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Madurai

    Madurai or the "city of nectar" is the oldest and second largest city of Tamil Nadu. This city is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. The Pandyan king, Kulasekhara had built a gorgeous temple around which he created a lotus shaped city. Mythology says when city was being named; Lord Shiva blessed the city and its people. On the auspicious occasion some Divine nectar ("Madhu") fell from the matted locks of Shiva and hence the city was named "Madhurapuri". This sacred town of south attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors from India as well as abroad.

Fairs & Festival in Madurai
 Most important festival of Madurai is the sacred wedding ceremony of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwar. This festival is held during March -April. During this festival the city displays a colourful and joyous mood. Images of the divine couple are taken around the city in a tastefully decorated chariot, amidst the presence of a huge gathering of devotees. The notes of Nadaswaram and drums further aggravate the festive ambience.

The annual float festival marks the images of Meenakshi and her consort floating on the Mariamman tank on an illuminated raft bedecked with flowers. As such there are festivals throughout the year in Madurai. All most 11 big annual festivals are celebrated in Madurai, which are spread through the year with exception of the monsoon months.

Shopping in Madurai
Madurai has been a textile center since ages. The streets and lanes are lines with shops and tailors offering readymade as well as fabric material manufactured in Madurai. The Puthu Mandapam, an old pillared hall along the entrance to Meenakshi temple is popular among the visitors and locals for the cotton fabric and the Batiks. The lovely Sungundi Sarees are in great demand among Indian women. Collectors are delighted to have the Brass lamps from Madurai.

Premier shopping areas are Chithirai, Avanimoola, Puthumandapam and Thevangu Chetty Choultry. The handicrafts Emporiums of the states are also here, which offer a varied range of handicrafts from all over the India.

Climate in Madurai
The climate of Madurai is warm. The temperature seldom comes below 20 C even during the winters. The rainfall is very frequent and spread throughout the year, just like the flow of pilgrims and tourists is the same during the year.

How to Get There
  • Air
    Madurai has its own airport and there are flights, which connect the city with Chennai, Tiruchirappalli. The airline services have at least one flight daily from Madurai to Chennai. From there one can take flight to anywhere in India.
  • Rail
    Madurai has one of the major railway junctions of South India. It is connected with the all the major tourist as well as religious places in Tamil Nadu. Though there are not many trains, which connect the city with major cities of India such as, Madurai is easily accessible from any part of the nation.
  • Road
    There are good motorable roads, which connect this, second largest city of Tamil Nadu with other parts of the state as well as other places in India. Madurai has five bus stands, which cater to the needs of the people.
Nearby Cities of Madurai
  • Coimbatore - 227 km
  • Rameshwaram - 173 km
  • Kanyakumari - 253 km
  • Tekkadi - 137 km
  • Courtalam - 160 km
  • Kodaikanal - 121 km

Tourist Information Centres about Madurai

  • Tourist Office, Government of Tamil Nadu - Hotel Tamil Nadu Complex, West Veli Street (Near Periyar Bus Stand) Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  • Tourist Information Center, Government Of Tamil Nadu - Railway Junction, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  • Department of Tourism, Government of India (DOTGOI) - 154, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) - 143, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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