Tamil Nadu - Temples - Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi Amman temple

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Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built in 1600 . The tallest temple tower is 51.9 metres (170 ft) high

Velli Ambalam

This is one of the five royal courts (Shabai or Shabha) of lord Shiva velli (Tamil)= Silver Ambalam (Tamil)= Stage or altar. This Shiva shrine also consists of an unusual sculpture of the Hindu god Nataraja. This massive Nataraja sculpture is enclosed in a huge silver altar and hence called Velli Ambalam (Silver abode). Famous Hindu marquee and a dancing form of Shiva that normally has his left foot raised, has his right foot raised in this temple. According to the purana, this is on the request of the Rajasekara Pandya king a sincere devotee of the lord. Asked the Lord to change his position, as he felt that always keeping a single foot raised will pose enormous stress on that, based on his personal experiments in dancing.

Other four courts of Lord Shiva in Tamil Nadu:
Shaba(court) Place Deity made of
Pon Ambalam

Chidambaram Gold
Chitra Shabhai Courtallam or

Fresco picture
Thamira Shabhai Thirnelveli copper
Rathna Shabhai Thiruvaalangadu Gems