Madurai, apart from being a major city of Tamil Nadu, is an energetic, ancient city on the banks of the Vaigai River. Located in the South Indian part of the state, Madurai is one of the biggest pilgrimage centers of Tamil Nadu. The city is the second largest of the state and is marked with a large number of temples. Being an important industrial and educational area of Tamil Nadu, Maduria is also famous for a number of historical monuments with the Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace the most prominent one. Maduria has been a large and established city from the times of the Mauryan Empire.

Maduria is the centre of Tamil art, culture and literature that are being carried on from the past till now. The city is popularly called Thoonga Nagaram, that is, the city that never sleeps, attracting a large number of tourists from abroad and within the country. At the centre of the city is the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which is the ritual centre of the city. It is an historic temple dedicated to Meenakshi and her consort. The temple is a significant symbol for Tamils and has many sculptures inside it. The lot of visitors to this place is maximum on Fridays.

The Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace, constructed by King Thirumalai, is now a national monument. The department of Tamil Nadu Archaeology organizes the daily sound and light show explaining the virtues of King Thirumalai, particularly his passion for arts, his victories in battles and also the features of the palace. The Palace attracts many tourists by its beautiful Indo-Saracen architecture. The Thirupparankundram Murugan Temple is located near to Madurai Railway Junction. It is famous for its solid rock cut structure making its architecture amazing.

The Gandhi museum is famous for history, Gandhi and freedom struggle. It was after the visit of Gandhi to Madurai that he changed his dress code that he followed till his death. After his assassination, the Gandhi museum was constructed in his memory. The open air theatre of the museum conducts cultural programmers and the library of the museum has a vast collection of Gandhiji’s books and books related to India’s cultural background. The Samanar Hills situated near to Meenakshi Amman Temple describes the history of Jains in India. Pechchi Pallam, a natural fountain is found here. The place was used by Jains.

It is a beautiful place to spend considerable time. The place is open at all times for trekking purpose and for watching the lotus pond and the ancient natural fountain. One of the ancient temples of the South is the Koodal Azhagar Temple, dedicated to God Vishnu. The architecture and paintings of the temple describe the rich past of Madurai and its contributions to language, art and culture.

Madurai is a famous city and could be reached easily by any means of transport, like, by rail, road or by air. The place is best to visit duringthe months of October and November when the weather is cool and also during the festive seasons.

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