Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple Madurai, India: The “Aayiram Kaal Mandapam” or Thousand Pillar Hall contains 985(instead of 1000) carved pillars. The hall was built by Ariyanatha Mudaliar in 1569 and it is a structure where the engineering skill and artistic vision are blended. .Each pillar in the hall is a carved monument of the Dravidian sculpture. The more prominent among the carved figures are those of Rati(wife of Cupid), Karthikeya, Ganesha, Shiva as a wandering mendicant and endless number of yalis(mythical figures of lions). There is a Temple Art Museum in the hall where icons, photographs, drawings, and other exhibits of the 1200 years old history of the temple is displayed.
At the entrance of the hall the statue of Ariyanatha Mudaliar seated on a horse-back is present, which flanks one side of the entrance to the temple. The statue is periodically garlanded by worshipers Just outside this hall, towards the west, are the Musical Pillars. Each pillar, when struck, produces a different musical note.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple or Tiru-alavai is a historic Hindu temple located in the south side of river Vaigai in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar (beautiful deity). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai.