Tourism in Madurai
A city that is over two millennia old, Madurai is dubbed as the “Athens of the East”. Forever keeping all its visitors spellbound, the timelessness of this place is so well preserved, one would not want to leave once they arrive! This city has been settled at the banks of the river Vaigai and is one of the most important places in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Madurai is littered with attractions like ancient temples, museums, many quaint churches, heritage mosques and also several other places where you can experience the authentic Tamilian culture at its best.
Fall in love with Madurai as we give you a Madurai city guide in this article. You will find all information such as top sightseeing places in Madurai,things to do in Madurai, and a lot of other information to help you plan your vacation there.
Best Time to Visit Madurai
Madurai in Winter (November to February) – Winters is the best time to visit Madurai. The city is subject to low humidity, and the time between November to February is marked by the promise of cooler days and an overall pleasant weather to experience the tourist attractions of Madurai city.
Madurai in Summer (March to May) – Summers in Madurai are sweltering and humid. It is not the best time to visit as daytime is too hot to comfortably go for sightseeing.
Madurai in Monsoon (June to August) – The town finally receives its reprieve from the scorching heat in June. The Monsoon fills up the river Vaigai and turns everything into a greener haven. You can indulge in picnics and enjoy the light showers. Since Madurai does not receive extremely heavy showers,sightseeing is not a problem.
How to Reach Madurai
By Flight – Madurai has its own airport and iswell-connected by domestic flights from all over India. International tourists can change to a connecting flight from airports such as Mumbai, Chennai or Delhi if there are no direct flights available.
By Train – The rail routes are also very well-connected for people who would like to enjoy the beauty of changing terrains. Trains from all over the major cities of India connect to Madurai. Make sure you book your tickets well in advance during the holiday season to get immediate confirmation without the hassle of waitlists.
By Road – Madurai is well-connected by state and national highways. There are many inter-state buses that regularly ply between Madurai and other major cities. You can even take a slow road trip to Madurai with your friends if you are up for adventure time!
Places to Visit in Madurai
- Meenakshi Temple: Undisputedly the most famous of all attractions in Maduraiis the Meenakshi Temple. The temple is a testimony of the brilliant sculptural art that existed in India throughout changing civilizations and eras. Some interesting characteristics of this temple are the hall of thousand pillars where viewing from any angle will allow you to see all the pillars in a straight line and the musical pillars which when tapped produce a musical sound.
- ThirumalaiNayakkar Palace: It was built by KingThirumalaiNayak in the year 1636 in Indo-Saracenic style with tall arches embracing the palace. Formerly being occupied by the king as his royal residence, only one-fourth of the actual structure is intact and preserved.
- Saint Mary’s Cathedral: It is one of the oldest Catholic churches in India and is the top tourist attraction in Madurai. You will be awed to see that the church has been constructed blending various architectural styles together- European, Roman as well as Continental. The imposing and majestic bell towers are built in Roman architectural style.
- Thiruparankundram: Situated at 10 km. South of Madurai city is Thiruparankundram which is first of the six abodes of Lord Murugan. It has an ancient temple of Lord Murugan which is always thronged with pilgrims.
- Gandhi Memorial Museum: This museum makes one of the five Gandhi Sangrahalayas in India. Established in 1959, it houses an elaborate collection of illustrations that portray the Indian struggle for freedom. You can also find the personal belongings of Gandhi Ji like his spectacles, shawl and also his blood-stained Dhoti that he was wearing upon his assassination.
Experiences Not to Miss in Madurai
- Banana Market: Bananas both ripe and unripe are an important mention in the food culture of Tamil Nadu. There is a wholesale market especially dedicated towards the sale of different bananas. At least sixteen different types of bananas are sold in this market.
- Eat at MuruganIdli Shop: Apart from temple hopping, there are many other fun things that you can do to make your trip to Madhurai an experience to remember, such as enjoying Madurai’s cuisine! It willnever disappoint your expectations to idlis and dosas that are made with so much passion by the owners.
- PuthuMandapam: Shopaholics and collectors, this is for you! PuthuMandapam lies just a few blocks away from Meenakshi temple and it is a beautiful market with shops lined up. You can buy paintings and garments from here and also take away lovely souvenirs for your family, friends and colleagues back home.
We hope you found this Madurai tourism guide useful to plan your next holidays to this beautiful destination. Find information about more places to explore on our page, Travelbug India.