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Madurai was the capital city of the 'Pandya kings of South India'. Madurai has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage, for centuries. Legend has it, that the divine nectar falling from Lord Shiva's locks, gave the city its name - Madhurapuri, now known as Madurai. Being mentioned in all holy books, scriptures and folklore, this temple town is one of the most ancient human settlements of India.

Now after India's independence, Madurai is one of the major districts of Tamilnadu State. In 1985, the Vast Madurai district was bifurcated into two districts namely Madurai and Dindugul Districts. Subsequently in 1997, Madurai district was bifurcated into two districts namely Madurai and Theni Districts. In Madurai District, there are 10 State Assembly constituencies and two parliament constituencies.

Madurai is surrounded by several mountains. The Madurai city has 3 hills as its city boundary. Yanaimalai, Nagamalai, Pasumalai named after Elephant, Snake and Cow respectively. It is famous for Jasmine Flowers. Jasmine flowers are transported to other cities of India from Madurai.

Meenakshi Amman Temple: An icon of Tamil Nadu religious centre, Meenakshi Temple is built in Dravidian architectural style. Pilgrims and tourists from all over India and world pour in to visit the temple. The southern Gopuram of the temple offers a great view of the city.

Mariamman Teppakulam This 17th century tank covers an area that equals to that of six Meenakshi temples. It was built by Tirumalai Nayak and it is said to be connected by the channels to the Vaigai River.

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal Excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, this 16th century palace was originally four times the present-day size. The ruins today show the main entrance gate, the dancing hall and the main hall. However, it is the light and sound show based on the life of 'Tirumalai Nayak' and 'Silapathikaram', which is the chief attraction here.

Koodal Azhaar Temple Garuda Seva (Aani month), Sayana Seva, Three fruits decoration,Pavitra Utsava, Navarathri festival, Five Garuda seva, The hunting festival, Adyayana utsava, The Birth star Festivals of Alwar and Acharyas, Gajendra moksham, The New Year Day, Celestial Wedding Festival, Vasantha Utsava.

Alagarkovil Is only 21 kms from Madurai and is connected by an excellent road. Frequent buses operate to this place from Madurai. Taxis are also available. There are a few rest houses at Alagar koil, but it is advisable to stay at Madurai where excellent lodgings of all grades are available.

Here 'Vishnu' presides as Meenakshi's brother 'Azhgar'. During the Chitrai festival in April/May, when the celestial marriage of Meenakshi to Sundareswarar is celebrated, Azhagar travels to Madurai. A gold processional icon called the Sundararajar is carried by devotees in procession from Azhagar Kovil to Madurai for wedding ritual.

Pazhamudhirsolai Believed to be one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya, the Pazhamudhirsolai Temple is built on the same hills of Azhagar Koilthis.

Gandhi museum The building that houses the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai is the historic Tamukkam Palace Rani Mangammal of Nayak Dynasty built about 1670 A.D. Later, Rain Mangammal this was under the occupation of the Nawab of Carnatic, The East India Company and a few others. Finally the Palace had remained for many years as the official residence of the British District, Collector of Madurai, It was in 1955 the palace with about 13 acres of land was gifted by the Tamil Nadu State Government to the All India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi for the purpose of housing Gandhi Memorial Museum. Besides the major renovation to the original building a complete new wing on the northern side was constructed for the Library Open Air Theatre as also several other buildings and an Gandhi.

Thirupparankundram Temple is a rock-cut temple of Lord Subramanya, situated at a distance of 8 km from Madurai. The temple is thronged by devotees throughout the year, as it is one of the holy abodes of Lord Murugan. This temple was built by Pandayan King in the 8th century. The innermost shrine is cut out of a solid rock. Apart from Lord Subramanya, there are also separate shrines for Lord Shiva, Lord Vinayaka, Goddess Durga, Lord Vishnu and other deities. The entrance of the temple has cubical pillars with lotus medallions.

Attitude101 mts
Area 22 sq km
Temperature20.5 c 34.6 c
Summer 26.3 c 37.5 c
Winter20.9 c 29.6 c
Rain fall
Best time to visitThroughout the year
LanguagesTamil, English, Hindi, Sourashra
Nearest Railway Madurai 0 kms
Nearest AirportMadurai 8 kms
Places to visitMeenakshi Amman Temple, Vanditur Mariamman Teppakulam, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Koodal Azhaar Temple, Azhagar Kovil, Pazhamudhirsolai, The Gandhi Museum, Thirupparankundram.

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