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Madurai
City : Madurai
Location : South India
Language : Tamil, Telugu, Kannad, sourashtra.



About Madurai

Madurai is a temple town of India located in southern region of India. People from several different religions and cultures are residing in the place and all different kinds of festivals are celebrated in unison.

It is situated on the bank of river Vaigai and has been the kingdom of Pandya kings in the past century. The place has a great cultural heritage and strong mythology history to be passed on to the next coming generations. The place is more than 2500 years old and the commercial center was developed in 550 AD.

Geography

Satellite image of Madurai agglomerationMadurai, with an area of 52 km² (now extended up to 130 km²)[3] is located at 9.93° N 78.12° E.[4] It has an average elevation of 101 meters above Mean Sea level.[5] The climate is dry and hot, with rains during October-December. Temperatures during Summer reach a maximum of 40 Degrees Celsius and a minimum of 26.3 Degrees Celsius. Winter temperatures range between 29.6 Degrees C and 18 Degrees C. The average annual rainfall is 85 cm (850mm).
Geography and climate

 

Attraction

Alagar Koil
Alagar Koil is a beautiful temple situated in the north east of Madurai. The temple is the abode of Lord Vishnu and is the sacred place for several followers of Lord Vishnu in the region. It is situated in the Alagar hills and is also known as Azhagarkovil. The statue of the lord is made of stone and is a great masterpiece created from kallalgar. Several different statues in different postures of the Lord are all kept in the temple under the same roof and is the best form of distinct temples in southern India.

The people of the region consider Lord Vishnu to be a wonderful king or ruler of the earth and offer holy prayers from the bottom of the heart. The temple has wonderful halls and other facilities to perform different rituals with sacred mantras in the holy environment.

Gandhi Museum
Gandhi museum is a great master piece in Southern India and it has great historical background and mythology in its background. There are several Gandhi museums across the nation and the Gandhi museum of the southen India is basically a Tamukkam bungalow which means summer house in Tamil, which is the local language of the place.

Koodal Azhagar Temple
The temple is situated in the city of Azhaghar, the beautiful city of southern India. It is the temple of lord Vishnu with great monument of lord Vishnu encarved in front of the temple. Koodal is the second name for the city of Madurai and Koodal temple indicates the temple of Madurai as suggested by its name. It is one of the oldest temples in southern India and is one of the 108 temples of lord Vishnu constructed all over India.

Mariamman Teppakulam
This is a temple made in the memory of Lord Vigneshwara. It is situated about 5 kms from the meenakshi temple. It has a huge tank in the compound of the temple and is the biggest tank in the region of Tamil Nadu. The tank is filled with water all year long and the idol of the temple too was obtained from the bottom of the tank, while it was dug in the olden times and hence the temple was constructed at that place itself. So the tank gained its popularity since then and the temple too was constructed in its memory.

Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi Temple is the holy temple of hindus located in the city of Madurai in southern India. It is a vast temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess parvati. It is the best temple in which both God and Goddess are worshipped together. It is the life line of the country, especially southern India as Lord shiva is the highly worshiped god of the country. It has its foundation way back in the 2500 AD.


Naickar Mahal
The remains of the palace of the 17th century ruler Thirumalai Naickar who contributed extensively to the Meenakshi Temple.Only a small portion of the original structure. which was four times as largeremains. There were originally two parts-Swargavilasa[heavenly pavilion],meant for the King,is harem and housing the darbar court,and the ranka vilasa,which was for the servants.

Currently,entrance to the roof is prohibited due the renovation work being carried out by the Archaeological Department.They claim to finish work in 6 months.

Pazhamudhir Solai
Pazhamudhir Solai is a beautiful temple created in the memory of Lord Subramaniya who is worshipped by several people in southern India. It has great sculptures of lord subramaniya encarved in wood and marble and is a wonderful temple with giant steps in the front of it.

People worship the temple by moving across the periphery of the temple a several number of times, with the hope that their wish would come true. It is the giant temple of Lord subhramaniya in southern India and one of the most beautiful too. Its located on the hills of Azharar koil and falls in Madurai in Tamil nadu. (less)

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal
Thirumalai Nayak Mahal was constructed way back in the 17th century. Several buildings and temples had been constructed by him in the region and they have been splendid piece of construction. It was constructed by kings of muslim dynasty which covered several regions of coimbatore, Madurai districts and other few places in southern Tamil Nadu. It is a great piece of art and all of the sculptures are encarved in the Madurai style.

Tirupparankundram Murugan Temple
Tirupparankundram Murugan temple is one of the pilgrimage places in the southern India. The temple is an excellent master piece of art and is devoted to mother earth for all the benedictions it has bestowed on the holy earth. The region is hilly and is also known as southern Himalayas of India. It is a beautiful place where the sun and moon can be seen together at several instances of the day.


Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
A temple built in the middle of a man-made pond. Famous for its float festival (teppa tiruvila) conducted during the Thai Poosam (falls in the second half of January). Popular story is that the spot was excavated for its soil to be used for building 17th Century king Tirumala Nayakkar's palace.

The king had ordered excavated spot to be converted into a 16 acre lake fed from Vaigai river through under ground channels. The river itself boasts of water only during North-East Monsoon season (Oct-Nov) and hence the lake has water from Nov to Feb.

Vaigai Dam
Vaigai dam is a giant dam constructed on the river Vaigai and is situated near Andipatti in southern India. The dam has been the life line of the agricultural lands in the neighbourhood and because of it the areas have flourished in leaps and bounds.

It provides clean and fresh drinking water to whole of the region of Madurai and Andipatti. Agricultural research institution too has been developed near the dam so as to research on a wide variety of crops including cereals and pulses.

How To Reach

Main modes of transportation for non-Indians is by Air and by trains.

By plane
Madurai is served by several domestic airlines including

Jet Airways
Indian Airlines
Air Deccan
Paramount Airways

The flights connect mainly to Chennai(Madras). The airport is approximately 15 km from the city off National Highway 47. It is best to hire a "pre paid taxi" from the airport from the counter in the arrival lounge or pre-arrange for someone to pick you.

By rail
Madurai is well connected to the Indian Railway network and is the gateway to southern districts. Trains are available to/from Chennai(Madras), Bangalore, Mumbai(Bombay) and Delhi. Train journey from Chennai would take 8 to 10 hours. Many over night trains with sleeper facility (Air conditioned and non-air-conditioned) ply from Chennai.

Indian Railways

By bus
The city is well connected to all major cities in Tamil Nadu via state government operated and private buses. Buses also ply from important cities in neighbouring states of Kerala(Ernakulam, Trivandram) and Karnataka(Bangalore, Mysore). The buses vary from ordinary (with minimal cushions on the seats and no limit to number of persons in a bus) to Luxury (with cushioned, push back seats with AC costing Rs 500 in 2007). Sleeper A/c buses and Volvo buses are also available.