8 Best Heritage Sites & Historical Places near Madurai

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Chidambaram is a pilgrimage town in Tamil Nadu. Well known for Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram temple is one of the most celebrated shrines in South India and also one of the famous Tamilnadu places to visit. It is about 66 km from Pondicherry, and 217 km from Chennai.

Also known as Thillai, the town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built during the 11th century, Chidambaram Nataraja Temple has a great religious as well as historic and cultural significance. This is one of the Panchabhoota Stalas signifying the five elements of wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). Thillai Kaali Amman Temple, Pichavaram, Sattanathar Temple, Bhuvanagiri, Parangipettai, Annamalai University, Kollidam (river) and Poompuhar are the other prominent places to visit as part of Chidambaram tour packages.

Brahmotsavam, Ani Thirumanjanam, Thai Poosam and Arudra Dharshan are some of the Nataraja Temple festivals that attract large crowds from far and nearby places. Natyanjali Dance Festival is a major festival held in February. Many eminent dancers give their performances during this festival.

Distance from Madurai: 283 Kms

Historical & Heritage | City

Situated on the banks of the Cauvery River, Tiruchirappalli or Trichy is the 4th largest city in Tamilnadu and among the must include places in Tamilnadu tour packages. It is located about 133 km from Madurai and 334 km from Chennai.

Tiruchirappalli is home to numerous historical monuments and temples that attract tourists and pilgrims from all parts of the country throughout the year. The city played a critical role in the Carnatic Wars (1746-1763) between the British and the French East India companies. Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam, one of the most famous pilgrimage centers in South India is situated near Trichy. Rockfort Temple, Jambukeshwar Temple, Uraiyur, Mariamman Temple, Government Museum and the St John's Church are some of the top places to visit as part of Trichy tour packages.

Tiruchirappalli is internationally known for a brand of cheroot known as the Trichinopoly cigar. The city is very popular for its cigars, handloom saris and stone-studded jewelry, Pith models, and cheroots. According to the National Urban Sanitation Policy (2010), Tiruchirappalli was one of the ten cleanest cities in India.

Distance from Madurai: 134 Kms

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore, is one of the popular places of href='/tamilnadu/heritage' target='_blank'>heritage in Tamilnadu as it has a rich historical heritage and is a prism of ancient as well as the modern south Indian civilizations. It is situated about 170 km from Madurai, and 326 km from Chennai. Situated on the banks of River Cauvery, it is one of the top places to visit as part of Madurai tour packages.

The city was once the stronghold of the historic Cholas. Since then, Thanjavur has been one of the chief political, cultural and religious centers of South India. Thanjavur is famous for the Brihadeeswarar Temple built by Rajaraja Chola in the year 1010 AD. Also known as the Big Temple, Brihadeeswarar Temple is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and among the most important heritage sites in India. The temple is considered to be one of the best specimens of South Indian temple architecture and among the must-visit places as part of Thanjavur tour packages.

Apart from Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur and the surrounding areas have several important tourist attractions like Thanjavur Palace, Kumbakonam, Darasuram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Thiruvaiyaru, Thirubuvanam, etc.

Distance from Madurai: 170 Kms

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Thrissur, also known as Trichur, is one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Kerala, and among the must include places in Kerala tour packages. Situated about 81 km from Kochi, and 279 km from Trivandrum, this is one of the ideal weekend getaways from Kochi & Coimbatore.

Thrissur is also known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala because of its cultural, spiritual, and religious leanings throughout history. Vadakkumnathan temple, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple and Paramekkavu temple, and Guruvayur Temple, Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, Thrissur Zoo, Shakthan Thampuran Palace, and Kerala Kalamandalam are the most popular tourist places in Thrissur.

Thrissur hosts the world-famous Thrissur Pooram, the most colorful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. UNESCO has awarded Thrissur Pooram as the most spectacular festival event on the planet. It is one of the best experience things to do in Kerala as part of Thrissur packages. Thrissur is also the hometown of the great Hindu Saint, Adi Shankara.

Distance from Madurai: 286 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 42 km Chidambaram, 76 km from Thanjavur, 110 km from Trichy & 268 km from Chennai, Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a historical town situated near Chidambaram. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Tamilnadu, and among the must visit places during Chidambaram tour.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram became the capital of Cholas during the reign of Rajendra Chola I in 1025 CE and served as the Chola capital for around 250 years. This historical town is home to the renowned Brihadeeswarar Temple. It was built by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola. This temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Great Living Chola Temples'.

Rajendra Chola I has established this temple after his great victories in Northern India. He was originally called Madurantakan and assumed the title of Rajendra during his coronation and continued to rule along with his father Rajaraja-I for a while. Gangai Konda Cholapuram is regarded as the reproduction of the Brihadisvara Temple that was built by Rajaraja Chola, father of Rajendra Chola. The temple is renowned for having the biggest Shivalingam in the Southern part of India.

Among the top Chidambaram tourist places, the temple was located at the center of the Gangai Konda Cholapuram and occupies around 6 acres of ...

Distance from Madurai: 250 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 35 Kms from Kanyakumari, 53 Kms from Trivandrum & 700 Kms from Chennai (situated on Trivandrum - Kanyakumari road), Padmanabhapuram is an ancient historical town surrounded by a fort with an area of 187 acres. The ancient capital of Travancore might be constructed before AD 1601. The palace with an area of seven acres, is situated in the very centre on the Padmanabhapuram Fort, amidst hills, dales and rivers.

The fort which was built with mud originally was dismantled and reconstructed with granite by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. The height of the walls varies from 15 ft to 24 ft according to the inclination of the ground.

Entry Fee Rs 25 for Adult & Rs 10 for Children. Closed on Mondays.
Fees for Foreigners : Adult Rs 200 & Children Rs 50
Video and Camera Fee are Rs 1500 & Rs 25 Respectively
Separate fee for Car parking

Distance from Madurai: 251 Kms

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 2 km from Gingee Bus Stand, 71 km from Puducherry, 85 km from Kanchipuram, and 93 km from Vellore, Gingee Fort or Senji Fort is an ancient hill-fort sitated in the Villupuram district of Tamilnadu. It is one of the largest surviving forts in Tamilnadu, and among the popular historical places to visit near Chennai.

The fort was historically considered most impregnable and it was called the 'Troy of the East' by the British. Originally the site had a small fort built by the Chola dynasty during the 9th century. Gingee Fort, also known as Shinji or Jinji, was modified by Kurumbar while fighting the Cholas and again by the Vijayanagara Empire during the 13th century. As per one account, the fort was built during the 15-16th century by the Gingee Nayaks, the lieutenants of the Vijayanagara Empire and who later became independent kings. The fort passed to the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji in 1677 AD, the Mughals, Carnatic Nawabs, French, and the British in 1761. It is one of the must visit places as part of Vellore holiday packages for history buffs.

The Gingee Fort complex is spread on three hillocks, Krishnagiri to the north, Rajagiri to the west, and Chandrayandurg to the southeast. The three hills together constitute the fort complex, each having a separate and self-contained ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 46 km from Thiruvannamalai, Tirumalai is a small village located near Polur in Tamilnadu. It is one of the places of heritage in Tamilnadu, and among the must-include places in Tiruvannamalai tour.

Tirumalai, also known as Arhasugiri, is renowned for its exquisite temple complex featuring 2 Jain temples, 3 Jain caves, and a 16-foot-high sculpture of Tirthankara Neminatha from the 12th century CE, which stands as the tallest Jain image in Tamil Nadu. This site has been a significant Jain center since ancient times, with a belief that 8,000 Jain monks who accompanied Bhadrabahu performed penance and attained nirvana here. Additionally, the footprints of four revered saints - Vrishabhsenacharya, Samanatabhadracharya, Varadattachrya munivar, and Sri Vadeepa Simhasuri, can be found here.

Perched on the hill is a 16-foot-high idol of Tirthankar Neminath in the Kayotsarga posture, also known as ‘Shikhamani Nadar’. Historical inscriptions reveal that this statue was sponsored by Kundavai. Nearby, there is a small temple housing an ancient idol of Tirthankar Parshwanath in the Kayotsarga posture as the primary deity. Visitors can also witness the footprints of Digambar Jain Acharya 108 Sri Shanthisagar Muni Maharaj on the hill.

At the foot of the hill, there are a few Jain caves dating back to the 10th century. As per the inscription dating back to 1024 CE present here, they are loosely known ...

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