Madurai (a.k.a) "The Temple Town" : Almost all of the main attractions revolve around temples, especially Meenakshi Temple.
- Location : Tamilnadu
Railway Station : Madurai
Airport : Madurai
"The Temple Town"
Madurai is relatively a small town, has been the seat of Tamil literature, culture, learning, politics, religion, and more. Meenakshi Amman Temple is the most popular among all Madurai attractions. The temple is located on the bank of river Vaigai and dates back to the fifteenth-sixteenth century.
This city also has several other places, including an important museum. The best itinerary would be to cover the place farthest from the center of the town and keep Meenakshi Temple for the last as it does take a lot of time to go around considering the amount of steady crowd.
- Visit Madurai Meenakshi Temple.
- Alanganallur Jallikattu is very famous in Madurai.
- Try out Jigarthanda from "Famous Jigarthanda" Shop.
- Try out Mutton Dosai..!
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Top Attractions in Madurai
Madurai has several options for travelers of any budgets. Madurai can be easily covered with an auto rickshaw, however, there are some spots which are located on the outskirts so if you plan to visit those as well then hiring a car would be advisable. An Auto will charge around Rs. 500 – 600 for local sightseeing but before committing anything please do ensure that that Auto driver is fully aware of the total number of places that he will take you else they tend to skip a few just to save some time.
From the soft, chewy idlis to crispy and fluffy dosas, Madurai food has an acquired taste and aroma. Kothu Parotta, easily found in any restaurants in Madurai is one of the major attraction for any foodie! Jigarthanda is another special cold beverage that is available in almost every nook and corner of Madurai. Made of milk, almond, gum, sugar, and sarsaparilla, the drink is usually topped with ice cream.
The earliest (and contested) mention of Madurai is in the account of Megasthenes, who is reported to have visited the city in 3rd century BCE. Madurai has been ruled by the Kalabhras (till 5th century CE), the Pandyas (5th–9th century CE), the Cholas (9th-12th century CE), and again by the Pandyas, but for only a century till 1330, when Allauddin Khilji’s forces, led by Malik Kafur, attacked and destroyed Madurai.
There was about 50 years of Muslim rule in Madurai before Lingamma Nayak, an emissary of the Vijayanagara empire took control of Madurai in 1380. In the early 1500s, Nagamma Nayak broke away from the Vijayanagara kingdom and became the first Nayaka King of Madurai.
The Nayaka rule ended in the 1730s after which the Nawabs ruled the region till the English took over in 1801. Every ruler, every dynasty left its mark on Madurai but no one more than Thirumalai Nayak, who reigned from 1623-1655. Thirumalai Nayak is the best known of Madurai ruler today. He is everywhere and has left his mark on everything in Madurai.