An Insight :Literally meaning, the "city of nectar", Madurai is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and was home to the ancient Tamil Sangam, the literary conclave that produced the first epic, Silappathikaram..The city is well known for the Meenakshi Temple, which is as well known for its architectural splendour as also a shelter, which inspired a thousand arts. Now, Madurai is known to produce some of the finest textiles in India and some of the best harvests of jasmine flowers.
|Lets Explore Madurai Sightseeing
Meenakshi Temple - The first thing that comes to a person's mind, when you mention the word Madurai is the Meenakshi Temple. The Temple has almost become synonymous with the place. This is Madurai's most famous landmark. This 17th century temple has two sanctum Sanctorums: one dedicated to Lord Shiva as Sundareswar ("Lord of Beauty") and the other to Meenakshi, his wife. Meenakshi holds a parrot and bouquet. Meenakshi in Sanskrit means "one who has eyes like a fish". It is a belief that just as a mother fish has to just look on her spawn to develop life in them, similarly every wish of the Goddess' worshipers will be granted when goddess Meenakshi glances at them.
It is estimated that there are 33 million carvings in the temple. This temple has some of the best architecture in India. About 10,000 people visit the temple every day. Around 25,000 people come on Fridays, which is the day sacred to the Goddess.
|Thirumalai Nayak Palace - This palace is
located about one km. south-east of the Sri Meenakshi Temple. The palace
was constructed in a Indo-Saracenic style by Thirumalai Naicker in 1636,
intended to be one of the grandest in South India. The design and
architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Islamic and styles.
Thirupparankunram - This famous Temple is one of Subrahmanya's six sacred abodes. The temple, which is carved out of a mountain is dedicated to Lord Muruga (Subramanya). This temple celebrates the God's marriage to Indra's daughter, Devayanai.
Shopping in Madurai :
Madurai has been a textile center since ages. The streets and lanes are lines with shops and tailors offering ready made 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.
|Where is Madurai?
By Air - Madurai is connected by direct daily flights with Chennai.
By Rail - Madurai is one of the major railway junctions of South India. It is connected with all the main tourist as well as religious places in Southern India. Overnight Express trains connect Chennai with Madurai.
By Road - Madurai is 150 kms from Trichy and also 150 kms from Periyar and 350 kms from Rameshwaram.
© India Tours Online.