MADURAI TOURISM | MEENAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE | PLACES TO VISIT & TEMPLES IN MADURAI
Heritage | Pilgrimage | City
#2 of 23 Places to visit in Tamilnadu | #28 of 100 Places to visit in India
Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day
Nearest City to Madurai: Madurai
Best Time to Visit Madurai: October to March
Peak Season: January to February & May to June
At a distance of 114 km from Kodaikanal, 136 km from Trichy, 169 km from Thanjavur, 170 km from Rameswaram, 209 km from Coimbatore, and 464 km from Chennai, Madurai is the third-largest city in Tamilnadu. It is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Tamilnadu, and among the must-visit places as part of Madurai packages.
Situated on the banks of the River Vaigai, the city is very well known for Madurai Meenakshi Temple, among the most famous places to visit in Madurai. Often referred to as Athens of the East, Madhurai is the oldest continually inhabited city in the Indian peninsula with a history dating back to the Sangam period of the pre-Christian era. It has been inhabited since at least the 3rd century BCE. It is considered the cultural capital of Tamilnadu.
Madurai was the seat of power of the Pandyan Empire. It was built by the Pandyan king Kulasekhara and was the capital city of the great Pandya kings of South India. It was later ruled by Cholas, Later Pandyas, Madurai Sultanate, Vijayanagara, Madurai Nayaks, and finally British. Pandyas and Nayaks contributed enormously to the development of Meenakshi Amman Temple and Madurai city.
Meenakshi Temple is the biggest landmark of Madurai. It is one of the largest temples in India. The temple has stunning architecture and a significant testimony for Vishwakarma Brahmins for their master architecture in sculpting this temple. The core city of Madurai is built parallel to the streets of Madhurai Temple. Besides, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal & Koodal Alagar Temple are other important places to visit in Madurai. Madurai is also a base station to visit Trichy, Thanjavur, Rameswaram and Kodaikanal.
The Sangam period poet Nakkeerar is associated with some of the Tiruvilayaadal episodes of Sundareswarar - that are enacted as a part of temple festival traditions even today.
About 10 km from Madurai, Madurai airport has regular flight connectivity with cities like Chennai, New Delhi, and Bengaluru. Madurai Railway Station is well-connected by trains from all the major cities of India. Madurai has several bus stations. Most of the long-distance buses and inter-state buses start from Mattuthavani Bus Terminus (8 km from Railway Station). Buses to Chennai, Bangalore, Trichy, Rameswaram, Thanjavur, Tirupathi, etc. start from here. Arappalayam Bus Station is another major bus station (3 km from Railway Station) with connectivity to Kodaikanal, Palani, Theni, Dundigal, etc. Periyar bus station near Railway station is the hub for local city buses.
Though a year-round destination, Madurai is best visited during the winter months from October to March. This is also the time to witness the popular harvest festival Tamilnadu, Pongal which is regarded as an extremely special festival in Madurai. Better to avoid visiting Madurai in summer when the weather is uncharacteristically hot, and dry.
Annual Festival (April)