Madurai is one of the oldest cities in India. It is located in Tamil Nadu and is considered the most energetic as well as the religious city in the state. The city is surrounded by some beautiful and magnificent monuments with historical significance. With the Meenakshi temple and the Thirumalai Nayak temple, the city becomes the hub of religious tourism. Each passing year there is a surge in tourists coming to visit the place. Apart from it, the place is home to many giant manufacturers such as automobiles, rubber and granite.
Today we will be looking into such places and spots that have gathered tourists and travelers alike across the city of Madurai and learn some culture of the ancient city!
Table of Contents
- Tradition and Culture of the City, Madurai
- Meenakshi Amman Temple
- Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace
- Gandhi Memorial Museum
- Samanar Jain Hills
- St. Mary’s Cathedral
- Madurai Corporation Eco Park
- Frequently Asked Question
Tradition and Culture of the City, Madurai
Madurai is all about cultural diversity. With people from various backgrounds and ethics can be seen living in peace and harmony. The city is one of the ancient cities in India and hence reflects the beauty of ancient India through its monuments, crafts and temples. Temples, in particular, are a mirror to the city’s ancient history, with architectural epitomes surrounding the city, Madurai is one of the richest places when it comes to culture, tradition and diversity in living.
Apart from that, the city is well known for its art and crafts. Several dance forms like folk dances, ballads and festivals. Places that are must visit when you are in Madurai!
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most popular and oldest temples in Madurai. It is well known for its architecture and craftsmanship. This beautiful temple is situated on the river bank of Vaigai. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (Parvati) and Sudhareshwarar (Lord Shiva). This magnificent structure is also known as the Taj Mahal of the South!
Hundreds of tourists and devotees visit the place alike. The major attraction of the temple is the architecture and the inscriptions which are more than 40 at present! It is quite mesmerizing to see the beautiful craftsmanship and painting on the walls of the temple. It is a huge temple and devotees take their own sweet time to explore, enjoy and seek blessings!
2. Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace
Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace is a 17th-century place that was erected under the rule of King Thirumala Nayaka. The architecture of the place is Indian and by a combination of Italian Rajput influence. Also, the architecture of the palace can be considered indigenous as well as Islamic patterns. This temple is well known for its grand pillars which tourists love to explore. There are approximately 248 pillars lined up in the temple. The temple is open from 9 to 5 for the devotees and travelers with a one-hour lunch break in between. Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace is considered the best tourist spot in Madurai.
3. Gandhi Memorial Museum
The Gandhi Memorial Museum was built to create a memorial for Gandhiji and converted into a museum for the same purpose. It was inaugurated in the year 1959 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The building was however once a very famous and beautiful Place named Tamukkam Palace which was later taken by Tamil Nadu and proposed as a museum by All India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi. The museum has some exquisite memorials of Gandhiji. It is noted that the museum has the blood-stained clothes of Gandhiji after he was assassinated. The architecture and the historical significance of the place make the museum one of the most visited places in Madurai.
4. Samanar Jain Hills
Samanar Jain hills also known as Samanar Malai is a long rocky hill that stretches 3 kilometers toward the Muthupatti Village. To be precise the Samanar hills are located in the Keelakuyilkudi Village, which is located almost 11 kilometers from the heart of the Madurai city. It is protected under the Archeological Survey of India as there are some old caves from ancient times that state back to the 1st century. Also, the hills have some famous sculptures and inscriptions mostly showcasing the religious aspect of the place. It is said that the caves had been home to Jain monks and the inscriptions go back 200 years! That makes Samanar hills a perfect place for a weekend together.
5. St. Mary’s Cathedral
St. Mary’s Cathedral is also known as the Church of Our Lady of Dolours. It is a 100 years old structure situated in the heart of the city. The architectural blend of Roman European and another international architectural eminence. At first, it was a small chapel and later in 1969, St. Mary’s Cathedral got its status as a Cathedral. One of the most eminent reasons that attract people all over the world to visit the St. Mary’s Cathedral is the splendid architecture. Also, the two bell towers at the height of 43 meters is a major point of attraction among tourist.
6. Madurai Corporation Eco Park
Madurai Corporation Eco Park is a park where the locals gather to spend some time connected with nature. This spacious area has everything that people are looking for. It has playgrounds, trees, ponds and outdoor activities. Travelers love boating across the small pond and exploring the vicinity. Nature is at its best with people connecting to nature and enjoying the evening breeze. While exploring Madurai if you are looking for a place to sit and chill this place will serve you the best.
7. Meenakshi Temple Museum
Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple is the most important landmark and tourist spot of Madurai. And the beautiful Meenakshi Temple Museum is situated within the temple premises. It is in 1000 pillar hall that is also a center of attraction while you are in Madurai Meenakshi Temple. This museum gives an avid idea of the Hindu religion that has been a part of the city’s culture for thousands of years. Travelers love to visit the temple for many reasons and the museum is definitely one of them. The architecture of the temple is one of the reasons that it stands out from all other monuments in Madurai. It takes exactly one to two hours of exploration to see the entire museum. So, take your own time during day hours rather than in the evening times.
Madurai is rich in culture, heritage and tradition. With people coming in for tourism all over the country the city plays an important role in tourism and the development of the country. However, Madurai is known for the Meenakshi temple, there are many other monuments that allure tourists.
Frequently Asked Question
Is Madurai the best place to visit?
Madurai is located in Tamil Nadu and is considered the most energetic as well as the religious city in the state.
What is the Best Time to visit Madurai?
Preferably during the winters and during any festival season.
Is Madurai best for outdoor activities?
Yes, Madurai has the best outdoor activities with boating, sightseeing, temple visit and city tour.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Madurai.
Just keep in mind to book your stay during the festive season
What languages are spoken in Madurai?
Tamil is the official language but locals speak and understand Hindi and English as well.
How safe to visit Madurai?
Madurai is the safest place to visit per tourism.
Are there any historical places in Madurai?
There are several historical structures in Madurai, including the famous Meenakshi Temple.
Can I get cheaper accommodation in Madurai?
Accommodations are not that cheaper in Madurai, particularly during peak festival times.
Is Madurai a good honeymoon destination?
Yes! Madurai is without any doubt popular among honeymooners and couples who are looking for temple visits and some time for serendipity.
Important Phone Numbers to have while visiting Madurai.
- Accident Help Line – 108
- Police Control Room – 100
- Ambulance Helpline – 102