According to the Skanda Purana, the goddess Shakti observed 21 days of austerity to get half of the body of Lord Shiva. This vratam (austerity) is known as kedhara gowri vratam. This is the day Lord Shiva accepted Shakti into the left half of the form and appeared as Ardhanarishvara.
`The Great Goddess, known as Devi (literally `goddess`), has many guises. She is `AMMa` the gentle and approachable mother.As Jaganmatha, or Mother of the universe, she assumes cosmic proportions, destroying evil and addressing herself to the creation and dissolution of the worlds. She is worshiped by thousands of names that often reflect local customs and legends. She is one and she is many. As an expansion of this maha Shakthi, Sri Meenakshi-devi, who is the wife of Lord Sundaresvara (Lord Shiva), is worshiped for all types of benedictions. She is said to guard over
her devotees and protect them from all harm.
Sri Meenakshi was self-born from a sacrificial fire to King Malayadvaja and his queen, Kanakamanala, in Madurai . She is named Meenakshi because her eyes are compared with those of fish she never blinks and is always watching over her