is held aloft by eight life-sized elephants, indicating the devotion of Indra, king of the gods, bringer of rain.In the month of Chitirai month the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareshwara is re-enacted in a month long festival. Meenakshi Navaratna Mala, a Sanskrit hymn praises her in the very first verse as the carrier of a parrot. Her priests welcome him with flowers and he is placed on a swing next to the utsava murti of Meenakshi. The one that catches the eye is that of an effeminate man and a woman sporting a beard (a cross-dresser), revealing a rich liberal and artistic culture. Thus is reinforced the value placed in Hindu traditions of the householder over the hermit.I am based in Mumbai.

The main icon of Meenakshi shows her holding a parrot, symbol of Kama, god of love. There is even a theory popular amongst Tamil supremacists that Madurai is the city built in a fragrant Kadamba forest by the survivors of the ancient continent of Kumari Kandam (known to Western antediluvian enthusiasts as Lemuria) that went under the sea during the last Ice Age.It is estimated that in the temple corridors and towers there are over 33,000 icons, each one telling a story, some from the Puranas, some from local lore, such as the tale of how Shiva turned local foxes into horses and how a stone elephant came alive lured by the scent of sugarcane. She had three breasts, and it was foretold that the extra breast would disappear the day she met a man worthy of being her husband. Thus everyone contributed to building the temple for their legendary queen.The older temple was attacked and plundered 700 years ago by a Muslim king called Malik Kafur according to temple lore. The temple is one the grandest in Tamil Nadu, spread over 14 acres with 12 large gateway towers and 33,000 iconsBengaluru Metro to resume services amid... Meenakshi Navaratna Mala, a Sanskrit hymn praises her in the very first verse as the carrier of a parrot.

Having spent all day taking care of her kingdom, she spends all night adoring her beloved.

She is the divine consort of Sundareswarar, a form of Shiva. On the temple wall is the image of her marriage.