The very ancient city of Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India and dates back to several centuries before Christ. Situated some 472 km from Chennai, Madurai is located on the banks of River Vaigai. Madurai is also the second largest city of Tamil Nadu after Chennai and covers an area of 109 sq km. Madurai was home to the ancient Tamil Sangam and also hosted the literary summit that produced the first Tamil epic and many other famous literary works. Madurai is also one of the most sacred temple towns of India. The presence of Meenakshi Temple, around which the city evolved, has made Madurai one of the most widely visited pilgrim as well as a tourist destination.The city is mainly famous for the hand loom products and tourists can purchase the local apparels and items as a memorabilia of their visit to Madurai.
Sri Meenakshi – Sundareshwar Temple
It is said that Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwar temple and Madurai city both originated together, this shows how much importance this temple holds in the history and present of Madurai.The complex of Sri Meenakshi temple is huge and covers an area of around 65000-sq m. the construction of this temple dates back to more 2000 years. There are four gigantic gateways enclosing two shrines that contains splendid art and sculpture works.But the most important feature of the temple is the thousand-pillared hall in which each pillar has a big and brilliant statue sculpted on it. Rest assured, you will not leave the temple without being spellbound. The temple is open everyday from 4.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 4.00 pm to 9.30 pm.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace
Situated just 1.5 km from Meenakshi Temple, the Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a classic and rare example of Nayak Architecture. It was constructed in the year 1523 by King Thirumalai Nayak . It was built under the supervision of an Italian Architect. The structure used to be four times bigger than what it is now.A huge portion of the magnificent palace was palace destroyed by the grandson of King Thirumalai. In 1866-72, by the orders of Lord Napier, the then Governor of Madras, the was restored and today you can see an entrance gate, a main hall and a dance hall, all treat to eyes.
Madurai – Gandhi Museum
Situated in the old Palace of Rani Mangammal, the Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the most important place to be visited in Madurai. There is also a half hour show about life, passions and victories of King Thirumalai which is very inspiring and is a must see for tourists who want to know how past age kings used to live in royalty.
By Rail : Madurai is considered to be a major railway station in the South. It is well connected to all the other major railway stations and there are trains that run directly to these important stations..