One of South India’s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.
Madurai is an energetic, ancient city on the Vaigai River in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Its skyline is dominated by the 14 colorfulgopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple.
The Pandyan King Kulasekarar built a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers. The climate here is tropical. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Madurai. This location is classified as Aw by Köppen and Geiger. In Madurai, the average annual temperature is 28.8 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 840 mm.
Places to explore nearby
Kodaikanal is a hill town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It’s set in an area of granite cliffs, forested valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills. At 2,000 meters above sea level, the town centers around man-made, star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest. Rowing boats can be hired, and hikers and cyclists follow the 5k Lake Road path around the shore.
The holy city of Rameshwaram also known as the ‘Varanasi of the South’ in Ramanathapuram district is an island paradise of golden sand, situated 164 kilometers south-east of Madurai. This pilgrim center has two famous temples namely Ramanathaswamy Temple and KothandaRamaswamy temple. Ramanathaswamy temple which is 264 meters in length and 200 meters in breadth is on the eastern side of the island, close to the sea. The temple is known for its long corridors with pillars having beautiful sculptures. It also has a big tower measuring to a height of 38.4 meters. The KothandaRamaswamy temple is situated about 3 kilometers from the extreme tip of the island. Rameshwaram is one of the major marine food centres in South India.
The Hill Temple of Palani is one of the most famous temples of Lord Muruga in India. It is located in the town of Palani, 100 km southeast of Coimbatore and a similar distance northwest of Madurai, and in the foot-hills of the eponymous Palani Hills. At its foot is the Temple of Thiru-avinan-kudi, one of the ArupadaiVeedu. The Pazhani temple is referred by Nakeerar as the third among the Aarupadaiveedu in his work Thirumurugatrupadai. The Temple is situated upon the higher of the two hills of Palani, known as the Sivagiri. Traditionally, access to it was by the main staircase cut into the hill-side or by the yanai-padhai or elephant's path, used by the ceremonial elephants. Pilgrims bearing water for the ritual bathing of the idol, and the priests, would use another way also carved into the hill-side but on the opposite side. Over the past half-century, three funicular railway tracks have been laid up the hill for the convenience of the pilgrims, and supplemented by a rope-way within the past decade.
Thekkady Idukki district is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction which is near to Madurai. Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq.km, of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attractions of Periyar, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.