With no exaggeration this is one place where you will feel that God is alive, as a human being and is one of us. There is something to this place that makes a person very emotional and the feeling is beyond description.
It is said that Malyadwaja as the second king of the Pandyas. He prayed with his wife Kanchanamalai for a child and the Goddess Parvati herself took birth here. There is another story which says that she was born to this king with three breasts. There was an assurance that she would certainly get married to Lord Shiva So this girl Tadaatagai and she grew up and was trained in all fields.
Then when time came she fought a war with Lord Shiva , he won the battle and thus got married to her. This is the Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai. The Madurai Meenakshi temple was raided by the Muslims in 1310 but then under the king Thirumalai Nayak this temple was developed to a great extent. There were many things that he got reconstructed within the temple, so the Vasanta Mandapa, corridors, and many pavilions were built within the temple by this king and forthcoming queens too.
The Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is the main festival of the Madurai Meenakshi temple and this is believed to be the way Goddess Meenakshi got married. It is celebrated in the month of April each year and the entire place wears a festive look at this time.
The walls of the temple, the streets and the walls of the city are constructed in concentric squares. Earlier the temple was at the heart of the city and the streets of Madurai spread out like the petals of a flower. IN fact, in the state of Tamil Nadu the Madurai temple is the only one which has four entry points each of them facing a different direction. Spanning over 45 acres, the temple has 12 towers and the tallest is the Southern tower which rises to a height of 170 ft.
With the Shiva temple inside, the Madurai temple is a mixture of many temples. There is the temple of Lord Ganesha which is made out of a single stone, and the five royal courts which have Lord Shiva in the dancing form “Nataraja” in an altar made of silver. Then there is the sacred pond pilgrims take a dip, and the thousand pillar hall and the pavilion which has eight idols of the Goddess.
Thus Madurai Meenakshi temple is a place of extreme divinity, religious fervor and absolute devotion.
Source : theearthtraveler.com