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All About Madurai's Parks, Theme Parks, Multiplexes, Game Zones, Hotels, Tourism etc.,
 #26  by AwardCity
 February 25th, 2010, 12:01 pm
A seminar on ‘Preservation of ancient monuments’ was organised at the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here on Tuesday by the Department of Tourism.

Addressing the gathering, G. Vasudevan, past president of Travel Club, said that the district was home to nearly 20 Jain monuments that belong to the periods between 3rd century B.C and 10th century A.D. Around 16 important monuments were located within the city.

Efforts were on to jointly undertake an initiative with the Department of Tourism to popularise these locations among foreign tourists.

The Pudhu Mandapam also had many significant structures which were getting damaged due to the presence of shops.

Further, vandalism was affecting the King Tirumalai Naick Palace, which was recently renovated at a cost of nearly Rs.6 crore.

Highlighting several other instances of invaluable heritage items being lost due to human activity, Dr. Vasudevan said that Madurai, which has 2,500 years of history, must do more to protect its heritage.

S. Chandravanan, Assistant Director, Department of Archaeology, said that kings constructed temples to meet three purposes: cater to the religion, to meet people’s needs and signify the kings’ victories.

The construction of each temple created 146 jobs for the people, he said, adding that even the names inscribed on the sculptures had historical significance.

The names of places had also a lot of meaning, he said.

Use of paint opposed
He also spoke out strongly against using paint over ancient pictures during temple renovations and adopting sand-blasting to clean sculptures. “Even the great King Tirumalai Naick did not have his name inscribed in the Mahal.

However, many visitors carve out their names using nail,” he said. K. Rajanayagam, Executive Officer of the temple, said that sculptures in southern parts were chiselled from hard stone.

Despite the extreme hard labour involved, the sculptures were so intricately carved that one could see the nerves and muscles on the figures. J. Balan, Head, Department of Tourism, Madurai Kamaraj University, said that India, with its 5,000 years of history, had a rich heritage.

It was also the home of one of the four ancient river-based civilizations.

It was not possible for the Government or private organisations alone to safeguard them.

Grass root level
Awareness had to be created at the grass root level among the public, he said.

K. Dharmaraj, District Tourist Officer, said that sculptures were being given more importance in attracting tourists. K. Pasumpon, Assistant Director of Tamil Development Department, also spoke.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/25/stories ... 420600.htm
 #59  by AwardCity
 February 27th, 2010, 8:08 am
The State Government has rejected a proposal given by a Thanjavur-based lawyer to create a Sculpture Park by cracking Yanaimalai, a hillock in the shape of an elephant in a squatting posture, near here.

A Government Order issued by the Tourism and Culture Department on Thursday read that the proposal was being rejected on the basis of a report submitted by the Chairman of a high-level committee, constituted on December 30, for considering the proposal.

The G.O. said that the committee headed by the Principal Secretary-cum- Commissioner of Archaeology Department met in Chennai on February 19 to mull over the issue.

Subsequently, the Commissioner forwarded his report to the Government.

Full Story: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/27/stories ... 310300.htm
 #73  by megaraj
 February 28th, 2010, 10:05 pm
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple Tamil: மீனாட்சி அம்மன் கோவில் is a historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built in 1600[1]. The tallest temple tower is 51.9 metres (170 ft) high[1].

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenakshi_Amman_temple
 #146  by AwardCity
 March 9th, 2010, 10:19 pm
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is a large tank (reservoir) located about 5kms east of the Meenakshi Temple. Built by King Tirumala, the 16-acre tank, which is fed by underground channels from the Vaigai River, is the largest temple tank in South India, & one of the most imposing sights of Madurai when it is full of water.
The temple on the artificial island in the middle of the ‘lake’ is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. A temple dedicated to Mariamman, a famous village deity, is located north of the tank, hence the name.
The 'lake' is the location of the popular Float Festival held annually in Jan/Feb. Apparently, it was King Thirumala himself who originated the float festival back in the 17th century after he built the tank. That's when he started the annual custom of taking the divine idols for a boat ride on the lake on his birthday.

Source:http://www.worldisround.com/articles/34 ... oto43.html
 #153  by shivamdu
 March 10th, 2010, 6:07 am
As part of an exercise to upgrade security at major temples in Tamil Nadu, hi-tech surveillance cameras will soon be installed at the world famous Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple in Madurai. Work on installing the 32 cameras began on Monday with technical support from Information Technology major HCL.

The Meenakshi Temple was among the vital installations in the State that faced threat from Lashkar-e-Taiba a few months ago, following which security was enhanced. The project to install cameras being executed at a cost of Rs.48.5 lakh envisages provision of a security blanket to the temple complex and its vicinity, official sources told The Hindu here on Monday.

The number of cameras could also be increased on the advice of the security agencies. Apart from advanced Internet protocol-operated dome cameras, electronic alarms, sensors and control room apparatus would also be installed.

Technical personnel

The installation work is expected to be completed in two months.

Technical personnel from HCL will be working on the project for one year to provide maintenance and other services. Two control rooms are being established, with one to be monitored by security agencies and temple staff. The surveillance cameras to be installed at vantage points would cover the entire temple premises and four Adi streets surrounding the temple, besides some portions of the Chithirai streets.

Most of the cameras will be kept at concealed locations. Due care would be taken to ensure that devotees are not affected by the installation work, a temple official said.

Once the project is completed, it would significantly enhance the security of the temple and provide the police personnel with vital inputs in protecting the complex, he added.

Installation of surveillance cameras at major temples follows recommendations made by the State intelligence at a security audit meeting held recently. “We have suggested that closed circuit television network be established at major temples and iconic buildings,” Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) M.S. Jaffar Sait said.

Additional Director General of Police (Economic Offences Wing) G. Thilakavathi said it had been suggested to open icon centres for safe custody of antique idols.
 #211  by templecity
 March 19th, 2010, 1:07 pm
Government has decided to establish ‘Tolkappiar World Tamil Sangam’ on an extent of 14.15 acres of levelled land in Tallakulam area in Madurai ordered earlier to be earmarked for establishing World Tamil Sangam in 1982. A museum depicting the pinnacle of arts, literature and culture of Tamil Nadu and a convention centre for Tamils all over the world which will also facilitate research in Tamil with the statues of poets of Sangam age and Tamil Scholars in chronological order duly installed therein.

Various tourist destinations have been developed at a cost of Rs.219 crores over the last four years. Significant development works have been undertaken at the tourist places like Yelagiri, Kollimalai, Tharangambadi, Mamallapuram, Puliancholai, Valparai, Hogenakal, Courtallam, Tirukkadaiyur, Pazhaverkadu, Tirparappu, Suruli falls, Kovai Courtallam, Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple complex, Marina Beach, Chettinad, Kancheepuram, Arupadai Veedugal, Chozhanadu thirupathigal, Kodaikanal, Udhagamandalam, Mudumalai, Anaimalai, Rameswaram, Tiruvannamalai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarangam, Kumbakonam, Sapthavidanga thalangal and Tiruchendur.

An Eco-Park will be established at Tirupparankunram in Madurai district at an estimated cost of Rs.4 crores.
 #283  by megaraj
 April 10th, 2010, 10:47 am
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Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is situated at a distance of about 5 km from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The area of the tank, and the island pavilion with a garden in the center, is approximately equal to the area of Meenakshi Temple. It is one of the largest temple tanks in South India and gets water supply from the Vaigai River. There is a Vinayakar temple situated right in the middle of the tank, which is dedicated to Lord Vigneshwara, the Elephant-faced God.

According to mythology, earth was dug out from the tank to build the Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. The place was supposed to be blessed and was later converted into a Teppakulam (tank). The tank is connected to Vaigai River via underground channels. It has total of 12 long stairs (steps) made of granite on all four sides. The temple as well as the stairs was built by the King Thirumalai Nayak.

Mariamman Teppakulam is famous for the celebrations of the Float festival, which is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai. The festival commemorates the birthday of King Thirumalai Nayak. The celebrations take place on a full moon night and the pristine water turns colourful as the temple is lit. The deities of the temple come down to the tank in colorful floats, presenting a mesmerizing sight. Pilgrims across India come to Madurai to participate in the festival.

Courtesy: http://www.madurai.org.uk
 #284  by megaraj
 April 10th, 2010, 10:48 am
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Thirumalai Nayak Palace of India is an example of architectural grandeur and was built by King Thirumalai Nayak in 1636 AD. The palace was designed by an Italian Architect and served as the residence of the King. It is situated at a distance of 2.5 km from the Meenakshi temple of Madurai. The palace is divided into two major parts, Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa, which include the royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armory, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden.

During his reign, King Nayak conducted daily dance and music performances in the Thirumalai Nayak Palace. He used to offer prayers to Goddess Rajrajeswari every morning in the palace shrine. The shrine is richly carved in stone and its dome was once covered with gold. Later, the palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were shifted to other places, so that he could build his own palace. The original Nayak Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure.

Today, the palace is famous for its courtyard and the dancing hall. Tourists are fascinated by the paintings and sculptures in the shrine. The ceilings are decorated with huge paintings, based on Shaivite and Vaishnavite themes. The painting of the marriage of Sundareswarar with Devi Meenakshi is an exemplary work of art. Furniture and utensils used by the kings have also been exhibited in the palace which transports the visitors to the historic era.

After independence, the palace was declared as a national monument. It is now looked after by the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department. Tourists can visit the palace anytime between 9 am and 5 pm on payment of the entrance fee. Enthusiasts can also enjoy the Light and Sound shows organized in the palace. The shows are in both Tamil and English languages. They narrate the tales about the glory of King Thirumalai, his passion for arts, his victories in battle and his love for his subjects. The duration of each show is half an hour.

Courtesy: http://www.madurai.org.uk
 #285  by megaraj
 April 10th, 2010, 10:54 am
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Adhisyam is a water theme park, situated at a distance of 15 km from Madurai. This place serves as a picnic spot and people visit it for leisure activities. It was established in 2000 and is now the largest water park in area. It provides several water sports for having fun in the water. Adhisyam is an ideal place for family entertainment. It is just 20 minutes away from Madurai and opens at 10 am in the morning. There are rides and sports to suit everybody.

Website: http://athisayampark.com/main.html
 #286  by megaraj
 April 10th, 2010, 10:57 am
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Koodal Azhagar Koil is one of the 108 Divyadesams of the Vaishnavites, the idols of Vishnu and Lakshmi are huge and beautiful. The temple is beautifully situated near madurai. The gopuram here is fully inspired with lots of Gods. Lord Vishnu is very powerful to wash away the sins and to offer blessings to the devotees. During festival times like "purataasy sani" special poojas and offerings are been done. Poets used to meet here and sing the praise of the Lord, hence the name. The temple finds mention in Sangam literature dating back to 2000 years. The tower consists of 3 tiers depicting Vishnu in 3 posture, sitting, standing and reclining. The shadow of the vimanam never falls on the ground. It is one of the few temples in the country built in tiers.

Courtesy: http://www.maduraitourism.com
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