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Which are the top 10 reasons why we love Madurai?

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Whether you are a foodie or history buff or an ardent devotee, the city welcomes with you open arms. So, we bring to you 10 reasons why we love Madurai and why it’s time to choose your own and plan your next vacation here.

1. Mysterious Meenakshi

It is difficult to grasp the dimensions of the Meenakshi Temple. There are no less than 12 gopurams, and the South Tower being the tallest. The temple complex and its surrounding areas are spread over 60,000 square meter and the major attraction is the Thousand Pillar Hall where Lord Shiva is said to have performed the dance of bliss.


Meenakshi Temple (by எஸ்ஸார்)

Thousand Pillar Hall (by Emmanuel Dyan)

2. Koodal Azhagar Temple

Another prominent attraction of the City of Temple is the Koodal Azhagar Temple. It is regarded as one of the 108 celestial abodes of Lord Vishnu and is revered by the Alwars. This Vaishnavite shrine is richly endowed with gold and silver artefacts.


Koodal Temple (by Raji.srinivas)

3. Tirumalai Nayak Palace

Spend time at the Tirumalai Nayak Palace, just 1.5 km from the Meenakshi Temple, one of the famous local attractions in Madurai. Built in 1636, large parts of the palace complex were dismantled by Tirumalai’s grandson while shifting his capital to Trichy. A fine synthesis of Indo-Islamic architecture, don’t miss a visit to this place.


Inside the Palace (by Magog the Ogre)


Royal Residence at Palace (by Avionsuresh)

4. Gandhi Museum

The Gandhi Museum, located in the old palace of Rani Mangammal, gives a droll account of the Independence struggle. On view here is also the bloodstained shawl that Gandhi wore when he was shot dead.


Gandhi Museum (by Vegpuff)


Gandhi Museum (by Karthikeyan Balasundaram)

5. Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam

About 5 km away from the Meenakshi Temple is the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, an artificial reservoir now reduced to a pond, built by Tirumalai Nayak in the 17th century.


Pond at Madurai Temple (by Gsnewid (Own work))

Water is brought from outside and filled in time for Teppotsavam, the splendid float festival (mid-January to mid-February) held in honour of Goddess Meenakshi. It’s a good place to catch some late-evening breeze.


Pond at temple (by எஸ்ஸார்)

6. Shopper’s Delight

Madurai is famous for its bright tie-and dyed cotton Sungudi saris. Ranee Sarees and Alankar Textiles (both at South Masi Street) are definitely worth trying out. For handicrafts it is the middling Poompuhar Sales Emporium. Look out for golu dolls at the temple curio shops as well.


Shopping street in Madurai (by mckaysavage)

If you are feeling a tad adventurous, don’t miss the Madurai flower market, that bustles with activity between 4 AM and 11 AM. In short, shopping in Madurai is a delight in itself.


Flowers in Madurai market

7. Know more about Madurai at Storytrails

Want to know more about the fascinating tales of this historic city? Well, we suggest you to go for Storytrails, one of the most famous activities in Madurai. This covers interesting trails such as Dancer's Trail, which tells you about the local dance forms. Other trails include Bazaar Trail, Peacock Trail and Once Upon a Madurai Trail. The cross-cultural experience is also ideal for foreign tourists who usually feel the impact of the language barrier the most.


People at Storytrails (from the official website of Storytrails)


People at Storytrails (from the official website of Storytrails)

8. Tempting Delights

Murugan Idli Kadai at the Melamaasi Veedhi serves the best idlis in town and there are other good restaurants which offer a range of cuisines, from local to international. Don’t miss the many Pazhamudir Cholai fruit juice shops that serve delicious fresh juices and thick shakes.


South Indian breakfast (by billwscott)


South Indian meal (by JosephGrossberg)

9. A trip to Anamalai

Don’t miss a day’s trip to Anamalai Hills which are a major tourist draw due to their scenic beauty and tranquility. The small 10th-century temple of Narasingam at the foot of the giant Anamalai (literally, the Elephant Rock) is worth visiting for its rich iconography. You have to leave early in the morning for the temple.


Anamalai Hills (by Upload Bot (Magnus Manske))

10. Spend some time at Azhagar Kovil

Located at about 20 km from Madurai, Azhagar Kovil can be visited if you want to see more beautiful temples on your trip. Two forts surround the massive temple complex, the outer Azhagapuri and the inner Hiranya Puri. You have to start early if you want to be back on the same day.


Azhagar Kovil (by TAMIZHU)

Additionally, you could also visit the popular getaways that are within the radius of 100 km from Madurai. There are some wonderful places nearby and Kodaikanal is a popular one. The distance is about 76 km and there is an easy availability of Madurai to Kodaikanal cabs.

Madurai displays all the qualities of a historical Indian city but it offers something for everyone! Hope these 10 reasons why we love Madurai makes you plan a trip to this city soon.

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