Stone Inscriptions and Paintings in Meenakshi TempleThe Madurai Meenakshi Temple is wonderful temple known for its sculpture, paintings and stone inscriptions.
The drawings depicting incidents of the Thiruvilayadal or miraculous dramas of Lord Shiva belong to the Naicker period.
There are paintings depicting the 64 miracles of Lord Shiva, all of which were enacted in Madurai. These aesthetic drawings can be seen on the northern wall facing the Pottamarai kulam of tank of the golden lotus. These drawings are at present being given a facelift by using natural dyes at a cost of Rs 26.25 lakhs.
Many paintings have been damaged due to neglect are now being kept in the museum in the 1000 pillar hall or mandapam of the temple.
These drawings explain the meaning of the songs sung by Nakkeerar have been drawn in the shape of a charriot in the Petchiakkal mandapam.
These drawings shows the five sabhas or Panchaga sabhas of Tamil Nadu can be seen opposite to the Velliammbala Nadarajar Sannithi.
Art belongs to Rani Mangammal period
Drawings can be seen on the roof of the Palaya unjal mandapam (old swing hall) in the eastern side of the unjalmandapam which depict Queen Mangammal and her court watching the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam or celestial wedding. The drawings of the six abodes of Lord Muruga can be seen at the entrance of the New glass unjal mandapam.
There are drawings of the deities like Lord Ganesha, Lord Muruga, the Goddess and God and eight Sakthis or engery forms on the roof of the Kilikoondu (parrot cage) mandapam.
The drawings of the Meenakshi Thirukalayanam and Pattabishekam in the entrance of the Amman Sannithi have also been touched.
Diagramatic representation of heaven and earth
There are drawings depicting earth and heaven on both sides of the wedding stage in the old Kalyana mandapam. The Kalyana mandapam also has drawings of 64 Thiruvilayadal and other celestial incidents.
There are about 44 stone inscriptions on the walls of the corridors of the Sundareswarar shrine and that of Meenakshi Amma shrine.
The inscriptions contain details of lands donated to the temple, the rituals for worship, the list of articles used for performing neivethiyam, the religious status of the people in ancient days, government procedures and social habits.