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Visit to land of temples

February 5, 2008

After memorable Kanyakumari and Trivendrum visits; now our trip is headed to Madurai. Madurai is located in Central Tamil Nadu and said to be the 2nd most populous cities after Chennai. Madurai is very crowded and busy city than Trivendrum.

Madura Meenakshi Temple:

The heart and soul of Madurai is the Madura Meenakshi Temple. The temple stands in the centre of the town and main roads run roughly parallel to the four sides. The meenakshi temple is famous with its towering Gopurams and rare sculptures. This is decidedly the oldest city of South India, truly representing Dravidian culture. The idol inside the temple is called Sri Sundareshwara Swamy and Sri Madura Meenakshi Amman. Meenakshi temple is spawned in an area of 45 acres and has surrounded by 12 huge gopurams. There are basically 4 entrances into the temple; they are east tower, west tower, north tower, south tower respectively. We entered into the temple through east entrance tower; there is a saying about Madurai temple that its going to be very difficult to enter and exit from the same entrance. Well the theory might be true as each of the 4 towers are structural replicas of one another. Visitors when entering into this temple carry a visiting card from one of the shops that are located in the starting of the each tower. This basically help them in reaching the right tower at the time of exit.

Gopuram of Madura Meenakshi Temple

As being a rainy day the crowd in the temple is thin; so it didn’t took much time for us to complete the darshan. In visiting big temples; it is always better to hire a guide. We found a guide who speaks tamil and knows very little of telugu or english. He took us to most of the important places of the madurai temple; and it took close to 2 hours in covering them.

Madurai City visit:

For covering important places of the Madurai city we hired a taxi in the after noon. He took us to Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Alagar koil, Gandhi Museum and Mariamman Teppakulam places. The one place that I like the most is the Gandhi Museum; the museum is very well maintained and has got various pictures of India post independence struggle. It also has got the gandhi-nehru letters, pictures of various other people. One of the closed rooms has the cloths worn by Gandhiji’s in his last day; I mean the day of the assassination. The cloths also got blood stains over it. The museum is truly is of great treasure which symbolizes Indian history and indian independence struggle.

We stayed only one day in Madurai and next day morning we left to Rameshwararam; which is 150 kms from Madurai city. Here ends the visit to city of temples Madurai.

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