Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareshwar, a form of Shiva.
The temple is at the center of the ancient temple city of Madurai mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature, with the goddess temple mentioned in 6th-century-CE texts. This temple is one of the Paadal Petra Sthalam. The Paadal Petra sthalam are 275 temples of lord Shiva that are revered in the verses of Tamil Saiva Nayanars of 6th-9th century CE.
The temple complex is the center of the old city of Madurai. It consists of monuments inside a number of concentric enclosures, each layer fortified with high masonry walls. The outer walls have four towering gateways, allowing devotees and pilgrims to enter the complex from all four directions.
The temple complex is spread over about 5.7 ha. The courtyard is close to a square with each side of about 800 feet, but more accurately a rectangle with one side about 50 feet longer. The complex has numerous shrines and mandapas, of which the most important and largest are the two parallel shrines in the innermost courtyard, one for Meenakshi and other for Sundareshvara.
Additionally, the complex has a golden lotus sacred pool for pilgrims to bathe in, a thousand-pillar hall choultry with extensive sculpture, the kalyana mandapa or wedding hall, many small shrines for Hindu deities and for scholars from the sangam (academy) history, buildings which are religious schools and administrative offices, elephant sheds, equipment sheds such as those for holding the chariots used for periodic processions and some gardens. The temple is embedded inside a commercial hub and traditional markets.
According to wikipedia.org