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A form of Devī or Pārvatī (she is also said to be the sister of Viṣṇu), Mīṉākṣī is the tutelary goddess of Madurai, a city which she rules over with her consort Sundareśvara (a form of Śiva). According to local legend, she was a queen of the Pāṇḍya dynasty whose digvijaya (conquest of the world) ended in defeat at the hands of Śiva in the Himālayas. Later he joined her in Madurai, where they were married and took up residence in the Mīṉākṣī-Sundareśvara temple. Their wedding, and Mīṉākṣī's coronation, is celebrated in the annual twelve day Chittirai festival. Other festivals celebrate Mīṉākṣī in her unmarried state, as a single goddess.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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