Around Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai: A Photo Story

Most everything in the town of Madurai revolves around the famous Meenakshi Amman temple. Most tourists are in the town to visit the world-famous Meenakshi Amman temple. There is an entire ecosystem built around the temple – there are shops selling everything from eatables and fruits and vegetables and vessels and flowers to clothes and wigs and cosmetics and jewellery here, for this very reason. Directions to tourists here are often given in terms of the temple – a place is almost always located straight ahead from, right or left from, or just around the Meenakshi Amman temple. The temple is the heart of the town, it’s heartbeat, rather. Walk around the roads and bylanes of Madurai, like we did on our holiday, and you will, more often than not, end up at the Meenakshi Amman temple.

The temple surroundings buzz with activity, frenetic with the comings and goings of locals and tourists alike. The place wears the look of a fair ground, especially so on the days of Indian festivals. Today, I present to you some sights we captured from around the famed Meenakshi Amman temple, on our camera.

A shop selling a variety of snacks, at the very entrance to the Meenakshi Amman temple
A short walk away from the temple is a little market, where you can spot the freshest of vegetables, among other things. We found these beautiful, beautiful little bittergourds there.
Panneer drakshe, Indian Gulabi or rose-flavoured grapes, for sale outside the Meenakshi Amman temple. Simply gorgeous, these are!
A row of tailors operating in the Pudhu Mantapam, adjacent to the Meenakshi Amman temple. These tailors stitch garments that adorn deities in temples as well as dance costumes, I believe.
There are several Muslim-owned shops around the temple that sell a variety of pooja paraphernalia. Some of these stores offer excellent freshly ground sandal.
Mounds of karupatti or palm jaggery for sale on the streets outside the Meenakshi Amman temple
A busy thoroughfare in Madurai with the Meenakshi Amman temple’s gopuram rising up majestically
Colourful, colourful bangles on offer at the shops in Pudhu Mantapam, near the temple. You get an excellent selection of colours, shapes, types and materials of bangles here!
Cast iron and iron utensils on sale at a shop inside Pudhu Mantapam. I treasure the mini idli maker and the dosa pan that I picked up here!
A tree near the temple, considered sacred and being worshipped
The famed Madurai mallige aka jasmine, being sold outside the temple by weight
Colourful old-fashioned trunks being sold in the marketplace near the Meenakshi Amman temple
This kind of shops are everywhere around the temple – they sell a variety of knick-knacks, most of them priced at just INR 10!

I hope you enjoyed this virtual journey with me! Do let me know, in your comments!

PS: The Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple was in the news earlier this month because of a fire that caught hold of some of the shops around it. A short circuit in one of the shops is believed to have caused the fire, which gutted over 50 shops. Read details here.

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22 thoughts on “Around Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai: A Photo Story

    1. @Doreen Pendgracs

      Thank you for visiting!

      You must visit the market around the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai – like you say, it’s fascinating. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Palm jaggery has a beautiful taste to it, and is much healthier than refined sugar. It tastes more or less like ordinary jaggery.

  1. Iโ€™m intrigued by the rose flavoured grapes, how do they flavour them? Love the colourful packing trunks! Could you add a photo of the temple as Iโ€™d really like to see it

    1. @Suze R

      The grapes are not artificially infused with rose flavour. They taste naturally of roses. They are called Panneer Drakshe in Tamil, or the Indian Gulabi kind of grapes. There’s another detailed post on my blog about them, which you might want to check out. I’ll try to share the link with you.

      I’ll be doing an entire post on the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple in a bit. Will keep you posted.

      Thank you for your enthusiastic response. Glad you liked the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I have to say, I really really want to visit madurai, it looks both fascinating and photogenic, loved your photo essay of your visit. I am such a sucker for a great local market space.

    1. @Kavey Favelle

      Yes, you must! ๐Ÿ™‚ Madurai is a great place to visit if you love history and food. There’s loads to explore eat, drink and shop. Do check out my other posts on Madurai, and I’m sure you’ll be booking tickets soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The Meenakshi Amman Temple must be a highlight in the city since itโ€™s being used as a point of reference for almost everything in its vicinity. Those rose-flavoured grapes look appetising and Iโ€™d love to check out the local market around its perimeter! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. @Nathan

      You are right – the Meenakshi Amman temple is the highlight of Madurai. Most people come to Madurai only to visit the temple.

      You should visit the market – it’d be a full-on immersion into Indian (Tamilnadu, especially) culture for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. As someone who enjoys market hopping I really appreciate this post. Iโ€™ve visited Madurai couple of times and your photos brought those memories alive. The first murukku photo was awesome

  5. Meenakshi temple is so famous and like the center of attraction at this place. I can assume not many pay attention to the nearby lanes and shops. Thanks for taking us around them. For they all seem very authentic and full of the local culture

    1. @Neha Verma

      Yes, most tourists in Madurai are there just to visit the Meenakshi Amman temple. We undertook a full-on exploration of the city as we were there for over 5 days. Glad you enjoyed the post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The Meenakshi Temple is indeed one of the most magnificent temples of India. You always discover something new whenever you visit it. A visit to Madurai is always specifically to visit this lovely temple.

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