The second largest city of Tamil Nadu, Madurai has remained a major center for Tamil culture and learning. Famous for its Meenakshi Sundareswara Temple, Madurai is one of the oldest cities of Tamil Nadu. If you are keen to visit a place that has a glorious past and a busy present with great temples that flaunt the architectural brilliance of the artisans, you need to be in Madurai. Dominated by a medieval temple and an economy increasingly driven by IT, Madurai is famous by several names - Koodal nagaram (City of Junctions), Malligai maanagar (City of Jasmine), Koil maanagar (Temple city), Thoonga nagaram (City that never sleeps) and Naanmada koodal (junction of four towers, that refers here to the four major temples that Madurai was known for) among others.


Tourists from around the world visit Madurai to witness the architectural beauty of the city. The city attracts travelers because of its various religious destinations and the fact that it is a cultural hotspot. Madurai is the erstwhile capital of Pandyan dynasty and is also known for its festivals. The 10 day annual festival of Meenakshi Tirukalyanam is celebrated during April-May and attracts a million visitors.

A popular attraction here is the Meenakshi Temple, which is a must visit temple in South India. The city of Madurai was apparently built around the Shiva Lingam that’s inside the temple’s sanctrum. The temple houses a 1,000 pillared hall, temple art museum, holy golden lotus tank, musical pillars, stalls selling everything from plastic toys to bronze images of the Goddess, and many smaller shrines.

The beautiful city also serves as the gateway to hill stations like Kodaikanal and Munnar and to the famous wildlife hot spot Periyar National Park.

Living up to its status of the city that never sleeps, various hotels, shops and markets in Madurai are open 24*7. Unlike other pilgrimage towns, restaurants in Madurai also serve non-vegetarian food. Food Joints serving authentic Iyengar style meals and breakfast can also be found easily in the city. Taking about savories, Madurai's wholesale banana market is a fascinating place to visit. Apparently, 16 varieties of bananas are sold there!

Around 20 minutes southwest to Madurai is Thiruparankundram, where you can find one of the city’s impressive ancient temples dedicated to Hindu God Murugan. The top of Thiruparankundram hill houses a 14th century grave shrine of the Islamic saint Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badhusha. The interesting part about the grave shrine is that it has been taken care by a single family generation after generation.

Madurai can also be termed as shoppers’ heaven. Take a walk through the spacious Puthu Mandapam, a 17th century pillared entrance hall opposite the Meenakshi Temple's east tower, and you can spot rows of tailors and stalls selling fabric, scarves, jewellery, fashion accessories, handicrafts, and art work. You can get good quality clothes, including decent replicas.

Best time to visit Madurai
The city has a hot and dry climate for most part of the year. Therefore, the best time to visit Madurai is between October to March. These months serve as the perfect time for temple visits, sightseeing and vacationing.

How to reach Madurai
By Air - Madurai Airport is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights.
By Train – The nearest railway stations to Madurai are Madurai Junction, Kudalnagar, Tirupparangundram. You can easily get regular trains to Madurai from other major cities of the country.
By Road - There are regular buses from other major cities of the country to Madurai.


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