One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.
The Pandyan King Kulasekarar built a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers.
Main attraction of Madurai:
This is the most distinguished among the tourist attractions in Madurai and is a living memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. This museum houses photos, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, quotations, and some articles that were used by him.
It is also among one of the many things to watch in Madurai and is located at a distance of 5 km to the east of Meenakshi temple. There is a tank having an idol of Vinayaka which is located on a platform in the centre. It is also a venue of the temple's annual Teppakulam float festival which is celebrated with huge zeal and excitement.
Tirupparankundram is famous for the Pandyan rock-cut shrines that date back to the 8th century that later came to be known as the Nayaka Hindu temple. You will find a wide range of Hindu deities carved on the walls on your visit to this temple. Located on the top a hill, people believe that it is one of six abodes of Lord Subramanya.
How to reach Madurai:
If you are traveling by air, it is very convenient to reach Madurai. The city is well connected to all the major cities of the nation. There are daily flights to Madurai from Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchi and Coimbatore. Madurai Airport is just 10 km away from the city.
Madurai falls on the Madurai-Tiruchirappalli-Dindigul-Quilon line. It is an important railway junction of the southern railway, directly connected to Chennai and Tirunelveli via railway lines. The fastest train on the route is the Vaigai Express, a super-fast day train between Chennai Egmore and Madurai. It just takes 7 hours to cover a distance of 495 km.
Madurai city is well connected to all the parts of South India. There is an excellent bus service at regular intervals, which facilitates comfortable journey. Madurai city has 5 major bus stands, from where you can get bus to most of the cities of Tamil Nadu as well as the neighboring states.