The City of Nectar’ or Madhurapuri is none other than Madurai, the oldest city of Tamil Nadu. There are hundreds of stories about Madurai. It is believed that some venom had fallen on Madurai, from Lord Shiva’s snake. So he put some nectar from his crescent moon to neutralize the poison.
One of the other myths about Madurai is that it is surrounded by a snake with its tail in its mouth. When someone comes to attack Madurai, the snake changes them into stone.
Mention two myths about Madurai.
The melodious sound of Madurai, the sweet-smelling jasmine strands, the windy entrances to huge temples, the politeness of the people – all these make Madurai a city of sweetness and nectar.
And it is in this ancient town that Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara decided to marry. The wedding festival of the two is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (April-May) for twelve days. Huge royal umbrellas, fans, pipers, drummers, large lights, jewellery,
silk, elephants are all summoned for this grand wedding ceremony. Idols of some of the Gods from nearby temples are also brought to attend this wedding. Following the wedding, Idols of Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara are taken out. Meenakshi is taken out in a palanquin while Lord Sundareswara is taken on a silver elephant.
The Meenakshi temple has a magnificient structure. It is filled with wonderful sculptures. There are dance halls and a thousand pillar-mandapam with musical pillars.
What do you like about madurai ?
A visit to Madurai would take you to the times of kings, queens, legends, festivity, thundering drums, chariots and nadaswaras and splendorous temples. Madurai is indeed a place fit for Gods to marry.
Answer the following questions:
1. What was Madurai earlier known as?
2. Why is Madurai called the city of nectar?
3. Why did Shiva put nectar on Madurai?
4. How many legends about Madurai have you read in the lesson?
5. Which of the legends about Madurai do you find the most interesting? Why?
6. What do you like most about Madurai?