Photographer's Note

Second photo from Madurai series.

Here is a close-up of one of the twelve Gopurams (Towers) of the temple complex. There are about 1500 sculptures - stucco figures - of deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.

Story :-
According to mythology, Meenakshi(the one with fish like eyes) was a princess who was born with three breasts. Holy men adviced that the extra breast would disappear when she meet her future husband!

Meenakshi,grew up to be a valorous queen and later went on a DigVijaya or a tour of victory, across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent. In the course of her travels she came to Mount Kailash where she encountered Shiva; upon standing in front of Shiva her third breast disappeared and a the warrior princess transformed into a blushing bride.

Shiva directed Meenakshi to return to Madurai, and promised her that he would join her in eight days as her groom. Eight days later the divine wedding was celebrated with pomp and splendour in Madurai.

Temple :-
Meenakshi temple is one of the largest temples in India and a magnificent example of Dravidian architecture and sculptures. Many considers the temple as one of the great wonders of ancient world.

Located at the heart of Madurai City, it features an astonishing profusion of sculpted figures, ornamental pillars and cloistered courtyards. Among the highlights of the temple complex are the "Hall of a Thousand Pillars" and the "Tank of Golden Lotuses".

Of its 12 Gopurams (Towers), four of the tallest stand at the outer walls of the temple. Here is the 48.4m high southern gopuram. It is quite spectacular with over 1500 sculptures - stucco figures - of deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.

Technical - Cropped and adjusted levels & lighting using PS.

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Additional Photos by Sunil Menon (sun_web) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 24 N: 167] (665)
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