Madurai is one of the largest cities of Tamil Nadu famous for its temples. Madurai is reputed round the world for the various artistic places comprised within the city. Outstanding architectural works can be witnessed at the Madurai tourist spots which remind the visitors about the excellent skillset of artistry that prevailed in olden days. Madurai always remain the region that showcases ancestoral talents.
People from several different religions and cultures are residing in the place and all different kinds of festivals are celebrated here in unison. The city is constructed in the form of a lotus and is known as lotus city too. There is a beautiful temple constructed by the Pandyan kings and Lord Shiva is worshiped here. It was believed that divine nectar was showered at that place and due to it the Jasmine flowers bloom in the place all around. Jasmine flower too has its foundation in the city. In 16th century, it was ruled by Nayal emperors and also Christianity has been cultivated in these regions too.
Must Visit Places in Madurai
Meenakshi Temple: This temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva and Meenakshi. The Meenakshi temple complex is one of the largest and one of the most ancient city temple. The city of Madurai, was originally built around the Meenakshi temple. The rectangular streets named after the Tamil months surround the temple, symbolizing the structure of the cosmos. The architecture of the Meenakshi temple is splendour and outdoes all the temples. The gopurams are adorned with figures of Hindu Gods, animals and mythological creatures. Upon entering temple, one gets to view the spectacular “Potraamaraikkulam”, meaning the Golden Lotus Pond, surrounded by corridors depicting mural from the “Thiruvilaiyaadal Puraanam”.
Alagar Koil is a temple situated in the nearby hills, around 20 km towards the north of Madurai. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and comprises three sanctuaries of diminishing size holding the idol of Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its intricate stone carvings and sculptures. It is believed that Lord Vishnu resides in this temple as Meenakshi’s brother Azhagar.
The Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the distinct places to be visited in Madurai. This Musuem is one of the rare living memorial of “The Father of India”
Palamudhirsolai: Tourists can also visit Palamudhirsolai which is considered to be the abode of Lord Subramanya. There is a natural spring near this temple.
In this popular temple festivals are celebrated thoughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals of the temple are Chitra festival, Avanimoola festival, Masi Mandala festival, Thepporstovam, and Navarathri cultural festival.
Chithirai – Chithirai Brahamostavam / Arulmigu Thirukkalyanam
Vaikasi – Vasantham Festival
Aani – Unjal Festival
Aadi – Aadi / Mulai Kottu Festival
Aavani – Aavani Moolam Festival / Puttukku Mansumantha Leela Festival
Purattasi – Navarathri festival
Ayppasi – Kolattam Festival
Karthikai – Kolattam Festival
Margali – Thiruvathirai / Arudhra Dharsan Festival and Thiruvembavai and Thiruppavai Festival
Thai – Major portion of utsavam performed in Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. Thepporstovam in Mariyamman temple theppam
Masi – Mandala utsavam for 48 days
Panguni – Summer Vasantham Festival
How to get to Madurai?
Nearest Airport: Madurai has an Airport. The temple is about 15 kms from the airport. There are daily flights to Chennai. Chennai is the closest international airport to Madurai.
Nearest Railway: Madurai. Madurai is an important railway junction of the Southern Railway and is directly connected to Chennai (Egmore station), Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Tirunelveli.
By Road: There are several buses from Chennai, Thiruchanapalli, Coimbatore and Thirunelveli. There are also buses to neighbouring states of Kerala and Karnataka.
Image Credit: IWT on Flickr