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Home  » Top Destinations  » Madurai
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Madurai

State :
Tamil Nadu

Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
Climate :
The weather is uniformly hot and humid. May is the hottest month with the temperature sometimes rising to 42 degree celcius and the mean temperature about 33 degree celcius. December and January are the coolest months with a mean temperature of 24 degree celcius.


Significance :
This temple city is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage centres.


Madurai - the city of nectar :
Madurai, the "city of nectar", is ancient city of Tamil Nadu which was the home to the ancient Tamil Sangam, the literary session that produced the first epic, Silappathikaram. The city of Madurai is known to produce some of the finest textiles in India and some of the best harvests of jasmine flowers. Mennakshi temple is the main attraction in the city which in itself is an architectural masterpiece and is a source of inspiration for other works of art. Madurai has also been mentioned in Megasthenes' Indica, where the ancient Greek diplomat and envoy to India in the 3rd century BC wrote about this city of temples in most glorious words. Madurai reached the heights of glory during the time of the Cholas and then during the Pandyas' regime in the 13th century.


Famous for - the Rock Fort Temple :
The name of this temple has become synonymous with the city and it is the feature which actually represents the city. This 17th century temple has two sanctum Sanctorums where one is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Sundareswar ("Lord of Beauty") and the other to Meenakshi, his wife. Here goddess, Meenakshi holds a parrot and bouquet. Meenakshi in Sanskrit means "one who has eyes like a fish". It is believed that just like a mother fish has to just look on her spawn to develop life in them, similarly it is believed that when goddess Meenakshi will look at her devotees all the wishes will come to reality. Procession Chariot at Chithrai Festival

It is estimated that there are 33 million carvings in the temple which portrays some of the best architecture in India. About 10,000 people visit the temple every day and around 25,000 people visit on Fridays, which is the day sacred to the Goddess.


Connectivity :
» By Air - Madurai is connected by direct daily flights with Chennai andother important cities.

» By Rail - Madurai is one of the major railway junctions of South India. It is connected with all the main tourist as well as religious places in Southern India. Overnight Express trains connect Chennai with Madurai.

» By Road - Madurai is 150 kms from Trichy and also 150 kms from Periyar.


Additional Highlights of the City :
» Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank - This enormous tank is around 300 m (1000 feet) by 285 m (950 feet) and is located 5 km east of the Meenakshi Temple. The well known Teppam Float Festival is celebrated here during which the deities are taken out on felicitated boats in January / February.

» Thirumalai Nayak Palace : Situated about one km. south-east of the Sri Meenakshi Temple this palace was built in a Indo-Saracenic style by Thirumalai Naicker. A sound and light programme telling the story of Thirumalai Nayak and of Silappathikaram is conducted here daily at 6.45 pm.
Street Entertainer at Harvest Festival
» Thirupparankunram : This renowned temple is one of Subrahmanya's six sacred abodes. The temple has been carved out of a mountain and is dedicated to Lord Muruga (Subramanya). This temple actually celebrates the God's marriage to Indra's daughter, Devayanai.


Things to Buy in Madurai :
Madurai, an age old textile center, sells readymade as well as fabric material on the streets and lanes are lined with shops. The Puthu Mandapam, an old pillared hall along the entrance to Meenakshi temple is visited by people for the cotton fabric and the Batiks. The graceful Sungundi Sarees are in extremely popular among Indian women. Brass lamps of Madurai are also in great demand and are purchased for their exquisite designs and looks.


Shopping Areas in Madurai :
Puthu Mandapam, Chithirai, Avanimoola, Puthumandapam and Thevangu Chetty Choultry. The handicrafts Emporiums of the states are also here which offer handicrafts from all over the India.










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