Madurai is one the important cities of the Indian state Tamil Nadu after Chennai and Coimbatore, and is the administrative headquarters of Madurai district, located on the banks of River Vaigai which divides the city into two equal halves because the land area of the mega polis is mostly flat. The city is referred by multiple names for example, Koodal, Malligai Maanaga, Naanmadakoodal and Thirualavai. The name Madurai itself has various and distinctive meanings and some of the popular beliefs are like; it is often referred to as “Thoonga Nagaram”, meaning “the city which never sleeps”. Another theory says that Madurai has been derived from Madhura (sweetness) arising out of the divine nectar showered on the city by the Hindu god Shiva from his matted hair. The land of Madurai is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is home to many temples and monuments which are dated back to 7th- 8th century or even from the time of Sangam period, and there you can witness one of the finest architectures in the world and due to its much historical & religious significance, it is often referred as “Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu”.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people, but with increasing urbanization and privatization, various small scale automobile, rubber, chemical and granite manufacturing industries have been set-up alongside numerous hospitals and now have become second medical hub of the state after Chennai.
When to visit?
The climate of the city is called as tropical savannah climate. The hot and dry climate persistent for majority of the months of year, that’s why the ideal time to explore Madurai, is during the winter season i.e, from October to March.
Top most visited places in Madurai:
- Meenakshi Amman Temple
- Gandhi Museum
- Sri Koodal Azhagar Temple
- Samanar Hills
- Thirupparankundram Murugan Temple
- Pazhamudhir Solai
- Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal/ Tirumalai Nayak Palace
- Other Architectural discovers
- Alagar Kovil
- Thirumohoor Shri Kalameghaperumal
- Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
How to reach?
The National Highway 44, 38, and 85 pass through Madurai and the state highways passing through the city are 33, 72, 72A, 73 & 73A. Majority of the state highways are meant to connect the inter-city & inter-state places.
There are mainly three bus terminals (M.G.R., Arappalayam & Periyar Bus Stand) that witness ply of government and private buses in and out of the state/ city. From the bus stand, there many options available for you to transit locally for example sharing and private cabs, autos and more.
The city has its own rail head called Madurai Junction, which is an important railway junction in southern Tamil Nadu. There are plenty of express and mail trains that connect Madurai with major cities and towns across India.
Madurai international airport offers domestic flights to some cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. Internationally, the destination includes Colombo, Dubai and Singapore. The distance between the city & its airport is less than 20 kms which can easily be covered by bus or taxi. The average flight charge to Madurai will costs you around Rs. 4500 per head.