Madurai the Temple City, is rightly called the Athens of South India. Over the centuries, it has been a tourists spot. Spread along the rocky banks of the river Vaigai in the state of Tamil Nadu, the modern industrial city's main claim to fame is as a temple city. At first glimpse of the city that greets you are the magnificent gopurams of the Meenakshi Temple. A pilgrim's dreams come true only after a tour to Madurai.
Location and How to Reach:
Madurai city is located on the banks of River Vaigai in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. Often called Athens of the East, Madurai is surrounded by several mountains. Three hills namely Yanaimalai, Nagamalai, and Pasumalai named after Elephant, Snake and Cow respectively are the boundaries of the city.
By Air : Madurai has an airport connecting other metros like Chennai and Mumbai through direct flights.
By Rail : Madurai is connected to all major cities in South India.
By Road : Madurai is connected by roads to Chennai, Trichy, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari etc.
Weather and time to travel:
Temperature in Madurai ranges in summer between 37.5 °C -26.3 °Cand in winter 29.6°C - 20.9°C. The best time for a trip is November to February.
Main Tourists Attractions:
Madurai has got a plenty of tourist attractions. The foremost is the Meenakshi Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Meenakshi.It is one of the important centers of Hindu pilgrimage. The Meenakshi temple exemplifies the Dravidian architecture with gopurams (large gateways) and mandapams (multi-pillared halls).
Apart from Meenakshi temple there is the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam with Lord Vigneswara as the presiding deity. Tirumalai Nayak Palace, an Indo-Saracenic building built in 1523 features the architectural works of the Nayaks and gives an insight into ancient Tamil history.
Along with the temples, the city of Madurai has a cycle of festivals which amaze the tourists. The most famous one are the Chittirai festival (celebrates the marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareshwara), the Avanimoola festival (coronation of Sundareshwara) and the Teppam festival (float festival).