Located to the eastern side of Meenakshi Amman Temple, Puthu Mandapam is also a popular place to visit in Madurai. Dedicated to Lord Sundareswarar, it was built by King Thirumalai Nayakkar between the years of 1628 to 1635, to serve as an abode of the Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi for summer months.
Also known as Vasantha Mandapam, this historically important site is religiously significant as well. It is also popular for shopping among visitors.
Architecture and History of Puthu Mandapam, Madurai
Puthu Mandapam was built during 1628-1635, by the King Thirumalai Nayak who was an ardent worshipper of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar. This hall was originally built as a summer abode of Goddess and the Lord. Scenes from various ancient Hindu texts have been carved on the pillars such as wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, etc.
Built by the king Thirumalai Nayak, Pudhu Mandapam presents an architectural brilliance. Initially it was used as venue for annual festivals of the temple such as, Avani Moolam, float festival, etc. This mandapam was also during Chithirai festival for the organising divine wedding of Lord Sundareswarar and his consort Goddess Meenakshi. This mandapam captivates everyone with its structural excellence too. With a height of 25 feet, length of 330 feet and breadth of 105 feet, this mandapam is built on a pedestal.
There are 124 pillars adorning this mandapam. The pillars on the sides of central passage have been decorated with carvings of 14 rulers and their consorts of Nayaka dynasty. Pillars at the mandapam also have carving of Lord and Goddess. There is also a partially completed Raya Gopuram, which if completely built would have been one of the biggest structures in India.
This mandapam is still a venue for hosting popular temple festivals like Avani Moolam festival, Chithirai festival, Theppam festival, Navarathri, etc.
Shopping at Puthu Mandapam, Madurai
Puthu Mandapam complex houses a vibrant and diverse market where visitors can be seen spending hours together, indulge in shopping, finding souvenirs and traditional articles, which makes this place an intricate part of every Madurai Tour.
This bazaar in the captivating building of mandapam is one of the oldest markets of Tamil Nadu. It is said that this market has been functioning since 1920. It has various kinds of shops including tailoring, clothes, book, bangles, sandalwood and many more, promising an engaging experience to everyone. Along with popular shops selling usual shopping items, one can also find traditional and rare souvenirs to take home from this market.
Reaching Puthu Mandapam, Madurai
Puthu Mandapam is located quite close to Meenakshi temple and is well connected to the rest of the city by all the popular modes of transportation. One can either hire a taxi, or just take an auto rickshaws or city bus to reach here.