Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India



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Places to Visit in Madurai

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About Madurai

Madurai is the cultural capital and third largest city of Tamil Nadu. With a history that dates more than 2500 years, Madurai is the epicentre of the religious and pilgrimage tourism in India. Located on the banks of the River Vaigai, the city has several historical monuments. With the world-famous Meenakshi Amman Temple at its centre, Madurai resembles a lotus with the surrounding streetsforming its petals.

 

Madurai remained a prominent hub for economic activities throughout the Pandya and Chola Kingdoms before becoming a province under the Tughlaks. Several vibrant historical monuments built in the Dravidian-style architecture are a reminder of the remarkable history of Madurai. The culturally rich city of Madurai tourism attracts more than 1 million tourists from all over the world throughout the year. 

 

Madurai has well-connected transportation services from the rest of the country. The National Highways NH-7, NH-49, NH-208, and NH-45B pass through Madurai. The Madurai Railway Junction has regular train services to and from major cities of India like Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, etc. The Madurai International Airport provides connectivity through several domestic and a limited number of international cities. 

 

Best Places to Visit in Madurai

 Madurai is among the very beautiful places to visit in Tamil Nadu. As we told you it's a cultural capital of Tamil Nadu, let's explore the best places to visit in Madurai. 

 

1. Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple

Named after the goddess Parvati, the Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most famous temples in South India. The historical Shiva temple extends in over 14 acres on the southern bank of the Vaigai River. Although references to the temple date back to the 7th century, the current structure was constructed in the 17th century. The Dravidian-style architecture of the 160-feet tall temple has hand-carved art-pieces in its walls and pillars. The thousand-pillar hall of the temple is world-renowned for its architectural brilliance.

 

2. Gandhi Museum

Established in 1959, The Gandhi Memorial Museum revisits the moments from the struggle of the Indian freedom movement. Housed in a 17th-century palace, the museum is one of the few Gandhi Museums in the country and pays tribute to the Father of the Nation. The galleries at the museum depict the progress of India's struggle for freedom from the British through graphical representation. The most prominent memorabilia of the museum is the blood-stained cloth worn by Mahatma Gandhi during his assassination in 1948. Other highlights of the Gandhi Museum include the collection of 124 rare photographs from his personal life and his visual biography.

 

3. Vaigai Dam

Constructed on the River Vaigai in 1959, the magnificent Vaigai Dam is one of the most popular Madurai tourist places. The dam lies about 70 km from Madurai on the way to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Over the years, the 111 feet tall Vaigai Dam has become a favourite picnic spot for travellers. Picturesque hills on one side and the Vaigai River on the other present a breath-taking view, especially during sunrise. The beautiful Little Brindavan garden alongside the dam has a splendid collection of exotic flowers and plants that calls for a once in a lifetime experience for nature lovers. Play areas for children in the pristine environment and evening illumination in the garden are key attractions of the Vaigai Dam.

 

4. Samanar Hills

Located around 8 km from the city centre, Samanar Hills offer seclusion and solitude from the bustling city life. These hills are famous for Jain caves that date more than 2000 years and have exquisite carvings and sculptures. You can trek up the Samanar Hill to get a magnificent view of the Madurai City. Other key attractions of this spot are the lotus pond and an ancient natural fountain.

 

5. Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal

Constructed in the year 1636 by the King Thirumalai Nayak, the magnificent palace showcases the perfect mixture of Dravidian and Rajput architectural style. Designated as a national monument post-independence, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal is an architectural marvel of Southern India. The unique architecture of the palace and its giant pillars often leave the visitors in awe.