Madurai, the city of Nectar is located in the south of Tamil
Nadu. It is the second largest city in the state of Tamil
Nadu. It is also considered as an important cultural and commercial centre of Tamil
Nadu. Madurai is located on the banks of the river Vaigai. Madurai is bounded on the north by the district of
Dindigul, on the east by Sivagangai, on the west by Theni and south by
Virudhunagar. Madurai is situated at an altitute of 100.58 meters above the sea level and covers an area of 3741.73 square km. Madurai city has 3 hills as its city boundary mainly,
Yanaimalai, Nagamalai, Pasumalai named after Elephant, Snake and Cow respectively. The city has been called the "Athens of the East" because of its great architecture and meticulous planning, comparable to that of the
History of Madurai
It was a fall from eternal glory to deep abyss for Madurai
when the Tamil Kingdoms disintegrated, and its wealth was
plundered by the ravaging armies of Delhi's Muslim rulers.
In 1311, it was raided by Malik Kafur, the general of
Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. In 1371, the Muslim rule of
Madurai was put to an end by the Vijayanagar rulers who
annexed the city to their Kingdom. . The Governors
appointed to rule Madurai were called Nayaks or Naiks, and
it was during their rule that the city regained some of
its past glory. When the Vijayanagar empire collapsed in
1565, the Nayaks proclaimed themselves rulers of the
territories they governed. According to a different
theory, the name Madurai is actually a transformation of
the Tamil word "Marudhai", which means a fertile
agricultural land with alluvial soil. Many natives
continue to refer to the city as Marudhai. According to
some legends, Madurai is the actual site where the wedding
between Shiva and Meenakshi took place.
Attractions in Madurai
The major tourist attraction in Madurai is the famous
Meenakshi temple, dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi.
Madurai has many other famous temples besides the world
famous Meenakshi temple. Today, this splendid temple is
also known for its imposing gopurams that soar over the
city. This temple, which is the centre of social and
religious activity, attracts thousands of visitors every
year from all over the world. It is noted for its
marvelous hall of a thousand pillars – all of which are
elaborately sculpted. A set of musical pillars carved out
of a single block of granite that emit melodic notes when
tapped, splendid mandaps and a large temple tank are all
part of the huge complex. Another major attraction in
Madurai is the Thirumalai Nayak Palace. This palace was
built in the Indo-Saracenic style by the Nayak rulers of
Madurai in 1636 AD.
Festivals in Madurai
Some of the festivals which are celebrated in Madurai are the Teppam Festival, Meenakshi Kalyanam Festival.Teppam Festival is the most famous annual Float festival which is celebrated at Madurai. In this festival the images of Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara are mounted on floats, and taken to Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank, where for several days they are pulled back and forth across the water in the middle of the tank, on an illuminated raft embellished with flowers, before being taken back to the main temple.
Meenakshi Kalyanam Festival Meenakshi Kalyanam Festival is one of the most spectacular temple festival in Madurai. This festival is celebrated on account of the marriage of Meenakshi with Lord Sundareshwar (Shiva).
How to get here
Madurai is well connected by air to Chennai, Mumbai,
Bangalore, Tiruchirapalli and Calicut.
Madurai is also well connected by rail to all the major towns in South India. Madurai has direct rail connections to
Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kollam, Chennai, Rameshwaram,
Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tirupathi and
There are excellent roads which connect Madurai to all parts of South India.