Madurai, Tamil Nadu’s cultural capital, is one of India’s oldest continuously inhabited cities It was renowned as the ‘Lotus City’ because it was designed and constructed in the form of a lotus and was dominated for the longest time in its history by Pandya kings. Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, is well-known in Madurai.
It is one of the most significant ancient monuments dedicated to Lord Muruga (Karthikeya) and is situated about 8 kilometers from the city on a hilltop. With trade ties to ancient Rome, the area has a rich cultural heritage. Madurai has heritage walks throughout the day, with bustling bazaars and fantastic street food. Madurai plays an important role in promoting the Tamil language and culture.
Madurai is however recognized as “India’s Sleepless City” because more than 30% of the population is sleep-deprived. This is due to the fact that there are always activities going on throughout the day and night. It is also referred to as “Thoonga Nagaram,” which translates to “The Ever-Awakened City.”
Best time: October to march
Madurai Places To Visit
MEENAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE
The historic Meenakshi Amman temple is situated in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, on the south coast of the Vaigai River. Meenakshi Temple is dedicated virtual to Parvati, also known as Meenakshi, and Shiva, her husband. The fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together distinguishes this temple from the others.
The most outstanding element of the temple is its enchanting pretense, which integrates fine details and great artworks into the walls and pillars. The Meenakshi Amman temple complex was built according to Shilpa Shastra and includes 14 gateway towers or ‘gopurams,’ golden ‘vimanas,’ holy sanctums, and shrines dedicated to the revered Goddess Meenakshi, and many others. It is a popular tourist destination, with thousands of devotees visiting the shrine every day.
Timings: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
THIRUMALAI NAYAKAR PALACE
Thirumalai Nayakar Palace was built in Madurai by King Thirumalai Nayak in 1636 AD. The palace is an excellent example of a fusion of Dravidian and Rajput styles. This palace was declared a national monument after independence and remains one of the most spectacular monuments in Southern India to this day. The magnificent palace is located near the well-known Meenakshi Amman Temple. It was constructed during the rule of the Nayak Dynasty and is in the Saracenic architectural style. It is universally perceived as the Madurai Nayak Dynasty’s highly esteemed monument.
Light and sound show at Thirumalai:
English show: 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM
Tamil show: 8:00 PM – 8:50 PM
Show charges: Adults: INR 50,
Entry Timings: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Adults: INR 10,
Kids: INR 5,
Foreigners: INR 50,
Still Camera: INR 30,
Video Camera: INR 100
The Vaigai Dam, a splendid man-made structure, is built across the Vaigai River. Over the years, the location has become a popular picnic spot because it is beautifully illuminated in the evenings, particularly on weekends, and one can spend hours admiring the magnificent view. The soft and warm sunrises by the reservoir are also worth seeing.
The massive dam was built in 1959 and is often referred to as the region’s lifeline, as the area has grown by leaps and bounds as a result of its waters. Vaigai Dam is the primary source of water for drinking and irrigation in Madurai and thus has significant strategic and political significance.
Timings: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
The Gandhi Memorial Museum commemorates and pays tribute to the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi, our nation’s father. It is one of the few Gandhi Museums in the country, having been founded in 1959 in his memory, eleven years after his death. The museum, which is located in the heart of Madurai, houses a wealth of remarkable mementos associated with Indian histories, such as the bloodstained cloth Gandhi was wearing when he was assassinated in 1948. It is one of the nation’s five major Gandhi Museums, portraying Gandhi’s existence and India’s rebellion from 1757 to 1947.
The Gandhi Memorial Museum in Madurai is one of the United Nations Organization’s Peace Museums Worldwide.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:45 PM (Closed on Friday)
Entry Fee: No entry fee,
Camera: INR 50
KOODAL AZHAGAR TEMPLE
The Koodal Azhagar Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and located in the heart of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, is a unique and famous temple of historical significance built in the Dravidian style of architecture and supposedly built by the Pandyas. Koodal is another name for Madurai, and Azhagar means ‘beautiful one’ in Tamil, referring to Vishnu as Koodal Alagar and his consort Lakshmi as Mathuravalli. The majestic temple imposes itself in the eyes of the beholder, beautifully sculpted and carved by adding different shades of color. Thousands of pilgrims come here every day, but especially during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May – June) to pray
ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL
St Maryês Cathedral is a gothic-style catholic church on Madurai’s East Veli Street. The eye-catching architecture is a mash-up of European, Continental, and Roman styles. The statue of the Virgin Mary inside is dressed in a saree. Throughout the year, the church sees a steady influx of visitors.
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