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About Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple Towers

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Brief Description about Arulmigu Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple Towers.

There are four Rajagopurams or majestic towers, there are five towers on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord, three on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the Goddess and two golden towers or gopurams, all which have been beautifully designed and sculptured. All 14 towers are divided according to the stages.

4 Nine tier gopurams.
1 Seven tier, Chittirai gopuram.
5 Five tier gopurams.
2 Three tier gopurams.
2 Golden gopurams.

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

1) Raja Gopurams or 9 Tier Gopurams: (The tower on top of the sanctum sanctorum of the God (east)).
a) This tower was constructed by king Maravarman Sundara Pandian the Pandian King (1216 – 1238)
b) The tower is 153.3 feet in height, and the base measure’s 111.3 feet by 65.6 feet..
c) This bears 1011 episodes from puranams sculptured in it.

2) South Raja Gopuram.
This Raja Gopuram was constructed in 1559 by Siramalai Sevanthi Murthy Chetti.
It is the tallest of all Gopurams which measures 160.9 feet in height, with a base area of 108 feet by 67 feet
1511 folk stories in figures are seen on it.

3) North Raja Gopuram:(Tower Without Roof).
a) Krishna Veera Panaicker (1564 – 1572) has started the Construction and was completed in 1878 by the family of Amaravathi Pudur Vayinagaram Nagappa Chetti.
b) This gopuram remained unfinished for many years and hence it got its name Mottai Gopuram meaning tower without a roof.
c) This gopuram is 152 feet in height and the length of the base is 111.6 feet with a width of 66.6 feet.
c) This houses 404 carvings depicting ancient stories.

4)West Raja Gopuram.
This Raja Gopuram was constructed between 1315 and 1347 by King Parakrama Pandian.
This Raja Gopuram is 154.6 feet in height and the base length of 101 feet and a width of 63.6 feet.
This tower houses 1124 sculptures of mythology importance.

The Tower of Swamy Shrine:

There are five towers above the sanctum of the Lord.

1) Swami Shrine Gopuram.
a) Swami Shrine Gopuram is a three tiers Gopuram built by King Kulasekara Pandian between 1168 – 1175.
b) Swami Shrine Gopuram is the most ancient ff all towers in the temple and is located at the entrance of the Swami Sannidhi near the Lords flag staff mandapam.

2) Gopura Nayaka Gopuram, also Known as Swami Sannidhi Gopuram.
a) Gopura Nayaka Gopuram or Swami Sannidhi Gopuram is a five tiered Gopuram and was constructed by Vasuvappan in 1372.
b) Gopura Nayaka Gopuram or Swami Sannidhi Gopuram is situated between the dwajasthambam (flag post) of the Swami Sannidhi and the Thirukalyana Mandapam or marriage hall.
c) This gopuram is 66 feet tall, it has a base area of 42 feet x 33 feet.
d) There are 280 mythological Stories in figures on it.

3) The Mukkuruni Vinayagar gopuram or Nadukkattu gopuram or Idaikattu gopuram.
a) Mukkuruni Vinayagar gopuram is a five tier gopuram and was constructed by Siramalai Sevanthi Murthy Chetti in 1559.
b) This gopuram is situated exact opposite to the shrine of the Mukkuruni Vinayagar which is situated in the path that leads from the Amman sannithi to the Swami Sannithi.
c) This gopuram is 69 feet tall, and a base area of 44 feet x 33 feet.
d) There are 112 mythological figures are sculptured on this gopuram.

4) Wooden Gopuram or Swami Sannithi West Gopuram.
a) Wooden Gopuram was constructed in 1374 by Mallappan.
b) Wooden Gopuram is situated in the west end of the second corridor of the Swami Sannithi.
c) The Gopuram is 72 feet tall, and a base area of 48 feet x 31 feet.
d) There are 340 mythological figures are sculptured on this gopuram.

5) Sinnamottai Gopuram (small roofless gopuram) or Swami Sannithi North Gopuram.
a) Sinnamottai Gopuram is a five tiers Gopuram and was constructed in 1560 by Sevanthivellappa Chetti.
b) This Gopuram is also situated on top the second corridor of the Swami Sannithi on the north side near the Kalyana Sundareswarar Sannithi.
c) There are 184 sculptures on the Gopuram.

Amman Sannithi Gopuram:
There are five towers above the sanctum of the Lord.

1) Amman Sannithi Gopuram.
a) Amman Sannithi 3 tier Gopuram and was constructed between 1227 and 1228 by Anandathandava Nambi.
b) It is seen on top of the entrance of the Amman Sannithi at the west end of the Killikoondu mandapam.

2) Kadaha Gopuram or Amman Sannithi west gopuram.
a) Kadaha Gopuram was constructed by Veerathummasi in 1570.
b) It is seen on top of the first corridor surrounding the Amman sannithi in the west end.
c) Kadaha Gopuram is about 64.6 feet tall, with a base area of 50 feet x 28.6 feet.
d) There are 228 mythological figures on this gopuram.

3) Chittira Gopuram or Amman Sannithi Gopuram.
a) Chittira Gopuram was constructed in 1569 by Kallathiappan Mudaliar.
b) This Gopuram is situated in between Meenakshi Naicker mandapam and Muthupillai mandapam in the Amman sannithi.
c) As it contains 730 aesthetic sculptures of exquisite refinement it is also called the Chittira gopuram.
d) Kadaha Gopuram is about 177 feettall, with a base area of 78 feet x 38 feet.

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