Saturday, October 24, 2009

A view of the Thousand Pillar Hall

The Thousand Pillar Hall (Aayiram Kaal Mandapam) of Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple actually has 985 carved pillars, not exactly 1000 pillars as the name suggests. Each pillar is carved out of stone in the style of Dravidian sculpture. This hall was built modeled on the 1000 pillared hall of Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunleveli, the first largest Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu.
The Thousand Pillared Hall was built by Ariyanatha Mudaliar (in 1569), the Prime Minister and General of Viswanatha Nayak of the first Nayaka of Madurai (1559-1600). At the entrance of the hall (Mandapam) there is a statue of Ariyanatha Mudaliar seated on horse-back.
The hall is famous for its Temple Art Museum where exhibits of as old as 1200 years are displayed. Just outside this hall there are the Musical Pillars, each of which producing different musical notes when struck.
Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi), in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.

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