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Nowhere is the great antiquity of Tamil culture more apparent than within the walled temple at Madurai, home of the ‘Fish-Eyed’ Goddess, Meenakshi, and her consort, Sundeshwar. The pillared halls and sanctums inside the complex form a world apart whose traditions have been upheld faithfully since the Greek ambassador, Megasthenes, visited in the 3rd century BC. Venture out to the whale-backed outcrop at Thiruparakundram, on the southern fringes of town, for an unforgettable view of the temple’s gateway towers and distant Palani hills.