The old Madurai Meenaatchi Temple was not fully destroyed by the Muslim Invaders

Thread started by virarajendra on 24th May 2016 12:24 AM


The old Madurai Meenaatchi Temple was not fully destroyed by the Muslim Invaders

There is a misconception - among some of the present day Historians of Tamil Nadu, that the old Madurai Meenatchi Temple of Tamil Nadu was completely destroyed by the Muslim Invaders from the Delhi Sultante in A.D.1310, and the existing Meenaatchi Temple is that which was fully re-built by the Naayakkar kings who ruled the region of Madurai of Tamil Nadu thereafter from the year A.D.1529 to A.D.1739, and hence was refered to as the masterpiece of Dravidian Architecture (and not of Tamil Architecture).

This conception is totally un-acceptable as we have positive evidences to confirm that the Temple was not fully damaged by the Muslim Invaders, and was subsequently "renovated" under the Karnaataka kings of Vijayanagara and the Naayakkar kings of Madurai using Tamilian Craftsman of Madurai who decended from the period of Paandiyar kings. Some new Structures too were added to this Temple complex by the Naayakker kings using these Tamilian Craftsman of Madurai.

How could the Historians claim that Meenaatchi Temple was "completely" destroyed and was fully re-built by the Naayakkar kings, when the present "outer" Eastern Gopuram is still referred to by Scholars as "Sunderapaandiyan Gopuram" after the Paandiya king Sadaiyavarman Sunderapaandiyan - 2 who finish built same, which is further confirmed by two Tamil Inscriptions on the base of this Gopuram referring to same as “Sunderapaandiyan Thirugopuram” and “Avanivendaraman (title of Sadaiyavarman Sunderapaandiyan) Thirugopuram”.

The present "outer" East Gopuram (also known as Sunthara Paandiyan Gopuram) was started by Maravarman Sunthara Paandiyan - 2 (A.D.1239-1253) and completed by Sadaiyavarman Sunthara Paandiyan - 2 (A.D.1251-1292) who ruled from Mathurai (Madurai).

The present "outer" West Gopuram was built by Sadaiyavarman Parakkrama Paandiyan - 1 (A.D.1364-1387) who ruled from Mathurai, after being 're-instated' by Kumara Kambannan of Vijayanagara Empire defeating the last Muslim Sultan from Mathurai in A.D.1364.

Further the present Inner 'Chokkanather (God Sunthareswarer)' 'Sannathi Gopuram' (Karuvarai Vimanam) was built by King Kulasekara Paandiyan (A.D.1168–1175).

The present inner 'Angayatkanni (Goddess 'Meenaatchi)' 'Sannathi Gopuram' (Karuvarai Vimanam) (three tier) was constructed by Ananthathandava Nambi (A.D.1227-1228).

The inner 'Gopura Nayaka' Gopuram - another Swami 'Sannathi Gopuram' (Karuvarai Vimanam) was constructed by Vasuvappan in A.D.1372

All the above are present day living Structures "of the period of Paandiyar kings" who ruled from their capital city of Madurai, long ! long !! before the Naayakkar kings came into power in Madurai in the year A.D.1529. This is further confirmed by the Tamil Literary Document name "Thiruvaalavaayudaiyaar Thiruppani Vivaram" and by the Temple Records.

Capture of Southern Mathra (Madura) as per Mohamaden Historians of the period after capture of Madurai by Muslim kings.

After five days, the royal canopy moved from Bírdhúl on Thursday, the 17th of Zí-l ka'da, and arrived at Kham, and five days afterwards they arrived at the city Mathra (Madura), the dwelling-place of the brother of the Ráí Sundar Pándyá. They found the city empty, for the Ráí had fled with the Ránís, but had left two or three elephants in the temple of Jagnár (Jag-ganáth)” The elephants were captured and the temple burnt.

Then the Malik came to take a muster of his captured elephants they extended over a length of three parasangs, and amounted to five hundred and twelve, besides five thousand horses, Arabian and Syrian, and five hundred mans of jewels of every description—diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and rubies.

Return to Delhi

On Sunday, the 4th of Zí-l hijja, 710 H. Malik Káfúr, accompanied by his army, returned towards Dehli with all the plunder, and arrived in safety on Monday, the 4th of Jumáda-s Sání, 711 H. Sultán 'Aláu-d dín held a public darbár in front of the Golden Palace, and all the nobles and chiefs stood on the right and on the left, according to their rank. Malik Náib Káfúr Hazár-dínárí, with the officers who had accompanied him, were presented to the Sultán, before whom the rich booty was exhibited. The Sultán was much gratified, loaded the warriors with honour, and the darbár was dissolved


Towards the end of the year 710 H. (1310 A.D.) the Sultán sent an army under Malik Náíb Káfúr against Dhúr-samundar and Ma'bar. The Malik, with Khwája Hájí, Náíb-i 'áriz, took leave of the Sultán and proceeded to Rábarí, where the army collected. They then proceeded to Deogír, where they found that Rámdeo was dead, and from Deogír to the confines of Dhúr-samundar. At the first onslaught Billál Ráí fell into the hands of the Muhammadans, and Dhúr-samundar was captured. Thirty-six elephants, and all the treasures of the place, fell into the hands of the victors. A despatch of victory was then sent to Dehlí, and Malik Náíb Káfúr marched on to Ma'bar, which he also took. He destroyed the golden idol temple (but-khánah-i zarín) of Ma'bar, and the golden idols which for ages (karnhá) had been worshipped by the Hindus of that country. The fragments of the golden temple, and of the broken idols of gold and gilt, became the rich spoil of the army. In Ma'bar there were two Ráís, but all the elephants and treasure were taken from both, and the army turned home towards flushed with victory. A despatch of victory was sent to the Sultán, and in the early part of 711 H. (1311 A.D.) the army reached Dehlí, bringing with it six hundred and twelve elephants, ninety-six thousand mans of gold, several boxes of jewels and pearls, and twenty thousand horses. Malik Náíb Káfúr presented the spoil to the Sultán in the palace at Sírí on different occasions, and the Sultán made presents of four mans, or two mans, or one man, or half a man of gold to the Maliks and Amírs.


The old Madurai Meenaatchi Temple built by Paandiya kings were subsequently "renovated" and new sections added by Vijayanagara kings and Naayakkar kings

From the first reference of 'Amir Khusru' it is seen, that the Madurai Meenakshi temple was burnt, and the second reference of Ziaud Din Barni states the temple was destroyed. It should be noted during the period of second Paandiyan Empire in Paandiya Nadu with Mathurai as its capital city, the structures such as Palaces and other Residential Buildings were made of "burnt bricks and stucco" and only the Temples were made of "granite stone". However there have been (that too rarely) "burnt bricks and stucco structures" used on certain less important parts of the temples. The burnt 'brick structure and stucco' normally catches fire easily and burn, but granite structures does not catch fire at all. It can only be destroyed only with 'iron implements' such as crowbar etc by braking the granite stones of the temple. Hence from the above references we could conclude that at least many parts of the Madurai Meenaksi Temples with stones Structures would have been left behind, and later renovated and 'some new sections' added by the Karnataka Vijayanagara kings and the subsequent Nayakkar kings with the help of Paandiyan Sculptors, after the defeat of traditional Paandiya kings of Mathurai of Tamil Nadu over 2300 years

Further the region of Thirunelveli - south of Madurai 'too' had been a capital city of the later Pandiyas after Madurai was invaded by the Muslim kings. The Kaasi Visvanather temple as it is today is the finest "Tamil Architectural and Sculptural Monument" of the "later Paandiyan period", with much maturity in their 'fine sculpture of awsome monolithic figurines' in this temple. It is this temple layout and the technique of finest sculpture of the "Kaasi Visvanather Temple at Thenkaasi" built during the period of Paraakkrama Paandiyan (A,D.1422-1463) by Paandiyan sculptors, were adopted to re-model the badly damaged sections (after Muslim invasion) of the Mathurai Meenaakshi temple to the same design and style by the first Nayakkar king of Mathurai the Visvanatha Nayakkar and his chief minister Ariyanatha Muthaliyar - a native Tamil from Thondai Mandalam much later in the years around (A.D.1529-1564).

The Puthu Mandapam with it's fine Sculptures in front of the Mathurai Meenakshi temple built by Ariyanatha Muthaliyar on behalf of Nayakkar king, is almost similer to the Puthu Mandapam with Sculptures built in front of Thenkaasi Visvanather temple.

Hence Art Historians of Tamil Nadu 'are not justified' in calling the renovated sections of Mathurai Meenaakshi temple under Nayakkar kings - are of Nayakkar Sculptural or Architectural style, but correctly as the "'Later Paandiyar' style of Sculpture and Architecture at it's maturity" (i.e. not Dravidian Sculpture and Architecture, but the Tamilian Sculpture and Architecture) that was prevalent in Paandiya Nadu at the time of the very beginning of Nayakkar rule in Mathurai in A.D.1529.


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