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*Sri Lanka*

 

Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India


The second largest, and perhaps oldest, city in Tamil Nadu, Madurai is a variant of 'Mathura'. Located on the Vaigai River and enclosed by the Anai, Naga, and Pasu (Elephant, Snake, and Cow) hills, the old city, site of the Pandya (4th-11th century) capital, centers on Meenakshi-Sundareshwara (or Parvati-Shiva) temple, also called Sri Meenakshi temple. After the Pandyas, it passed to Chola, Vijayanagar, Muslim, Maratha, and British rulers. The temple, Tirumala Nayak palace, Teppakulam tank (an earthen embankment reservoir), and a 1,000-pillared hall were rebuilt in the Vijayanagar period (16th-17th century) after the city's total destruction in 1310 by Malik Kafur, a lieutenant of Ala'-ud-din Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate. In the 1940s, Madurai became a centre of the civil disobedience movement and remained an important seat of political leadership. Setup in 1955, the Gandhi Memorial museum documents the Indian struggle against the British from 1757 to 1947. [Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica]

Sri Meenakshi Temple

Western gopuram

Western gopuram detail

More western gopurams (more)

Southern gopuram


Zooming in (more)


Religious kitsch on sale


Market inside the temple


En route Shiva's shrine


Pillar details


Hallway and ceiling detail


Pillar details


Holy men


Outside the inner sanctum


Votive lamps


Corridor behind inner sanctum


Holy men


Temple tank


Temple tank (1, 2)


Way to Meenakshi shrine


Meenakshi shrine


Pillared hall


Nandi worshippers


Random temple corner


Pillars and ceiling


Pujari downtime


Pillar tops


Queuing for Amman


Ancient stories on a wall

Sri Meenakshi Temple Museum


Woman or goddess?

Left of museum entrance (more)

Right of museum entrance

Man or woman?

1,000-pillared hall, main passage


Left flank of passage (more)


Shiva & Parvati in the center


Right flank of passage


Resting tourist


Illustrated ancient stories


More stories (1, 2, 3)


Chariot for the gods

 

Thirumalai Nayak's Palace

Palace entrance

Durbar hall

Lots of pillars

Site of the throne (1, 2)


Ceiling detail


Built in 1636 CE


Indo-Saracenic architecture


Seat of the king


Pillars & ceiling


Columns & arches


Columns & arches


Thirumalai Nayak


Dance & music hall


To entertain the king


Designed by an Italian


Wall detail


Vaigai river


Teppakulam tank (more)


Gandhi Memorial museum


Lunch spot

       

 

 

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