The story that stones tell

An elaborate guide to Meenakshi Temple released

January 03, 2015 09:52 am | Updated 09:52 am IST - MADURAI:

Marvellous architecture, lofty towers, majesty and grandeur, awe, art, culture, literature, devotion, history and legend.

Combining all these is the world famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple standing out as a glorious monument creating a feeling of heaven on earth.

It is not just a temple, but a template of how Hindu Gods and Goddesses were finely blended with legendary tales and history through architecture.

Since every inch of space in this masterpiece carries encapsulating history and tradition, a comprehensive tell-all guide in English was a felt need to make global audience understand, feel and enjoy the greatness of this temple.

This was fulfilled on the first day of the New Year when a book, titled ‘The Great Temple of Madurai Meenakshi,’ was released.

Authored by Valayappettai Ra. Krishnan (born in 1949) of Thanjavur district, the colourful book, priced at Rs 600, is published by the temple in association with Universal Publishing, Chennai.

The author, in his preface, writes that “the temple is a treasure house depicting the evolution of art and architecture of south India and the magnificent heights reached under the rule of Pandyas, Nayakkars and other rulers. A casual visitor will be struck with wonder and amazement at the majesty and grandeur of the towers and multitude of sculptures, but a discerning enthusiast would like to understand and appreciate the story that the stones tell. This book is intended to provide a guide for such an experience.”

The book has 265 beautiful photographs, illustrations, miniature paintings and architectural drawings weaved together with legend and facts.

The book speaks about the birth of Goddess Meenakshi, celestial wedding with Lord Siva, sanctum sanctorum, how the idols were safeguarded during the invasion by Muslim rulers, inscriptions, Thousand-Pillar Mandapam, ornaments and the famous Lord Kallazhagar festival.

Every page has an impressive picture along with description to give in-depth information to readers. A special section is devoted to the significance of gopurams. Festivals observed every month are explained in detail. In all, this book is an encyclopaedia on the Madurai’s iconic temple.

Karumuttu T. Kannan, Fit Person of the temple, released the book.

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