Meenakshi Amman Temple
Rank: Top 100
Wonder Type: Cultural
Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2,500-year-old city of Madurai and is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature. Though most of the present structure was built between 1623 and 1655 CE. It is said that the temple was originally built in the 6th century BC by survivors of the Kumari Kandam. In the 14th century, the Sultanate Muslim Commander Malik Kafur plundered the temple and looted it of its valuables. It was rebuilt by the Nayak ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar around the 16th century. It was Vishwanatha Nayak who rebuilt the temple in accordance to shilpa shastra. It houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers), ranging from 45-50m in height. The tallest is the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured vimanas, the shrines over the garbhagrihas (sanctums) of the main deities.
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