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Ancient Rainwater Harvesting System of Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

The devotees and tourists who visit the Meenakshi temple are often mesmerized by it’s towering gopurams (gates) and beautiful stone carvings. But very few are aware that the temple has a fully functional ancient rainwater harvesting system installed when it was built.

Meenakshi Amman temple located in Madurai city, Tamil Nadu state of India, is believed to have been built by Kulsekara Pandya in the year 1190 CE, but could very well be much older than this. It is known for the hall of thousand pillars (aayiram kaal mandapam) and 33,000 sculptures. Interestingly, the rain-drain pipes are also camouflaged as pillars and hardly visible to the eyes of a dilettante.  In the picture below you can see a rain-drain pipe.

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