Madurai Information

     Madurai is called as a temple city which is enriched by lot of temples with monumental works and it is flourishing by the scared river Vaigai. It is the greatest attraction and admiration for every tourist who visits the South India.

Madurai is considered as the 'Athens of the East'.

     It is the ancient home of Tamil culture considered as the second largest city in Tamil Nadu and it is the seat of the famous temple dedicated to Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar.  Madurai is a charming city and it is one of the India’s most ancient cities with a history dating back to the 6th century BC. It is the capital of the Pandiyan Empire till the 14th century AD.

     Madurai is also called as the seat of the Tamil learning; the last of the three Tamil Sangams (Academies) flourished here nearly 2000 years ago.  They are the glowing tributes which were given by the bards and poets.

      The Tamil literature flourished due to the kings, nobles and poets who dwelled in this part of the ancient Tamil Nadu. According to mythologies and history, this is the oldest city of Tamil Nadu. Ramayana and Arthasasthra the great epics had something to do with Madurai. It was spell under the Cholas till the Muslim invasion by Malik Kafur (1290 -1320 A.D.) and it was ruled by the Pandyas. Afterwards, it came under Vijayanagar rule and their governors, the Nayaks from 1371. The Nayaks ruled over 200 years and their reign is the “Golden Age” when Madurai was at its height in art, architecture and learning. 

      Madurai had trade links with Rome and Greece and was the major trade center in the early periods. Great travelers and traders like megasthenes, Pliny and Ptolemy visited this glorious city. Even Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta also visited this place.

      The name Madurai is associated with ‘Maduram’ which means honey. When Lord Siva came here to marry Devi Meenakshi, few drops of honey fell from his locks and therefore it is named as Madurapuri, this land of honey was shortened later as Madurai. 

      In Madurai Lord Shiva and Sakthi incarnated themselves as immortal and in mortal views according to their miracles. Goddess Sakthi herself reigned as the Pandiyan princess and married Lord Shiva who already performed 64 majestic performances to render his victory. It admired and attracted the mind and soul of his devotees. 

Madurai General Information

At present, Madurai is an interesting and it is possible for handloom industries, textile mills and thriving commercial centres. The Kamaraj University is one of the most famous University in India it is also located in Madurai.

     The View of art galleries and amazing towers is a cluster of small and large ones; according to the sculptor’s mind they have sculptured the statues which are most wonderful and it arrests the attention of the visitors. Amidst the Verdure of the smiling landscape and its performance is capturing the concentration of the people even from the distance.  

      Madurai is special due to vast growth and the sweet smelling, fragrant jasmine flowers. The city is well connected by air, rail, and road transport. Madurai is the headquarters of the district. There are four main bus stands namely Mattuthavani, Arappalayam, Periyar, and Anna bus stand.

Climate

Madurai has the typical climate of the rest of the Deccan Plateau.  Climate of this city is very hot and humid.  May is the hottest month in summer.  We can wear flimsy cottons in these seasons.  The winter is very cold during the months of December, January and February.

History

Madurai is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and it is about 2500 years of old.  Its origin and name emerge from a misty and lovely legend.  Madurai is the temple city and it is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu of South India. It was an important cultural and commercial center even as early as 550AD.  It was the capital city of the great Pandya kings.  This sacred town attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors from India and abroad. 

Madurai Tourism Informatiion

Meenakshi Amman Temple

     Meenakshi Amman Temple is an exquisite example of temples built by the Pandiyan rulers. There are 11 amazing and exciting towers with the main entrance from the East. There are two divine shrines; one is dedicated to Sundareswarar (Shiva) and the other to his consort Meenakshi.  The hall in front of Shivan Sannithi is known as Kambatthadi Mandapam. The different manifestations of Lord Shiva are depicted on the pillars of this hall.

      The hall of thousand pillars is the most interesting feature.  This remarkable structure was built in the 16th century. The outer enclosures are covered by the musical pillars each pillar sounds with a different note when struck. The pillars have a repeated motif of the stylized dragon.

Golden Lotus Tank

     A pillared portico surrounds the sacred Potramaraikulam (Golden Lotus Tank).  According to our tradition; Indra bathed in tank; in order to purify himself of his sin and worshipped Lord Shiva with golden Lotus flowers picked from this tank.  According to legend, this tank was once used to judge the merits of “Tamil Literary works”. The Art Gallery of this temple is wonderful and exciting.

Thirumalai Nayaker Mahal

     In the style of Indo Saracenic; this imposing palace was built in the year 1636 by the Nayak rulers.  The stucco work on its domes and arches are very interesting and they are catching our eyes by its attraction.  There are two pavilions; they are Swarga Vilasam and Renga Vilasam. The celestial pavilion is an arcaded octagon and it is made up of brick and mortar without a single girder or rafter support.

Vandiyoor Mariamman Temple

     It’s an wonderful and nicely constructed tank on the outskirts of Madurai city. A bright and colorful float festival is held in this tank every year on “Thaipoosam day” which attract our mind and eyes.  During the month of January - February.

Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank

Vandiyur Mariamman Temple to its north, the gigantic Teppakulam tank (4km east of the centre of Madurai on NH-49) is one of South India's largest man-made temple tanks.  It is also the setting for one of Madurai's biggest events, the Float Festival, celebrated in the month of Thai (Jan-Feb).  This unique ritual was started in the 17C by King thirumalai Nayak as part his birthday celebrations.  The 335*290m/1100ft*950ft area was excavated to make bricks for building the Thirumalai Nayak Palace and was later converted into a stepped tank fed by the Vaigai River through a network of underground channels.  Twelve rows of granite steps lead to the tank, which has an island pavilion in the centre with a garden shrine dedicated to Lord Vinayaka.

The legendary Float festival sees thousands of people gathering to take Madurai's presiding deities, Lord Sundareshwarar and Goddess Meenakshi, on a royal boat ride around the tank.  The procession idols are brought in a palanquin at dawn, placed on a bedecked theppa (float or raft) and slowly tugged in circles round a specially built pavilion in the kulam(tank).  The deities are placed in th central shrine until evening and ferryboats take people to and fro for darshan.  At dust, oil lamps, garlands, festoons and fairy lights illuminate the place and on the final day, a dazzling display of fireworks marks the end of the festivity.

Koodal Alagar Temple

     It is an ancient Vaishnavite temple with beautiful sculptures; to the west of the city.  The lord here is in three poses sitting, standing and reclining each depicted one above the other.

Madurai Tour Information

Gandhi Museum

     Gandhi Museum contains a picture gallery, a gallery of relics, khadi and village Industries section and South Indian handicrafts section.  Working hours of this museum is (10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm) and it is open for all days. Government museum is also situated within this Gandhi Museum complex itself. Sunday and second Fridays are holidays.  The working times are same only.

Thirupparankundram

     It is located near in 8 km from Madurai. It’s a 6th century rock-cut temple dedicated to Lord Subramaniyan.  It’s one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga.  Lord Muruga married Deivanai, who is the daughter of Indra.  At the top of the hill, there is a tomb of a Muslim saint known as Sikander; so it is also considered as a Muslim pilgrimage.

Alagar Kovil

     About 18 km from Madurai this temple is located.  Sundararajar (Vishnu) temple here is at the foot of the hill.  The image of Alagar is taken in a procession to the river vaigai to participate in the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswar on Chitra Poornima day. (Alagar, according to Hindu mythology Sundararajar is the brother of Meenakshi).  This temple is surrounded by the ruins of an ancient fortified town.

Pazhamudhir Cholai

    It’s also one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanian.  It is located nearer 2km from Alagarkoil on a hill.

Madurai Information

Madurai Total Area 3,741 Sq. Km
Madurai Population 25,74,838 (2001)
Male Population
13,03,363
Female Population
12,74,838
Madurai Weather Max 37.5°C Min 20.9 °C
Madurai to Chennai 447 Km
Madurai STD Code 0452
Madurai Passport Enquiry 0452-2520794/95/96
Madurai Tourism Enquiry 0452-2742888
Madurai Airport Enquiry 0452-2671333,2670433
Madurai Railway Enquiry 0452-2743135

Madurai Photos

Thirumalai Nayak Palace Front View Madurai Tank

Entrance of Thirumalai Nayak Palace

Madurai Tank

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple Thirumalai Nayak Palace

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

Thirumalai Nayak Palace

Meenakshi Amman Temple Gopuram Thirumalai Nayak Palace Madurai

Meenakshi Amman Temple Gopuram

Thirumalai Nayak Palace Madurai