Tourist Destinations Near Madurai

Travel to Madurai

Madurai Travel Map

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Madurai Travel Map
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*Map showing the major tourist attractions in Madurai. Disclaimer

Madurai Tourism

Legend has it that King Kulasekara Pandya built a temple around a Lingam accidentally discovered in the middle of a forest on the banks of Vaigai River. A lotus-shaped city came up around the temple overnight !! When it was time to name the city, Lord Shiva appeared and drops of nectar (mathuram in Tamil) dripped from his matted locks here. The city came to be known as Madurai.

If you want to experience the feel of the harmonious blending of history and religion, you should travel to the temple city of Madurai. Madurai is almost synonymous with the famed Meenakshi Temple. Located on the banks of River Vaigai, Besides displaying its cultural legacy, Madurai has also emerged as a commercial hub, being a well-known producer of textiles and exporter of jasmine flowers.

The history of Madurai dates back to the epic times. According to legend Madhu (divine nectar) was showered from the locks of Lord Shiva and that is how Madurai gets its name. The city was the home of such illustrious institutions as the 'Sangam', which revived and nurtured great works of Tamil poets and artists.

The most prominent tourist attraction in Madurai is the Meenakshi Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Meenakshi.It is one of the important centers of Hindu pilgrimage. The Meenakshi temple exemplifies the Dravidian architecture with gopurams (large gateways) and mandapams (multi-pillared halls). Other temple attractions in Madurai are the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam with Lord Vigneswara as the presiding deity. Thirupparankundram, 6 kms southwest of Madurai is one of the six dwellings of Lord Subramanyam and is famous for its cave and rock cut temple built by the Pandyas in the 8th century. Tirumalai Nayak Palace and Temple, an Indo-Saracenic building built in 1523 features the architectural works of the Nayaks and gives an insight into ancient Tamil history.

Excursions from Madurai can be made to quite a number of interesting places around Madurai like the beautiful Vaigai dam, the popular hill resort Kodaikanal and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

The popular festivals in Madurai are the Chithirai festival, Avanimool festival, the Navarathri Festival and the Float Festival.

How to Reach Madurai

The city of Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu sees a large congregation of people every year owing to the numerous temples constructed in the state. It is one of the major cities of tourist interest in India.

Following information will help you with the answer to how to reach Madurai by air, rail or road.

By Air

Madurai has a customs airport which receives flights from all the major South Indian cities and states having an international airport.

Flights to Madurai are as follows:

From New Delhi
  • Spice Jet
  • Air India
  • Jet Lite
From Mumbai
  • Air India
  • Jet Airways Konnect
  • Jet Lite
From Kolkata
  • Air India
  • Jet Airways Konnect
  • Jet Lite
By Train

Madurai is often called the City of Four Junctions and it is connected by rail to all the major Indian cities and states. Following is the list of trains you can take to Madurai from major Indian cities and states. From New Delhi
  • Tamil Nadu Sampark Kranti Express
  • Himsagar Express
  • Navyug Express Slip
  • Trains to Madurai
From Mumbai
  • Madurai Dwarka Vivek Express
  • Nagarcoil Mumbai Balaji Express
  • Madurai Lokmanaya Tilak Terminus Express
  • Trains to Madurai
From Kolkata By Road

Madurai is connected by roads to Chennai (472 km) Madras (472 km), Trichy (142 km), Rameshwaram (139 km), Kanyakumari (232 km), Tirunelveli (151 km), Kodaikanal (120 km), Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (136 km), Palani (122 km), Thanjavur (223 km), Bangalore (446 km) and Bombay (1454 km). Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Terminus (MIBT), Arappalayam, Palanganatham and Periyar Bus stand are some of the important bus stops in the city.

Distance to Madurai
  • From delhi - 2507 KM
  • From rameswaram - 172 KM
  • From pondicherry - 324 KM
  • From bangalore - 446 KM
Madurai Distance Chart

Places to Visit in Madurai

Shopping in Madurai

Although Madurai is famous as a temple town, it is also a fascinating shopping place. Madurai has retained its fame as a textile center from ancient times. The hoards of textiles and tailoring shops around the famed Meenakshi Temple are ample proof of this.

While shopping in Madurai, you can buy locale manufactured cottons and batiks from Puthu Manadapam Market, just outside the eastern entrance of the Meenakshi Temple. The interesting things about the rows of tailoring shops here is that they can stitch a dress for you in an hour or two. You can also pick up the famed Madurai silk and handloom sarees from big textile showrooms like the famous Hajeemoosa Textiles. If you want to buy souvenirs in wood or brass, you should visit the Cottage industries emporium and other government emporiums nearby. Madurai is also famous for its ethnically crafted jewelery if you want to indulge in the pleasure of buying gold and silver ornaments.

Last Updated on: January 13, 2014