The Shiva shrine lies at the centre of the complex, suggesting that the ritual dominance of the goddess developed later. The Shiva shrine also consists of an unusual sculpture of the Hindu god Nataraja.
This famous Hindu marquee and a dancing form of Shiva that normally has his left foot raised, has his right foot raised in this temple. According to the legend, this is on the request of the Rajasekara Pandya king who asked the Lord to change his position, as he felt that always keeping a single foot raised will pose enormous stress on that, based on his personal experiments in dancing.
This massive Nataraja sculpture is enclosed in a huge silver altar and hence called Velli Ambalam (Silver abode). Outside the Shrine, lies huge scultptures carved of single stone and there is a shrine for a giant Ganesh temple, called the Mukuruny Vinayakar. This idol is believed to have been found during an excavation process to dig the temple lake. The Meenkashi shrine is on the left of the Shiva shrine and is of scultpturally less valuable than the Shiva shrine.
The lake Potramarai
Potramarai Kulam, the sacred pond measuring 165 ft (50 m) by 120 ft (37 m), inside the temple is a very holy site for the devotees and people go around the lake before entering the main shrine. The etymology for the word means, the Pond with the Golden Lotus and as the lotus that grows in it has a golden color. According to the legend, Lord Shiva promised to a stork that no fish or other marine life would grow here and thus no marine animals are found in the lake. In the Tamil legends, the lake is supposed to be a judge for judging a worth of a new literature. Thus, authors place their works here and the poorly written works are supposed to sink and the scholastic ones are supposed to float.
Thousand Pillar Hall
Thousand Pillar hall of Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple was built with the oldest Nellaiappar Temple,Tirunleveli as a model. The Aayiram Kaal Mandapam or thousand pillar hall is of very high sculptural importance and contains 985 (instead of 1000) magnificiently carved pillars and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The thousand pillar hall is supposed to have been built by Arya Natha Mudaliyar, the Prime Minister of the first Nayaka of Madurai (1559-1600 A.D.), the founder of 'Poligar System'. An equestrian statue of the Mudaliyar flanks one side of the steps leading to the 'mandapam'. Each pillar is sculptured and is a monument of the Dravidian sculpture. There is a Temple Art Museum in this 1000 pillars hall where you can see icons, photographs, drawings, etc., exhibiting the 1200 years old history. Just outside this mandapam, towards the west, are the Musical Pillars. Each pillar, when struck, produces a different musical note. The kalyana mandapa, to the south of the pillared hall, is where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated every year during the Chithirai Festival in mid-April.