Sri Meenakshi temple displays the brilliance of Dravidian architecture work. The temple is colorful, lively and the beautiful carved towers appeal to those who are interested in architecture. The temple remains open almost throughout the day except a break in the afternoon. The temple was originally designed by Vishwanatha Nayak in 1560 but was built mostly during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. But the history of the place goes back to 2000 years back when Madurai was a Pandyan capital. Therefore it has seen the various chapters of history unfolding themselves in front of it.
The temple complex occupies around 6 hectare area and the whole space is beautifully designed. There are 12 decorative gopurams which are as tall as 45 m to 50m. There are nice carvings on the exteriors. The Puthu Mandapam which is in the east forms a long and impressive entrance hall. You will find the wonderful sanctums of the deities within the temple. Most pilgrims enter the temple from south where Asha Shakti Mandapam is structured and then they go to the Meenakshi shrine. There is also a 100 pillared hall inside the temple area, which is the Temple Art Museum. The museum remains open all day from 7am to 7pm. The museum has beautiful images made of stone and brass along with the painted structures of Hindu deities. If you want to visit the temple you should either go early mornings or early evening in order to avoid the crowd. You can also find the classical dance practices inside the temple complex.