Athens of the East
Madurai, the temple city of Tamil Nadu is a destination that is sure to question your aesthete knowledge and redefine your admiration for traditional roots. Starting right from the planning of the city to the general lifestyle of the people, Madurai owes a great deal of its magnificence to the soul of the city, that is the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Even today, this temple is the anchor around which the city revolves. Just as how the city dissipates its boundaries, your experience here will build into a crescendo as you soak in your senses with the fragrance of the jasmine flowers and the mouth-watering sight of the sweets around the temple periphery.
This revered city sits on the banks of Vaigai river and has seen the rule of the mighty Pandyan dynasty. The origin of the city dates back to the 4th century BC and glorifies its rich heritage in all its galore. There goes a popular saying among those who have had the pleasure to visit Madurai that Chennai may be the capital of Tamil Nadu, but nothing can take away the heart of this state, that is Madurai. Madurai is Tamil rooted in every dimension and valiantly proud of it. It is rightfully one of the oldest cities in India that developed stepped towards the path of metropolis even before Indian civilization had come to define it.
Apart from the sacred place it holds for the Hindu devotees, Madurai is also famously known for its lively and bustling streetscape. Much like the jest of the street culture, where activities are a part and parcel of the community lifestyle, as seen anywhere in India, Madurai is enriched with such scenes. The very essence of a mohalla lifestyle is re-created with agraharam settlements around the temple. They offer a peek into the lifestyle of the locals whose activities revolve around the thread of humility and simplicity.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise to know that heritage walks around Madurai is a cherished experience by many tourists who come to visit. It reflects the confluence of tradition, that is deeply seated within the nodes of the city and the newly emerging metropolis. Madurai's heritage core, as one may refer to, merges with the now developing city structure. Though it imitates a lot of what is already present in many cities, the stark differentiation between the two is one to look for.
Top things do in Madurai
How to reach
Madurai has its own airport and railway station. Train is the most preferred mode of travel as there are a number of daily trains which passes through Madurai Junction railway station.
How to Reach by Flight
Madurai Airport(IXM) is well connected to all major cities in India.Air India, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and few other operators run daily flights from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai.
How to Reach by Train
Madurai Junction railways station is well connected with all major cities in India. It takes about 8 hours from Chennai.
How to Reach by Bus
Madurai is well connected with cities in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka by private buses. Tamil Nadu govt buses connects Marudai with other cities and towns in Tamil Nadu
How to Reach by Road
National Highways NH-7, NH-45B, NH-49 connects Madurai with other cities in India. A trip from Chennai and Bangalore takes around 8-10 hours.
How to travel within
The cheapest way to travel within the city is by bus. There are options available to travel by auto as well as cab service. Passenger trains are also available to travel to nearby places.
If you are looking to spark your taste buds with some of the finest South Indian cuisines, you are sure to enjoy the vast palette of food that you can savor here. One of the must-try delicacy to try is Jigarthanda. Synonymous to its exotic name, this is a drink that is famous in and around Madurai. If you haven't delved into the pleasures of enjoying a Jigarthada, you have missed out on one of the most favored experiences by the travelers who come here.
You can immerse yourself in the tastes of local cuisine starting from Chettinaduvarietiess like the kuzhi paniyaram to paruthi paal, panangkarkandu paal and much more. Some of the locally known eateries around Madurai are:
- Surya restaurant
- Jayaram fast foods
- Emperor restaurant
- Anna Meenakshi restaurant
- Dhivya Mahal restaurant
- Reach Madurai
- Visit Thirumalai Nayakar Palace
- Visit Meenakshi Amman Temple
- Visit Koodal Alagar Temple
- Overnight stay at Madurai
- Visit Alagar Koil and Narasingam (cave temple)
- Visit the Gandhi Museum