The temple town of India, Madurai is one of the oldest cities of the country. Culturally rich with ancient traditions, historical significance and natural beauty, Madurai is the city that represents the spirit of Tamil Nadu. It is the place of architectural wonders with each temple, each monument speaking a story. Not only was a cultural capital, Madurai also the commercial capital of South India.
Located on the banks of River Vaigai, Madurai city has a history that dates back to Sangam period of the pre Christian era. It was the capital city during reign of Pandya Kings. There are many legends behind history of Madurai city. In the 6th century, Pandya King Kulasekara built an entrancing temple and established a city around the same temple. According to some legends, during this time, God Shiva blessed the city and its people. It is believed that in his dream, nectar fell from heaven, from the locks of Lord Shiva, which lead to the name Madhurapuri, which later became Madurai.
According to another legend, Lord Indra had worshipped Lord Shiva under a kadamba tree, which used to grow in abundance here in the forest. Hence, the city of Madurai is also mentioned as Kadamba vanam, while in Sangam literature it has been called as Silapathigaram. The recorded history of Madurai dates back to 3rd century BC, when Megasthenes has visited this city. Later on, many came from Greece and Rome to start trading with the Pandya Empire. This city saw many reigns along with Pandya kingdom. Cholas, Tuglaks, Nayaks, Vijayanagar Kingdom and then British ruled Madurai city. Each reign left a considerable representations of history of their time in the forms of monuments and still prevailing culture of this city.
The name Madurai is said to have come from Tamil word, Mathuram meaning sweet. It is believed that this city of Madurai, which was earlier a forest named Kadambavanam forest, witnessed many miracles performed by Lord Shiva, which is why this city has prominent place in India’s history as well as in Hindu mythology.
Historical city Madurai is most popularly known for the renowned Meenakshi Amman Temple or Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. Its intricate carvings, brilliance architecture mesmerises every tourist. Popularly called Madurai Meenakshi Temple, this temple receives millions of devotees from all over the world every year. This temple has becomes synonymous to any Madurai trip. One of the oldest temples in India, its incomparable architecture is the result of contributions from various dynasties that ruled the city. Dedicated to one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva, Lord Sundareswarar and his consort Goddess Meenakshi, this temple is one of the most Hindu prominent temples. Its spiritual and architectural beauty enthrals everyone.
Thirupparankundram Temple, Alagar Kovil, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Rani Mangamma's Palace which has been converted into Gandhi museum, Goripalayam Dargah, St. Mary’s Cathedral Church, Vaigai Dam, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Nagamalai are a few other popular places to see in Madurai.
At Holidays DNA, we offer Madurai tourism packages that cover a tour to all these places as well as promise a memorable stay in the city. Our tour packages of Madurai also ensure a relaxed and complete darshan at the Meenakshi temple along with visit to other prominent places in and around Madurai.
Rightly called as Athens of the East, Madurai tourism is just about ancient temples this city has many great examples of British and Islamic styles of architecture as well. Various cathedrals, mosques and museum are also worth seeing. Equally interesting are other aspects of Madurai. Mouth watering cuisine, amazing shopping choices and a wide array of sightseeing places, make Madurai an ideal holidaying destination. Chungidi cotton saris of Madurai, wooden toys, brassware and handicrafts are worth buying when on a tour to Madurai. This city also boasts of richness in classical as well as Modern Tamil literature.
Madurai is also known for many festivals. Float festival that attracts devotees from all over the country is one of the most popular festivals here. Another popular festival that is celebrated with fervour is Meenakshi Thirukalyanam, 10 day festival which is organised in the month of April and May. Millions of devotees visit Madurai to celebrate this festival.
When on a Madurai tour, you can also explore tourist destinations nearby. Hill stations such as Kodaikanal and Munnar are located quite nearby, presenting amazing travel opportunities. Periyar National Park, a dream destination for nature enthusiasts is also located nearby.
Explore Madurai or club Madurai tour with destinations nearby with Holidays DNA. Our team of travel experts not only personally design Madurai tour packages but also ensure a memorable trip to all our customers by extending their assistance throughout the trip.