BEST SEASON: September- March
LANGUAGE SPOKEN: Hindi & English
CLOTHING:Summer- Cotton & Winter- warm clothes
STD CODE: 0461
More than 2500 years old ancient city, situated on the banks of the river Vaigai Madurai is believed to have been built by the Pandyan King Kulasekara. Legend has it that drops of Maduram (nectar) fell from Lord Shiva’s locks when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai’s history can be divided into four periods, beginning over 2000 years ago, when it was the capital of the Pandyan Kings. Apart from a brief period it fell to the Cholas, Madurai remain with Pandyan till the decline of the empire. The 200 year old reign of the Natakas marked the golden era when art, architecture and learning scaled new heights.
Places to Visit
Meenakshi Amman Temple :
An excellent example of Dravidian Architecture, the Meenakshi Temple attracts devotees from all over India and Tourist from all over the world. One can climb to the southern Gopuram of the temple to get a great view of the city.
Koodal Azhaar Temple :
One of the most ancient temples in Madurai, Koodal Azhagar temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In this temple he is seen in various postures sitting, standing, reclining one over the other. There are intricate woodcarvings in here, including one of Lord Rama’s coronation.
Vandiyur Kanmoy Tourist Complex :
This is an ideal picnic spot with TTDC providing boathouses restaurants services.
Thirumalai Nayak Mahal :
This palace is an excellent example of Indo-Sarcenic architecture. It was built in 1523 AD and originally was four times larger than what it is today. The gardens, the defensive wall all have gone and what remains are the main entrance gate, the dancing hall and the main hall. Lord Napier renovated the palace in 1866-72 and later further restoration works were carried on. Today, the main attraction of the palace is light and sound show, which is based on the life of “Tirumalai Nayak” and Silapathikaram”.
Vanditur Mariamman Teppakulam :
This huge tank is covers an area equal to the six of Meenakshi temple. Tirumalai Nayak built it in 1646. It is said that channels from the Vaigai River connect the tank. Today, this tank remains empty for most of the year except during the Teppam Festival.
The Gandhi Museum :
The museum was initially the palace of Rani Mangammal. It gives a clear account of the history of Independence movement of India. This museum also tells some little known facts about Gandhiji but the real piece of Gandhi Memorabilia is the blood stained Dhoti, which he was wearing at the time of his assassination. The local government museum is also situated over here. The small bookshop offers plenty of reading material from Gandhiji’s works.
This is one of the abodes of Lord Sundareshwara, a rock cut temple carved out of a mountain, just 8-km from the city.
Azhagar Koil :
This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located 18-km northeast of Madurai on a picturesque hilltop. The gold image of Azhagar travels for the Celestial marriage during the Chithirai festival.
On the same hills of Azhagar Koilthis is again one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.
How To Get There
By Air :All Airlines connect Madurai with Chennai, Calicut and Mumbai. Vayudoot Services also connect Madurai with Madras & Pondicherry. East West Airlines also connect Madurai with Bombay.
By Rail : Madurai is connected by rail via Madras with all the main places in India.
By Road : Madurai is connected to other parts of south India by road with regular bus services plying to Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, Pondichery, etc.
* Chennai – 444 km
* Trichy – 128 km
* Thanjavur – 163 km
* Rameshwaram – 172 km
* Kochi – 270 km