Outside Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Flowers are extremely important when it comes to Puja.  Here men create garlands for worshipers to offer in the Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Religious Souvenirs at Meenakshi Amman Temple 

Small candles rest Inside Meenakshi Amman Temple

A young worshiper inside Meenakshi Amman Temple

A baby attends Puja (Hindu rituals) performed at Meenakshi Amman Temple

An empty hallway inside the Meenakshi Amman Temple

An elephant blesses a worshiper on the head

A Hindu Goddess, Lotus Pedals and Four Quarters of a Compass

With just a couple of days left in India’s South there was just enough time to visit the city of Madurai.  

My main purpose for the visit was to see the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Meenakashi is an Avatar of the Hindu goddess Parvati - the consort of Shiva. She is also one of the few Hindu female deities to have a major temple devoted to her. This lady goddess is the principal deity of the temple which is unlike most Shiva temples in South India where Shiva is the principal deity.

Lucky for me the city was built around the temple so everything else I might need was close by. According to ancient Tamil classics the temple was the center of the city and the streets happened to be radiating out like lotus and its petals.

The temple and the rest of the city face East, the direction of the rising Sun. The cities axes were aligned with the four quarters of the compass, and the four gateways of the temple give access to it.