Here are Shiva, the great one, and his consort Meenaksji, avatar of Parvati, the power of love and beauty. She is made of green stone standing with her leg bent, raising with one hand a lotus on which a green parrot sits. He is a stone phallus, a lingam, shaded under a stone cobra hood. His embossed metal feet are carried each evening to Meenaksji’s bed chamber where they spend the night. The tops of the ornate towers above the sanctums of Meenakshi and Sundaresvara are gilded with gold. Elsewhere, polychrome deities, devils, and dancers rise above fourteen colorful statue-encrusted gateways at the sides of the inner and outer walls.
Cut into the sandstone, a shrine for Shiva reflects the surrounding Dhauladhar mountains with a main spire and symmetric subsidiary spires. Four entrances, large hall and portico, before a sacred pool, largely destroyed by earthquakes and time.
Two hundred forty temples including a main temple rising one hundred fifty-four feet tall were reduced to a mountain of stones by earthquakes, centuries of neglect, and theft of sculptures and stones for garden ornaments and construction material.