Rameshwaram Yatra

Madurai

Madurai is second major of of Tamil Nadu state and also a Cultural Headquarter of the state. It is a heritage city with many monuments and architectures like Meenakshi Temple. The city is also known as The City That Never Sleeps. Its active night life attracts many tourists not only from within India but also from foreign countries.

The place has a very interesting legend. It is believed that when Meenakshi (Devi Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) were getting married, Lord Vishnu as Alagar rode a golden horse to Madurai to join the celestial wedding. Till this day this legend is celebrated as Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, also called Chittirai festival in the month of April-May every year. Pongal, Avanimoolam, Thepporchavam and Santhanakoodu are some of the famous festivals celebrated in Madurai.

Places to visit in Madurai

Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple – Being one of the biggest temples, which extend beyond 6 hectares of land, it is dedicated to god Shiva and it is named after goddess Parvati and is one of the most famous temples of the South India. The temple was constructed by Kulasekara Pandya and is believed to be very old as it is mentioned in the songs sung by ancient saint during the 7th century. Invasion of Malik Kapur in 1310 resulted in the ancient temple being destroyed but when Hindu kings returned to power they restored the temple and its present form is a contribution by Nayaks who ruled Madurai between 16th and 18th centuries. The temple is famous for its architectural beauty as it has a thousand pillar hall and temple’s museum and the statues here are exquisite.

Thirupparankundram – Is of very importance as it is one of the six places chosen by god Murugan as his abode and also it is believed that this was where Lord Murugan married Devasena. It is also considered very mystical as it is considered as the place where sun and moon abide. This cave temple is mention this hill as ‘Southern Himalaya’ in many of the Tamil classical texts and it is dedicated to the element of earth among the five elements. It must be noted that the hill also houses Murugan temple and also an Islamic Shrine, which is dedicated to Sekunder.

Gandhi Museum – There was a very special bond between Gandhi and Madurai. It is said that after his visit to Madurai that Gandhi changed his dress code, which he followed until he met his end. Gandhi Museum was constructed in his memory after his death. In 1670 AD by Nayak Queen Rani constructed the building in which the museum is. The construction was completed and inaugurated in 1959. The presents Gandhi’s visual biography by means of photographs. The history of Freedom struggle is depicted with 265 illustrations in the Special Exhibition section. The ‘Hall of Relics’ has some original and some replicas of Gandhi’s personal belongings. Cultural programs are conducted in the open air theatre here, which can accommodate 8000 people. There is a library in the building that has a vast collection detailing India’s cultural background and books by Gandhi.

Samanar Hills – Situated 10 km away from the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple the hill has caves that were used by Samanar, the Jains. It is believed that they belong to 1 AD. There are Jain carvings found here and are truly amazing and so are the sculptures. The hill top offers a vast view of Madurai. A natural fountain called Pechchi Pallam is found here and is considered ancient. It is a great place to spend considerable time in solitude.

Koodal Azhagar temple – Being one of the ancient temples in South India Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity over here. It is situated 2 km away from the city’s, Madurai, west. Koodal Azhagar temple is a proof of the architectural excellence of the ancient period. The architecture, the sculptures and the paintings are beyond description.

Pazhamudhir Solai – This is yet another famous temple dedicated to Lord Murugan and it is more special as it is located on hill top. It is considered as one amongst the six abodes of god Murugan. The sculptures are carved out of marble and wood are unique. The giant steps in front of the temple make for a great climb. It is one of the most beautiful temples in South India.

How to reach Madurai

By Air – The city airport is 10 km away from the main city of Madurai. The city is well connected to major metro cities. Regular flights from Chennai, Bangalore, Tiruchi and Coimbatore are available.

By Rail – Madurai Junction is a major railway station of Southern India connecting lines of Chennai, Kanyakumari, Bodinayakkanur, Rameswaram. The station has 8 platforms and

By Road – Madurai is one of major city of Tamil Nadu and connected with major cities of India by metalled road.

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Published Date: August 31, 2016
Last Updated On: September 28, 2016
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