It is another temple town that is situated in the southern part of India. This animated South Indian city is loaded with excellent pilgrimage sites that give a view of its cultural heritage and legacy. Besides being famous as Temple city, it is also regarded as City of Festivals, City of Four Junctions, Sleepless city and Athens of East. Madurai is renowned for its magnificent temples set up by Madurai Nayak Kings and Pandyan in the Dravidian style.
History And Mythological Belief Related With The City :
This pilgrimage site holds a significant cultural heritage as along with a legendary history to be handed over to the next generation. Its account dates back to more than 2,000 years, when it was under the influence of Pandyan kings. During 10th century AD, it was conquered by the Chola rulers and remained under their control until Pnadyan got back their sovereignty in the 12th century. Their dynasty got declined by the invasion of Muslim under Malik Kafur. The Hindu Vijyanagar emperors of Hampi overthrew his dynasty and after Vijyanagar’s fall, Madurai came under the power of Nayaks until 1781 AD.
During their sovereignty they built Meenakshi Temple, which at present, is the main attraction for tourists. As per the temple inscriptions it is observed that Pandyan King Malyadhwaj and his Queen Kanchanmala were staunch Shiva Devotees and Meenakshi Devi was theie daughter. She was the successor of the emperor and after winning numerous kingdoms she reached up to Kailash and met Shiva. On her aspiration to get married with him, Shiva granted her with a boon of wedding in the form of Sundareshwar. At this wedding ceremony, Lord Vishnu satisfied the accountabilities of a brother. The son born out of Meenakshi and Sundareshwar was Subramaniam.
Major Attractions :
Meenakshi Temple : It is an outstanding example of Dravidian work of art. The shrine is appears to have develop itself with the city. As being an architectural delight, this holy place will simply take a visitor in. spanning an elevation of about 160 ft, 12 elevated Gopurams are encrusted completely with multi-hued sculptures of Deities, Gods, Demons as well as Beasts. This place of worship is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Deity Parvati in the forms of Sundareswarar and Meenakshi.
Worship timings at Lord Sundereswarar's shrine : 6.40 am, 10.40 am, 4.40 pm and 7.40 pm all pujas last for 40 minutes.
Worship timings at Goddess Meenakshi's Temple : 10.30 am, 6.30 am, 4.30 pm plus 7.30 pm
Alagar Temple : It is another Vaishnav shrine, which is 20 km away from the city. a natural stream can be found at the top of the hill, from where the priest of the temple carries fresh water every day for the lord. This shrine is also popular for Chittrai Festival (9April-May). The Lord is regarded as the brother of Meenakshi.
Koodal Alagar Temple :
It is a significant Vaishnav Temple and features 3 stairs of the Lord position. Sitting form of the moola deity, then one level above is a standing position of the lord, and last, the 3rd level up is the resting or lying down form of the lord. It is positioned in the city center and is one of the 108 Divya Desams.
Thiruparankundram :One of the most significant ancient temples dedicated to Lord Karthikeya (Muruga). It is situated on a small hill about 8 km from the town. This shrine is accessible through highway from Madurai and also features a railhead, which is 1 km away.
- Chithirai festival : held during March-April
- Teppam festival : the annual Float Festival
- Avanimoola festival : is held in late August-early September
Hotels & Resorts:
- Hotel Weshtern Park
- the Madurai Residency
- GRT REGENCY Madurai
- Hotel Park Plaza, Madurai
How To Reach:
Air : Daily flights to & from Tiruchirapalli, Chennai and Bangalore are also available.
Train : There is a rail network running to and from Madurai from Chennai that takes 8 hrs through Trichy as well as from Rameshwaram it takes 6 hours.
Road : Bus services are also accessible from various South Indian cities that take you towards Madurai.
- Best Season : Oct - Mar
- Languages : Tamil, English
- Weather : Summer 26 to 41°C, Winter 18 to 32°C