All you need to about Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple: A symbol of true love

Located in the temple city of India’s Madurai, Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple is also known as Arulmigu Meenakshi Amman Temple. It is situated on the southern bank of the Vaigai river. Known for being the oldest temple of India, the idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati are worshipped here in their incarnations as Meenakshi (Parvati) and Sundareshwar (Shiva).


The Meenakshi Sundareshwar temple was built from 1190 CE to 1205 CE by Pandyan emperor Sadayavarman Kulasekaran. But it was destroyed in 1310 A.D. by Malikkapur. Later in the 14th Century, the temple was restored to what it is seen today.

During this time, Hindu rulers came back to power in Madurai. One of them, King Thirumalai Naicker, played a significant role in the expansion of the temple. The temple is under the H.R. and C.E. Department of Tamil Nadu. It takes care of its administration and other activities related to the temple.


This temple is a perfect example of artistic excellence. Built over 15 acres, it is constructed in Dravidian architectural style using granite and limestone. Massive walls surround the temple to prevent invasions. It has two main shrines, one of Meenakshi and the other of Sundareshwar, with other shrines belonging to various other gods and goddesses.

The Meenakshi Amman Temple consists of 14 Gopurams, out of which 4 are Rajagopurams that contain various scriptures, figures, and carvings depicting mythological stories. It also has a holy pond called “Porthamarai Kulam”. It also consists of multiple Mandapamas that different kings built during different periods. Ayirakkal Madapam, Kilikoondu Mandaam, Ashta Shakhthi Mandapam and Nayka Mandapam are some of the significant Mandapams of this temple.

Meenakshi Temple: A symbol of true love

Meenakshi and Sundareshwar are incarnations of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The location where this temple is located is where they both got married. That is one of the reasons behind this place’s great historical and religious significance.

According to the stories being told for years, Meenakshi was the daughter of King Malayadwaja Pandya and Kanchanamalai. When the king and his wife could not conceive, they prayed to lord shiva. For this, they performed a yagna out of which Meenakshi emerged.

But to their surprise, the girl was born with three breasts. When they conveyed their concern to lord shiva, he asked them to raise her like a warrior. He also told them that the third breast would disappear the day Meenakshi would find her true love.

When Meenakshi grew older, she was crowned as the successor of King Malayadwaja. She fought many battles, captured neighbouring kingdoms, and ruled the city of Madurai. In one such action, she saw lord shiva. Her third breast disappeared the moment she realized she had met her true love.

Meenakshi and Lord Shiva (as Sundareshwar) got married in Madurai. All gods and goddesses attended their marriage. In April and May every year, the Chithirai festival is celebrated to celebrate their wedding.

Because Meenakshi had faith that one day she would find her true love, this temple can be termed as a symbol of true love.

How to reach?

You can reach Meenakshi Sundareshwar temple in the following ways:

By Air

You can take domestic and international flights to Madurai Airport to selected cities in India and countries abroad.

By Train

You can take a train to Madurai junction from all major cities and towns of India.

By Road

Madurai has a well-connected road network to other parts of the country. It is connected with various National highways (NH 7, NH 45B, NH 208, and NH 49) and State highways (SH-33, SH-72, SH-72A, SH-73, and SH-73A).