Location: Madurai district, Tamil Nadu
Summers: 370 C (Maximum), 260 C (Minimum)
Winters: 290 C (Maximum), 200 C (Minimum)
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Nearest Airport: Madurai Airport
Nearest Railhead: Madurai Junction
Must Visits: Meenakshi-Sundareswar Temple, Gandhi Museum, Goripalayam Dargah, St. Mary's Cathedral Church and Koodal Azhagar Koil
Language Spoken: Tamil, Sourashtra, English, Hindi
STD Code: 0452
Popularly known as "Athens of East", Madurai is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in India. Madurai is situated at the banks of River Vaigai in Madurai district. This city has numerous other names such as City of Four Junctions (Koodal Maanagar), Cultural Center of Tamil Nadu (Kalaachaara Thalainagar), City of Jasmine (Malligai Maanagar), Sleepless City (Thoonga Nagaram) and The City of Festivals (Thiruvizha nagaram). The city got its name from Sanskrit word "Mathura", which means "sweetness". Madurai has had a long and impressive history. Megasthenes referred this city in his book called Indica. After his visit in 3rd century B.C., many other Roman and Greek travelers visited Madurai and established trade with the Pandya Kings. Madurai remained the capital of Pandyas till 10th century when it is captured by the Cholas. Pandyas regained control of the city in 13th century, after which the city became prosperous again. Madurai played a significant role in the Indian independence movement. Post independence, the city expanded radically, and became an important city in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Madurai city is spread in an area of 109 square kilometers, with the average elevation being at 101 meters above sea level. The climate of Madurai is mostly hot and dry, with rainfall in the month of October, November and December. Topographically, Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple lies in the center of the city, with the whole city being built in shape of a lotus around it. The streets of Madurai are rectangular in shape and are named after Tamil months. The streets of Madurai are always bustling with people, day and night. Many small and big dining establishments like the small tea shops and roadside restaurants remain open well past midnight. What's more, the transport system is also unique In Madurai as it remains functional 24 hours. This rightly proves as to why Madurai is popularly tagged as the 'Sleepless City'. Automobiles, rubber, granite, IT, retail and electronics are important economic sectors in Madurai. Madurai is also the learning centre of the region; the famous Madurai Kamraj University being situated here.
Madurai is also known as the 'City of Temples'. The prestigious temples include Meenakshi-Sundareswar Temple, Thirupparankundram Temple, Koodal Azhagar Perumal Temple, Madhana Gopala Swamy Temple and Vandiyur Mariyamman temple. Meenakshi-Sundareswar Temple is one of the greatest Shiva temples in south and also one of the greatest cultural landmarks in the country. Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal is another famous tourist attraction in Madurai. It was built in year 1636 and is now a national monument. Gandhi Museum is another noteworthy place. Earlier popular as Rani Mangamma's Palace, it was later renewed and converted into a museum. This museum holds the original blood stained garment wore by Mahatma Gandhi on the day of his assassination. There are many other famous tourist attractions and landmarks in Madurai. This list includes Kazimar Big Mosque (Periya pallivasal) and Maqbara, Thiruparankundram, Goripalayam Dargah, St. Mary's Cathedral Church and Koodal Azhagar Koil. Madurai also has a water theme park, Athisayam, located at the outskirts of the city. Other places that are worth a visit in the city are the Rajaji Children Park, Eco Park and Hawa Valley.
Best Time To Visit Madurai
Southern India's oldest city and home to the mind-blowing Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai remains crowded with travelers, tradesman and tramps all throughout. This animated town, bustling with baroque temples and commercial activities, has been rightly conferred the tag of "Athens of the East." Located right in the heart of the city is the awe-inspiring Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple,
History Of Madurai
With centuries old history attached to its name, the ancient city of Madurai throbs with many interesting legacies, some of them dating back to the 3rd century Sangam era. Erstwhile home to the mighty Pandyan kings, Madurai has been the political and cultural seat to several Indian dynasties. Most of the exquisite structural designs,
How To Reach Madurai
This holiday, skip the beaches and the hills and make your way to Madurai, an all-time favorite destination for the historians and even the itinerants, willing to spend a few days exploring the grandeur of South India. If you are traveling to Tamil Nadu, then a stopover at Madurai is highly recommended. This old town has won quite a distinction for its slew of temples and is chiefly feted for its Sri Meenakshi Temple.
Places To Visit Madurai
If you want to delve deep into the religious and cultural cornucopia of India, then Madurai is your one-stop destination. One of the oldest existing Indian cities, Madurai is wadded with several awe-inspiring structures that overruns with rich historical legacy.
Shopping In Madurai
Madurai, an ancient Indian city firmly rooted in heritage and age-old customs, is every tourist's delight. Dotted with several ancient temples, the place boasts of many star attractions. Busy markets and streets stocked up with readymade garments, brassware, handicrafts and stone carvings offers a riveting shopping experience to the people here.