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Madurai Information

Madurai is an ancient home for Tamil culture tradition.  A pilgrimage to South India is incomplete without a visit Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple.  It is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu.  The city of Madurai is well planned and laid out in the pattern of a lotus flower with the famous Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple in the center.  It is situated on the banks if river Vaigai. << Madurai Information >>

Madurai is also called as a ‘Temple city’ which is enriched by lot of temples with monumental works.  It was the capital of the Pandiyan Empire till the 14th century AD.  It was the seat of Tamil Learning.  The last of the three Tamil sangams are flourished here nearly 2,000 years ago. 

Madurai is famous for its aesthetic flower Jasmine.  Lord Siva appeared in the form of drops of nectar (ie) Mathuram.  From his locks feel on the town and so it got the name “Madurai.” << Madurai Information >>

Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple

Sri Menakshi Sundareshwarar Temple is one of the biggest temples in India.  This is an exquisite example of temples built by the Pandyan rulers.  The original temple built by Kulasekara Pandyan was in ruins.  The plan for the current temple structure was laid by Viswanath Naicker and was completed by Thriumalai Naicker.  There are as many as 12 majestic towers with four tallest goupurams at the outer walls.  There are two shrines.  One is dedicated to Sundareshwarar who gives darshan in the form of a Linga and the other shrine was dedicated to his consort Goddess Meenakshi.  The hall in front of the Sundareswarar shrine is known as “Kampathadi Mandapam”.  The different Manifestations of Lord Siva are depicted on the Pillars of this hall. << Madurai Information >>

The hall of ‘Thousand Pillars’ is the most interesting feature.  It is an architectural and engineering marvel which is built in the 16th century.  The pillars have a repeated motif the stylized dragon.  There are musical pillars in one of the outer enclosures.  Each pillar sounds a different note when struck.

A pillared portico surrounds the sacred ‘Golden Lotus Tank’.  According to a legend, this tank was once used to judge the merits of “Tamil Literary Works.”  Manuscripts of great worth float on its discerning waters, while those lacking in merit would sink.  The Art gallery of this temple is very interesting. << Madurai Information >>

Thirumalai Naick Mahal

Thirumalai Naick palace is one of the most important and exciting place in Madurai.  This Mahal is about 1km South East of the Meenakshi Temple.  This imposing and graceful place was built in the year 1636AD in the Indo-Saracenic style by King Thirumalai Naick.

We can see the illustration and the architectural mastery of the Naick.  This palace is divided in to two parts they are Swarga Vilasam and Renga Vilasam.  The portico in front is known as Swarga Villasam which is also called as celestial Pavillion.  The place is surrounded by numerous tall pillars with  open courtyard and it is connected by highly decorative arches. << Madurai Information >>

It has a carved dome with an arcaded octagon.  It is made up of brick and mortar without the support of griders and rafters.  The stucco work on its domes and arches are very catchy to our eyes.

Kodal Alagar Temple

Kodal Alagar Temple is an ancient Vaisnavite temple with lots of wonderful sculptures.  This Vishnu temple is located about 2km in the West of the city.  The Lord Vishnu of here is in three poses; sitting, standing and reclining.  The three altars are depicted one above the other.  The main deity of this temple is “Kodal Alagar.”  This temple also belongs to one of the “108 Divya Desam temples.

Gandhi Museum

Gandhi Museum contains a picture gallery, a gallery of relics, Khadi and village industries section and South Indian handicrafts sections are also available here.  Time of working hours is about 10Am to 1 pm and 2pm to 6pm.  It is open on all days.

Government Museum

This museum is situated within the Gandhi Museum complex itself we can see the Government museum.  It was established during the 5th world Tamil conference during the year 1981.  Working hours of this museum is about 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm.  Sunday and second Fridays are holidays. << Madurai Information >>

Vandiyoor Mariamman Theppakulam

Mariamman Theppakulam was built by King Thirumalai Naick in 1636 AD.  This nicely constructed huge tank is also known as the Mariamman tank.  It is situated in the eastern end of the city and is almost equal in area to that of the Meenakshi Temple.

This tank is fed with water from the Vaigai through an ingenious system of underground channels.  A colorful float festival is held on Thai Poosam day during the January 1 February Months.

Thirupparangundram

Thirupparangundram is about 8km from Madurai.  We can see the 6th century rock cut shrines of temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya.  This temple has a wide range of Hindu Gods which are carved on the walls.  We can find the Pandyan rock cut shrines which are dating back to the 8th century. << Madurai Information >>

The Subramanya cave temple has a shrine dedicated to Durga, with the figures of Ganesh and Subramanya on the either side.  Thirupurangundram is one of the six abodes of the Lord Muruga.  It is a legend that Lord Married Deivayani, the daughter of Indra.  It is also a place of Muslim pilgrim.  There is a tomb of a Muslim saint known as Sikander at the top of the hill.

Alagar Kovil

This temple is about 18km from Madurai.  It is one of the 108 Divya Desam temples.  It is called as Alagar Hill or Alagar Kovil;

This temple is dedicated to Lord Sundarajar (Vishnu) and the hill is solamalai.  The temple is situated on a hill amidst the panoramic view of the surroundings.  It contains some of the beautiful carvings which make our visit excellent.  << Madurai Information >>

The Indian Epic Mahabharata says that this temple was visitaed by both yudhisthira and Arjuna.  It is said that Koorattalwar, the chief disciple of Ramanuja regained his eyesight by worshipping the deity here.  We can see the 2,000 year old Sudharsana Chakra in this temple.

On the Chitra Poornima day, the image of Alagar is taken in a procession to the river Vaigai to participate in the marriage of Meenakshi Sundareswarar.  According to Hindu mythology, Alagar is the brother of Meenakshi.  Around this temple and ancient fortified town is located in the ruins. 

Pazhamudhir Cholai

Pazhamudhir Cholai is about 2km from Alagar Koil.  It is in a small hillock which is also one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. << Madurai Information >>

Palani

Palani is about 122km from Madurai.  Palani is also known as Thiru Avinankudi.  It is also one of the six abodes Lord Muruga.  Here, the Lord is represented as a renunciate wearing a loincloth and he is also holding a danda.  He is known as Dandayadhapaani.  There is a winch and rope car to carry pilgrim to the hill top the river Shanmuga is also in the down of the hill.

Periyar wild life Sanctuary

This sanctuary is about 140km from Madurai.  The periyar dam was built during the end of the 19th century.  The elevation of these feet is about 2,700feet.  A visit to this wildlife sanctuary is very exciting.  We can see the wild animals roaming in their natural surroundings by the motor launch during the time of dawn or dusk. << Madurai Information >>

Other place in Madurai

Vaigam Dam is about 69km from Madurai.

Suruli waterfalls (130km).

Kumbakkarai Waterfalls (85km).

Thirupullani Pilgrim centre(120km)

How to reach

Air

Indian Airlines operates flights to Chennai, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Mumbai and some other places.

Rail

Madurai is an important railway junction on the Southern Railway.

Glance of Distances

 Chennai 460km

 Rameshwarem 165km

Kanyakumari 245km

Trichy 145km

Tirupathi 160km

Road

Madurai has a well connected road with all the major cities in Tamil Nadu. << Madurai Information >>