The complex is in around 45 acres (180,000 m2) and the temple is a massive structure measuring 254 by 237 meters. The temple is surrounded by 12 towers, the tallest of which, the famous Southern tower, rises to over 170 ft (52 m) high.
The most important festival associated with the temple is the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam (The divine marriage of Meenkashi) that is celebrated in April every year. During that one month period, in which most Tamil Nadu temples celebrate their annual festivals, there are a number of events including the Ther Thiruvizhah (Chariot festival) and Thoppa Thiruvizhah (Float festival) are celebrated. Apart from this, major Hindu festivals like Navrathri, Shivrathri are celebrated in a grand manner. Like most Shakti temples in Tamil Nadu, the Fridays during the Tamil months of Aadi (July 15 – Aug 17) and Thai (Jan 15 to Feb 15) are popularly celebrated with thousands of devotees thronging to the temple. In every Tamil month some festive occasions will happen in the temple like Aavani Urchavam, Maarghazi Urchavam, Navaraathri, etc. Like Meenakshi Thirukalyanam Festival, Avani Moola Utsavam is also the major important festival in Meenakshi Amman Temple. This is a 10-day festival mainly devoted to Lord Sundareswarar which describes His various leelai a.k.a. Thiruvilayadal performed in Madurai city to save His devotees from distractions and problems.
Pottramarai Kulam (the Golden Lotus Pond):
It was in this pond that the Golden Lotus for Indra to perform his pooja bloomed. This pond is also known as Adhi Theertham, Sivaganga and Uthama Theertham. This pond is situated within the temple complex. This theertham was created by Lord Sivaperuman by thrusting his Soolam (three ptonged spear) into the earth in deference to the plea of Nandhi Devar and other deities. It was here, that the plank of Sangam appeared and established greatness of the moral text called Thirukkural. It was here that Chockalingam was found by the grace of the Lord, by the first Guru of Dharmapura Adheenam and Saint Srilasri Guru Gnanasambandar. In keeping with the boons granted by the Lord to a stork, upto this date no fish nor other life is found in this miraculous sacred pond. Since this theertam was created before all other theerthams it is called Adhi Theertham and because it is much greater importance than all other theerthams, it is also called Parama Theertham as Gnana Theertham because it confers prosperity on all who bathe in it. As it grants heavenly abode it is also called Mukthi Theertham and as Sivaganga because the water from Ganga from the head of Lord Siva confluences with it and as Uthama Theertham because of its purity than any other theertham..
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Originally posted 2012-08-11 18:43:00.