One of the oldest cities in India, Madurai truly lives up to its moniker: ‘The Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu’. Madurai city welcomes both tourists and pilgrims, and has been a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers over the years. Teeming with monuments and temples from ancient eras, the city is a hotbed of history and architecture, with a story to tell in every corner. The city sits on the banks of the river Vaigai and is most well-known for the incredible Chithirai Festival, where millions of pilgrims and tourists pour in to partake in the festivities.
The Meenakshi Amman Temple and Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal are both landmarks of global repute. Madurai is built around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which acted as the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai. Many people use Madurai as a connecting point on longer travels, owing to its proximity to many popular destinations like Munnar, Kodaikanal, Rameshwaram and Kumily, but visiting Madurai is an experience in itself – one you should not miss. Here’s a list of some the amazing experiences you can enjoy when you visit Madurai!
State: Tamil Nadu
Destination Type: Heritage
Destinations Nearby: Vaigai Dam, Meghamalai
Languages: Tamil and English
Nearest Railway Station: Madurai Railway Station
Nearest Airport: Madurai Airport
Summer: March to June. Temperature ranges between 24°C to 34°C.
Monsoon: June to August. Temperature ranges between 26°C to 30°C.
Winter: December to February. Temperature ranges between 20°C and 29°C.
Dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi – a form of Parvati – the Madurai Meenakshi Temple is the outstanding feature of the ancient temple city of Madurai.
The traditional and radically different Indian alternative to the famous Spanish sport of bull fighting, Jallikattu is a sport played as a part of the celebrations during the harvest festival of Pongal.
Built in 1635, by the King Thirumalai Nayak who had the vision of creating a masterpiece of a royal residence, it was designed for the king by an Italian architect.
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Madurai, also known as the Church of Our Lady of Dolours, is one of the most popular churches not only in Madurai but also in Tamil Nadu.
Said to be the first Islamic place of worship in Madurai city, Kazimar Big Mosque was built in 13th century by a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin who had visited the city from Yemen.
Are you bananas for bananas? Then you must visit the Wholesale Banana Market in Madurai.
One of the 6 temples of the ‘Arupadaiveedu’, dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Thiruparankundram Subramaniya Swamy Temple is one of the most prominent religious shrines in south India.
A 30-minute drive from Madurai will take you to the fantastic and quaint village of Vilachery, best known as a pottery village where almost every single one of the 200 homes belongs to pottery artisans.
Looking for a gorgeous day-trip from Madurai? Look no further than Meghamalai!
Not many people know this, but the city of Madurai has played quite a role in the life of the Nation’s Father Mahatma Gandhi.
One of the six important abodes of Lord Murugan – otherwise known as the ‘Arupadaiveedu’ - the Arulmigu Solaimalai Murugan Temple is located on the Pazhamudhircholai hill, north of Madurai.
Built across the river Vaigai, the Vaigai dam is one of the premier picnic spots in the area. The Vaigai dam itself is a lifeline for the people of Madurai, Theni and Dindgul.
Also known as the Kanadukathan Palace, this architectural wonder is a perfect example of traditional Chettinad Architecture.
Samanar hills are a beautiful blend of nature with history. Declared as a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India, these hills are associated with Jainism and Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions depict various facets of the religion.
If you’re looking for a fun day out with family or friends, head to the Athisayam Theme Park in Madurai.
Food and Madurai are so synonymous that it draws foodies from around the globe. The food in Madurai has evolved over centuries.