the Ultimate Web on Indian Gods & Temples

 by Padmani,


Abodes of Shiva

194. Arulmigu Meenakshiammai Samedha Somasundara Perumal Temple, Aalavaai (Madurai)

Mulavar   Somasundarakadavul, Sokkalinganadhar, Aalavaai Annall
Ambal   Meenakshi, Angaiyarkanni
Kshethram   Kadambavana Kshethram
Direction   Facing East
Theertham   Potramaraikulam
Sthala Vruksham   Kadambam
Paadiyavar   Appar, Gyanasambandar, Sundarar
Travel Base   Madurai
Nearest Railway Station   Madurai
Continent   Pandiya
Circle   Madurai
District   Madurai
State   Tamil Nadu


Madurai is developed around this temple. This temple is the centre place for the whole Madurai. All the important streets in Madurai are around this temple. It is easily approachable either from the railway station or from the Bus Stand.


The temple covers the vast area almost 50% of Madurai. The Innermost ring just outside the temple is "Aadi Veedhi". Next outer layer is "Chitrai Veedhi". The third layer is "Avinimoola Veedhi" and the outermost layer is the "Veli Veedhi". The temple has very big gopurams, big tank etc. The 1000 pillared mandapam is very big and of great importance. Upto 13th Century only Lord Chokkanathar temple was there. In 13th Century, the Pandiya King Kulasekaran built the separate temple here for Lordess Meenakshi. Then after the Pandiya Dynasty built the Killi Mandapam, 1000 pillared Mandapam etc. Before 13th Century only Lord Chokkanadhar prakaram and the Potramarai Kulam was there.


Originally this place was a forest known as Kadambavanam. One day, a farmer called Dhananjaya while passing through this forest saw Lord Indra (King of Devas) worshipping a Swayambu Lingam under a Kadamba tree. He immediately informed this matter to the King Kulasekara Pandya. The King cleared the forest and built a temple around the lingam and the tree. On the day of naming the city, Lord Shiva appeared before them and the drops of nectar from Lord Shiva's hair fell on the city. So the city was named Madurai - mathuram means 'Sweetness'. Madurai is one five sabhas for the Dancing diety of Lord Shiva called 'Velliyambalam'.


Throughout the year there will be festival in this temple. 64 Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam will be narated on each festival. Amoung the festivals Chitirai Festival is of great importance.