With the smell of malli redolent in the Chennai air this margazhi as ever, here’s a quick snapshot on Meenakshi, the fish- eyed Goddess of Madurai- the land of jallikattu and jasmine!

*The city of Madurai, also known as Tirualavai or Koodal, is pivoted around the magnificent temple dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi.

*Madurai is also known as the kadambavanam, with a kadamba tree present in the temple as a sthala vruksham till date.

*Meenakshi is believed to be a form of Parvathi born to the Pandya king Malayadhvaja and his queen Kanchanamala. Legend has it that she was given away as a bride to Lord Sundareshwara by Vishnu, in his capacity as her brother.

*Several saints and scholars including the Nayanmars have visited the temple and worshipped the deities. Adi Sankara composed the Meenakshi Pancharatnam in praise of Meenakshi.

*Shyama Shastri is believed to have penned the Navaratnamalika, a set of nine songs, on the Goddess, following a divine instruction

*Muttuswami Dikshitar extolled the deity in several compositions. He breathed his last while his disciples rendered the song ‘Meenakshi me mudam dehi’ composed by him in the Raga Gamakakriya

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Audio- visual rendition with complete lyrics

Meenakshi me mudam dehi