Nataraja statue on display, Chennai Airport

Madurai, Tamilnadu

Madurai is a major town located in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu state. After spending 2 days in Madurai, I felt that this city is the trade Centre for all towns and villages around it specifically in chettinad. This stands in the 3rd place in terms of highly populated cities in India. Market area is always crowded with many vendors offering their products to customers from various nearby towns to purchase products in bulk quantity. Further, Madurai is also known for its rich heritage and famous for its jasmine flowers which blooms throughout the year.

How to reach

By Air: Madurai international airport offers domestic services to cities such as Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Chennai etc. and International services to Colombo and Dubai. Airport taxis can be booked for a drop at hotel or for the entire trip based on tourist’s convenience.

Nataraja statue on display, Chennai Airport
Nataraja statue on display, Chennai Airport

By Road: Madurai can be reached by many major cities in Tamilnadu by state transport service.

By Train: Madurai junction is the main station serving in the city.

Where to stay

There are many hotels offering homestays such as Avea B&B to 5 star hotels such as Taj gateway. Advance booking can help tourists to save some stay cost.

Food to explore

Madurai is known for its Jigarthanda made up of rose water, milk and milk cream. There two varieties of jigarthanda such as normal and special. Special jigarthanda is added with more flavors. Original and best jigarthanda is available at Famous jigarthanda shop located in east marret street corner. Further, hot and soft idlis are another best food item to taste. Also, kothu paratha is also one of the local dishes which is very tasty and a must try.

Shopping

Madurai cotton sarees are famous and convenient wear for elderly people. Further, there are many souvenir shops around the temple premises where you get items such as best Kumkum (need to check the quality but Madurai is famous for the best kumkum as this is made in the temple premises), bronze idols, local traditional toys etc.

Tourists attractions in and around the city

MEENAKSHI SUNDARESWARAR KOVIL

Madurai meenakshi Amman temple is a very big temple dedicated to Meenakshi Amman. Huge gopurams with creative architecture gives a spectacular view to visitors. Temple is located in huge premises with four entrances guarded by the local police.

One of the temple gopurams, Meenakshi amman temple
One of the temple gopurams, Meenakshi amman temple

Devotees are allowed inside the temple premises after thorough check. There are some restricted items such as iPad/tablets etc. which cannot be carried inside the temple. Vehicles are not allowed in the mada vidhis around the temple. Free darshan and special darshan with an n amount of 150/- are available for devotees. One ticket is applicable for visiting both deities i.e. Meenakshi Amman and Sundareswaran swami (Lord Shiva). There is a small temple dedicated to lord Ganesa, Hanuman, Murugan and other deities around the main shrine.

THIRUMALAI NAYAK MAHAL

This mahal was the residence of the well-known ruler of Madurai Thirumalai nayakar. As per the information available at the entrance of the mahal, only 1/3rd of the original palace is available now.

Entrance, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal
Entrance, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal
Information centre, Thirumalai nayak mahal
Information centre, Thirumalai nayak mahal
Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Madurai
Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Madurai

This palace is built with huge pillars and it is amazing to imagine the lifestyle of the ruler those days. Entry is available from 10AM-4PM at a nominal fee and entry with a light show is from 6PM. Light show details about the king Thirumalai nayak. A small park is built before the mahal where visitors sit and relax.

GANDHI MUSEUM

Established in 1959, Gandhi museum is one of the five Gandhi museums in India.

Gandhi Museum, Madurai
Gandhi Museum, Madurai

After the death of Mahatma Gandhi, the then government has appealed for donations from citizens of India to construct memorial museums of Mahatma Gandhi. The palace of Rani Mangammal is converted into museum and was inaugurated by then PM Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru. There are many interesting displays in the museum such as the letters written by Gandhi to some famous people such as Hitler, Rabindranath Tagore; blood stained clothes worn by Mahatma Gandhi during his assassination, photographs etc.

One of the sculptures on display, Gandhi Museum
One of the sculptures on display, Gandhi Museum
Amazing art work on a tea table displayed in museum, Gandhi museum
Amazing art work on a tea table displayed in museum, Gandhi museum
Letters written by Mahatma Gandhi on display, Gandhi Museum
Letters written by Mahatma Gandhi on display, Gandhi Museum
Local artifacts displayed, Gandhi Museum
Local artifacts displayed, Gandhi Museum
One of the Gandhijis pictures on display, Gandhi museum
One of the Gandhiji’s pictures on display, Gandhi museum
Cloth used by Gandhiji during his assassination, Gandhi museum
Cloth used by Gandhiji during his assassination, Gandhi museum

Further, freedom movement is explained briefly with pictures related to the topic.Photography is allowed with a ticket of Rs.50/-.

THIRUPARANKUNDRAM MURUGAN KOVIL

This temple is one of the 6 houses of the Lord Murugan and as per the information available in the temple, this is the place where Lord Murugan married to Deviani.

Thiruparakundram Kovil, Madurai
Thiruparakundram Kovil, Madurai

Temple entrance is built with a huge colorful gopuram with excellent architecture. This is the only temple where Lord Murugan is in sitting posture with all grace. Main shrine is located on a small hill and

PAZHAMUDIRCHOLAI

This temple one of the important six abodes of the Lord Murugan which is located on a top of a hill among the dense forest which is around 20KM from Madurai.

Phazhamudircholai, Madurai
Phazhamudircholai, Madurai

PazhamudircholaI is the place where Lord Murugan appeared as cowherd before the famous Tamil poet Avvaiyar. This is a small temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, also there is a small shrine for Lord Ganesha. Many monkeys play around the temple. Further, upon crossing the temple and still go further, you get to visit the Amman kovil where devotees take holy bath from the water flown from the feet of the Amman.

AZHAGAR KOVIL

Located 20 KM from Madurai and close to Pazhamudircholai, Azhagar kovil is the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Located in huge premises gives a spectacular view with azhagar hills behind it.

Kids Attractions:

  1. Gandhi museum gives the historic view our freedom fight to kids.
  2. Temple visits teaches kids about our traditions and values.

Tips:

  1. Good option to buy Kumkum sold in the shops in the temple premises.
  2. There are many other temples and places to visit other than listed above. As we were on a 2 days visit, we have covered the most important places. Tourists can choose the places of visit based on their interest.