“The Lotus City”
Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India located in Tamil Nadu. It was ruled by Pandya kings for the longest time in its history and is constructed in the form of a lotus.
Madurai is considered to be the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. The place has a great cultural heritage and strong mythological history to be passed on to the coming generations. The reason most people visit the city is the Meenakshi Temple, dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi with a sanctum for her consort, Sundareshwarar. Thiruparankundram is one of the important old temples dedicated to Lord Muruga(Karthikeya) and is located on a hillock approximately 8 km from the city. Gandhi Museum houses Gandhi’s bloodstained dhoti and some other artefacts. The city is known for its lively and bustling markets. Shopping here is fun and affordable. Another thing Madurai is popular for its amazing street food. Heritage walks are conducted throughout the day. Those who wish to know more about the freedom struggle, though, will be interested in the extensive text housed here. Tamil speakers and long-term visitors may be interested in the classes and workshops offered in subjects as diverse as t’ai chi and local herbs.
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai Overview
The historic Meenakshi Amman temple is located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Built sometime between the year 1623 and 1655, the wonderful architecture of the place is renowned globally. Meenakshi Temple is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. What makes this temple different from the others is the fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together.
According to the mythology, Lord Shiva visited Madurai to marry Parvati and it has been the sacred abode of Goddess Parvati since her birth. Meenakshi temple was hence built here to commemorate the same and to pay respects to the Goddess. The most striking feature of the temple is its exquisite facade, which has highly minute details with great art pieces incorporated in the walls and pillars. Meenakshi Amman temple complex is made in accordance to the Shilpa Shastra and has 14 gateway towers or ‘gopurams’, golden ‘vimanas’, holy sanctums and shrines dedicated to the revered Goddess Meenakshi and many others. It is a major tourist attraction, with thousands of devotees visiting the shrine on a daily basis.
Alagar Koil, Madurai Overview
Alagar Koil is an exquisite temple situated in the north east of Madurai. The temple is the rest place of Lord Vishnu and is the sacred place for several followers of Lord Vishnu in the region.
It is situated in the Alagar hills and is also known as Azhagarkovil. The statue of the lord is made entirely of stone and is a splendid masterpiece created from kallalgar.A variety of statues in different postures of the Lord are all kept in the temple under the same roof and is the best form of distinct temples in southern India. H73The people of the region consider Lord Vishnu to be an extremely knowledgable,humble yet powerful king and the ruler of the earth. The devotees offer holy prayers from the bottom of their hearts. The temple has spectacular halls and other facilities to perform different rituals with sacred mantras in the holy environ.
Vaigai Dam, Madurai Overview
Built over the Vagai River at Andipatti and around 70 km from Madurai on the way to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, this massive dam is a sight to behold. Over the years, it has become a popular picnic spot, especially for group excursions and photo fanatics. It is the central source of drinking and irrigation water for Madurai and hence of great strategic and political importance.
This 111 feet tall dam which was built in 1959 is surrounded by lush greenery spread across the sprawling area. Vaigai Dam is often referred to as the lifeline of the region as the areas have flourished in leaps and bounds from its waters. This popular leisure spot is beautifully illuminated on weekends.
On one side of the dam is a beautiful garden known as Little Brindavan with all kinds of exotic flowers and plants and a play area for kids. Picturesque hills border the river on the other side.
Tirupparankundram Murugan temple
Tirupparankundram Murugan temple, Madurai Overview
Tirupparankundram Murugan temple is one of the pilgrimage places in the southern India. The temple is an excellent master piece of art and is devoted to mother earth for the benedicts it has bequeathed on the holy earth.
The region has a hilly terrain and is also known as southern Himalayas of India. It is a divine and blissful destination where the sun and moon can be seen together at several instances of the day.?It is looked upon as a holy place for marriages and most of the marriages in the suburbs take place in this temple itself. The marriage of Lord Subhrahmanya was celebrated in this temple and since then several people have been bound in the marital bonds in front of the god in this temple.
Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Madurai Overview
Thirumalai Nayakar Palace was erected in 1636 AD in the city of Madurai, by King Thirumalai Nayak. The palace depicts the perfect blend of Dravidian and Rajput styles. After Independence, this palace was declared as a national monument and till date continues to be one of the spectacular monuments of Southern India. The magnificent palace is located in the vicinity of the very famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. Depicting the Saracenic style of architecture, it was constructed during the rule of Nayak Dynasty and is widely considered as the most illustrious monument built by the Madurai Nayak Dynasty.
The Thirumalai Nayak Palace was the residence of King Thirumalai Nayak and was approximately four times bigger than what is seen today. The exterior, as well as the interiors of this palace, have been richly adorned. One can notice the excellent stucco work done on the arches and domes of the palace. It showcases an array of architectural wonders ranging from the massive pillars to the over-all daunting structure. There are a total of 248 pillars in this grand palace. Visitors can also enjoy a magnificent sound and light show at Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal.
The main palace is divided into two sections, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. In these two parts, there are various sections of the royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armoury, royal bandstand, pond and garden. This glorious palace is widely considered as the most illustrious monument constructed by the Madurai Nayak Dynasty. Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal was built to mark the shift of the capital of King Thirumalai Nayak from Tiruchi to Madurai, which was done for strategic and administrative reasons.
Koodal Azhagar Temple
Koodal Azhagar Temple, Madurai Overview
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Koodal Azhagar Temple, located in the center of Madurai city of Tamil Nadu is a unique and famous temple of historical significance constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture and supposedly built by the Pandyas. Koodal is another name for Madurai and Azhaghar means the beautiful one, in Tamil.
With Lord Vishnu as the main deity in the form of Sri Koodal Azhagar, this temple is one of the 108 Divyadesams and lies on the 65th spot. This ancient temple is situated near the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. Six pujas are performed in this temple which covers an area of 2.5acres.
What makes this temple so rare and unique, is the presence of three different postures of Vishnu at such proximity to each other. The Temple complex is big and built in traditional style with big front Gopuram and beautiful vimanam.
Gandhi museum, Madurai Overview
The Gandhi Museum in Madurai, Tamil Nadu is a memorial museum which was built in 1959 for Mahatma Gandhi. It is one of the five great Gandhi Museums in the country which depict the life of the Father of the nation and India’s freedom struggle from 1757 until 1947. The Museum was nestled in the 17th century Tamukkam Palace belonging to Rani Mangammal of Nayak Dynasty built about 1670 and gifted to the state government for the purpose of renovation and conversion into a Gandhi Memorial.
The museum houses various priceless collections of letters written personally by Gandhiji to eminent personalities, a unique exhibition illustrating the history of the Freedom Movement, a visual biography containing sculptures, painting, photos, quotations and copies of letters of Gandhiji.
The most interesting part of the museum is the sections containing 124 rare photographs of Gandhiji’s personal life. It has photographs depicting various stages from his childhood days until being taken to the crematorium. A blood stained cloth used by him on the day of his assassination is also kept at this museum. The museum is also home to around 100 relics and replicas of artifacts about Gandhiji.
Mariamman Teppakulam, Madurai Overview
Constructed in the honor of Lord Vigneshwara, this divine temple is situated about 5 km from the meenakshi temple. It has a huge tank in the compound of the temple and holds the record of being the biggest tank in the region of Tamil Nadu.
The tank is filled with water all year long. Legends say that the idol of the temple too was obtained from the bottom of the tank, while it was dug in the olden times.So the tank gained its popularity since then and the temple too was constructed in its memory. Several different kinds of festivals are celebrated in the temple and all rituals are done with great pomp and pleasure and the people have a wonderful time while they are in the temple.
Pazhamudhir Solai, Madurai Overview
Pazhamudhir Solai is a beautiful temple created in the memory of Lord Subramaniya who is worshipped by several people in southern India. It has great sculptures of Lord Subramaniya carved in wood and marble and is a wonderful temple with giant steps in the front of it.
People worship the temple by moving across the periphery of the temple a several number of times, with the hope that their wish would come true. It is the giant temple of Lord subhramaniya in southern India and one of the most beautiful too. Its located on the hills of Azharar koil and falls in Madurai in Tamil nadu.