Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu is situated at a distance of 427 km from Bangalore. Often known as the Athens of the East, the city comprises of a number of temples and historical monuments. Madurai has a rich historical background in the sense that Lord Shiva himself performed sixty-four wonders called “Thiruvilaiyadals”. Meenakshi Temple is the most famous and key attraction of Madurai having 12 massive gopurams. The oldest city of India is its existence since about 4th century B.C. and also finds mentions in the ancient texts of Arabs, Greeks and Romans.
The city of Madurai experiences a tourist influx almost round the year though the best time of visit is during the winters between October to March. Given its location, the summers are usually dry and hot but the place experiences rainfall almost round the year. So, one cannot predict when the rains can cool down the weather.
How to Reach
The city has got good connectivity with all the means of transport. The international/domestic airport is equipped with all facilities and is situated about 15 km away from the main city.
Trains are the major mode of entry into the city with the railway station centrally located. the rail head connects Madurai to all the major cities of India.
The city is well connected by road to all the cities of Tamil Nadu as well as the neighboring states of Kerala and Karnataka.
Meenakshi Temple is the main attraction of Madurai and has 12 massive gopurams in the temple. The golden lotus pond (Potraamarai Kulam) is located to the left of the Meenakshi shrine.
Koodal Alagar Temple has three altars, one on top of the other, in which Lord Vishnu is in three different poses: sitting, standing, and reclining. Above the shrine of this deity are the altars of Sri Ranganathar, in a reclining pose, and Sri Surya-narayan Perumal, in a standing pose.
Mariamman Theppakulam has a huge tank known as Mariamman tank which is at the eastern end of the city. There is a mandapam in the centre of the tank enshrining Lord Vigneswara.
Tirupparangundram Temple has a wide range of Hindu gods carved on the walls. The Subramanya cave temple has a shrine dedicated to Durga, with the figures of Ganesh and Subramanya on either side. This temple is believed to be one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.
Alagarkoil is one of the most ancient temples in India and around the temple are ruins of an ancient fortified town.
Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal is the most imposing remnant with a huge Audience hall opening into a countryard with elaborately ornamented arches.
Gandhi Museum has a picture gallery, personal memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi, a library and an exhibition of South India handicrafts and village industries.
Pazhamudir cholai houses one of the most sacred temples of Lord Muruga. Also near Madurai is another of the Aarupadai Veedu shrines, Tirupparamkunram . The other five temples in the Arupadai Veedu are: Tiruparamkundram Subramanya
Swami Temple, Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple, Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy Temple, Tiruthani Subramanya Swamy Temple, Thiruchendur Senthil Andavar Temple .
Kodaikkanal hill station is a very beautiful place near Madurai. Vaigai Dam is an impressive dam on the River Vaigai which is 69 km from Madurai and on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary near Andipatti. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned as the natural habitat for the Indian elephant among other wild animals.
Courtallam is an excellent health resort and is also known as the ‘Spa of the South’. Palani Temple attracts many devotees during the festivals of Panguni Uthiram and Aadi Krithikai and people coming to Madurai do not miss visiting Palani.
Suruli Falls is located in a picturesque area. It is an ideal spot and an excellent picnic spot to spend one day. Ramakrishna Mutt has a branch in Madurai. Yoga classes are conducted here.
Srivilliputhur Temple is decorated with carvings from the scriptures. The chariot festival every year attracts a large number of devotees. Vandiyur Kanmoy Tourist Complex is an ideal picnic spot.
Megamalai tea estates are nestled on the slopes of the Western Ghats. This lovely place is bound to capture your imagination.
There are also many churches that are worth visiting: Web Memorial Church, Rosary Church, St. Mary’s Church, West Gate Church, YMCA Church, Maninagaram Church and Lutheran Church.
The various Mosques are: South Gate Pallivasal, South Masi Street Sait Pallivasal, Sangam Pallivasal near the Vaigai Bridge and Goripalayam Pallivasal.
Pongal or the Harvest Festival is celebrated here with great pomp and splendor in January from 13 to 16.
Madurai city is famous for its textile industry since long. So, the best items to purchase here are readymade garments, fabrics and sarees.
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