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An ancient city that takes you back in time; where you will stand wondering about the evolution of culture, traditions and civilization. Walk further and you will be amazed by how such a historic city has a bustling urban face too.

‘Thoonga Nagaram’ is what Madurai is popularly called in Tamil Nadu. It means ‘the city that never sleeps’. That’s true in many ways. History stays awake in this destination and the sprawling urban centre that Madurai is, offers you all the conveniences you will love for a comfortable stay. The earliest references of Madurai can be traced back to the 3rd century BC. 

Referred to as the ‘Athens of the East’ due to the lofty towers of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple just like the Greek Pantheon, the city finds reference in many literary works of Arabs, Romans and Greek travellers like Megasthenes. Madurai also finds a place in ‘Silapathigaram’, a Sangam literature work. Befittingly, Madurai was a place of scholarly importance. Ports, prodigies, scholars and critics were a part of kingly courts that ruled Madurai over the centuries. Sangam, the confluence of Tamil scholars and critics, used to regularly convene in the city up to three times a day. 

Temples, churches and palaces adorn the streets of Madurai. There is plenty to see and know about. The ancient structures are simply marvellous and speak volumes about the Dravidian architectural brilliance. Besides these, Madurai has stayed relevant as a destination through history; a factor that has seen many establishments come up in the city over the years. The place is very tourism friendly and attracts millions of visitors every year. 

Though famous primarily as a pilgrimage tourism destination, Madurai also attracts visitors due to its strategic location that makes it an ideal weekend getaway.

Madurai Weather

Top Attractions

Gandhi Memorial Museum

A must visit place in Madurai, Gandhi Memorial museum is housed in the splendid old palace of Rani Mangammal. The museum is a window to the glorious episodes of freedom struggles, glimpses from the Gandhian movement and a rich collection of relics.

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Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple, Madurai

Welcome to the enchanting world of Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple, a magnificent abode of divinity steeped in rich history and revered by devotees from far and wide. A hallowed haven of spirituality and grandeur, this temple is an architectural marvel, where the beauty of its intricate carvings and spectacular sculptures combine to create a sublime tapestry of art and devotion.

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Koodal Azhagar Temple

Located in Madurai city, Koodal Azhagar temple is known for its brilliant architecture and design, making it a popular destination for pilgrim tourism as well as for those with a taste for fine architecture.

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Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple

Madurai is synonymous with Sri Meenakshi Amman temple. A famous pilgrimage spot, the temple is renowned for its classic architectural style, stupendous structures and carvings.

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Aayiram Kaal Mandapam

The mystical city of Madurai is where ancient histories and cultural richness interweave to create a tapestry of splendour. There, in the midst of this enchanting land, lies a hall of unparalleled grandeur and beauty—the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam. This hall, renowned as the "1000-pillar hall," is a testament to the architectural brilliance of the Tamil civilization. Nestled within the venerated grounds of the Meenakshi Amman Temple, this hall has been a source of awe and inspiration for generations.

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Samanar Hills

History, culture, and nature come together at Samanar hills, a rocky stretch of hillocks, known for its many Jain and Hindu monuments dotted across its landscape. Locally known as Thiruvuruvagam, Samanar malai or Melmalai, the Samanar hills is located near Keelakuyilkudi village in the Madurai district.

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Nearby Destinations


Hotel Tamilnadu - Madurai-1

3, W Veli St, Near Periyar Bus Stand, Periyar, Madurai Main

Hotel Tamilnadu - Madurai-2

Madurai Pudur, 296, Alagar Kovil Main Road


Magical Madurai

Bustling and yet soulful, ancient and yet modern, cultured and progressive, Madurai epitomises the best of Tamil Nadu. Part 12 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 year ago


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