Madurai Tourism, Tamil Nadu

Madurai Tourism

About Madurai - Tamil Nadu Tourism

Madurai is a popular travel destination in Tamil Nadu known for its religious tourist spots with the Meenakshi Amman temple, being the most popular landmark. Madurai is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu that lies on the bank of River Vaigai. This city is of high interest for tourists as it holds great historical and cultural importance with its history dating back to 4th century B.C. Madurai is an important Hindu pilgrimage tourism center with numerous temples built by Pandyan and Madurai Nayak kings in Dravidian style of architecture.

Madurai was the capital of the great Pandya kings and has a long history of cultural heritage. The Pandyan King Kulasekhara built a great temple here and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. Madurai was known to be the centre of learning and pilgrimage among travellers for centuries.

As per the legends, Madurai was named from Madhurapuri, which was named based on the dream of King Kulasekhara who saw Lord Shiva in his dream with drops of nectar or Madhu falling from Lord Shiva’s hair. The most popular places to visit in Madurai is Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple complex, dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, with 14 Gopurams (gateway towers) that stand uniquely and can be seen by travellers from far. Other popular tourist spots in Madurai are Koodal Azhagar temple, a Vishnu temple; Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, a 17th century palace and Alagar Kovil, a celebrated Vishnu temple located about 21 kms from Madurai.

Madurai is visited by more than 10 million tourists every year, with more than 1 million tourists visit the city during the Chittirai Festival (Car festival). The Chittirai festival is a 10 day festival that is celebrated every year in Madurai during April-May period. The other popular festivals that happen here are the Cradle festival, the Avanimoolam festival, and the Thepporchavam festival. 

History of Madurai - Tamil Nadu Tourism

Madurai has a well recorded history, with multiple mentions in Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Sangam literature, and Greek text. Madurai was ruled by the Pandyas around 550 CE, who were then removed from power by the Chola dynasty during the early 9th century.

Madurai later came back under the rule of Pandyan Empire, with the last Pandyan king being King Kulasekhara. After the death of King Kulasekhara, Madurai was controlled by the Delhi Sultanate for some time before being overtaken by the Vijayanagar Empire. Madurai later became independent form Vijayanagara Empire in 1559 under the Nayaks.

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