Meenakshi Amman Temple – Temple Tanks
Porthamarai Kulam (Pond with Golden Lotus):
The sacred temple tank Porthamarai Kulam ("Pond with the golden lotus"), is 165 ft (50 m) by 120 ft (37 m) in size. In the Tamil legends, the lake is supposed to judge the worth of a new piece of literature. Authors place their works here and the poorly written works are supposed to sink and the scholastic ones are supposed to float, Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar was one such work.
Only a fraction of 17th and 18th century paintings of Nayak period survives and one such portion is found in the small portico on the western side of the tank. It depicts the marriage of Sundareswarar and Meenakshi attended by Vijayaranga Chokkanatha and Rani Mangammal.
The painting is executed on a vivid red background, with delicate black line work and large areas of white, green and ochre. The celestial couple is seated inside an architectural frame with a flowering tree in the background.
It was in this pond that the Golden Lotus for Indra to perform his pooja bloomed. This pond is also known as Adhi Theertham, Sivaganga and Uthama Theertham. This pond is situated within the temple complex. This theertham was created by Lord Sivaperuman by thrusting his Soolam (three pronged spear) into the earth in deference to the plea of Nandhi Devar and other deities.
It was here, that the plank of Sangam appeared and established greatness of the moral text called Thirukkural. It was here that Chokkalingam was found by the grace of the Lord, by the first Guru of Dharmapura Adheenam and Saint Srilasri Guru Gnanasambandar. In keeping with the boons granted by the Lord to a stork, upto this date neither fish or other lives are found in this miraculous sacred pond. Since this theertham was created before all other Theerthams it is called Adhi Theertham and because it is much greater importance than all other Theerthams, it is also called Parama Theertham as Gnana Theertham because it confers prosperity on all who bathe in it.
As it grants heavenly abode it is also called Mukthi Theertham and as Sivaganga because the water from Ganga from the head of Lord Siva confluences with it and as Uthama Theertham because of its purity than any other theertham.
If the devotees bathe in the waters of this pond of Golden Lotus on Amavasya (new moon) day, the first day of the month, days of eclipse and other auspicious days and worship the Lord, they will be blessed with all their aspirations for success.
Ezhu Kadal (Seven seas):
According to legend, in deference to the plea of Godess Thadathagai, the Lord summoned the seven seas for Kanchanamalai..
This is also called Valaiveesi Theppakulam. This is another holy theertham situated at Ellis Nagar.
Legend has it that the Lord ordained River Ganga to flood in the area in order to slake the thirst of Gundodaran. This river is also known as Poompunal Aru, Vaiyai, Poyyakulakodi, Sivagangai, Sivagnana Theertham and Vegavathi.
Kiruthamalai, another theertham is a tributary of Vaigai River.
The Theppakulam was constructed by Thirumalai Nayakkar in 1645, about three kilometers east of the temple. Every year on the day of Thaipoosam Godess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar are taken in procession on a decorated float on this lake, when they bless the devotees. This is one of the famous festivals of Madurai.
Purathotti Nirmaliya Theertham:
This is a theertham on the second corridor of the Swamy temple.