Second largest city of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is one of the major citiesof tourist interest blessed with architectural as well as natural beauty and is one of the oldest cities in the entire globe to be endlessly populated.
Large number of tourist from varied parts of India and other oversea countries visit this city throughout the year owing to its large presence of temples, religious places and tourist places of interest along with the added advantage of all the required modern amenities that this place offers to the tourists.
Tourist Places of Interest:
Thirumalai Nayak Palace: Famed as Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, this palace was built in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak and houses an audience hall (Swarga Vilasam) whose dome rises to an amazing height of 20 meters without the aid of any support.
This Indo-Saracenic palace was designed by an Italian architect and was sued as the residence of the king. According to some historians, the original complex of the palace was four times bigger than the present one. It is placed at an expanse of about 2 km south from the famed Meenakshi Amman Temple.
Meenakshi Sunderaswarar Temple: Also known as Meenakshi Amman Temple, it is a historic Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva (Sunderaswarar-beautiful lord) and his wife Mata Parvati (Meenakshi). This 2 millennia old massive temple is a city inside the city of Madurai and houses 14 gopurams with 2 golden gopurams devoted to the prime deity of the temple.
The temple is a wonder of South India owing to its architectural beauty which is truly a masterpiece of the workmanship of the architectures of that era along with being the 8th largest temple in the world according to the size. About 10, 000 tourists visit the temple every day. It remains open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday.
Gandhi Museum: An old city palace turned museum devoted to Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Museum is one of the major places for visitors interested in the Indian history.
The museum houses artifacts, images of the freedom struggle and many more history related things. It holds an immense historical connotation in the heart of every Indian as it was established in 1948 by the Gandhi Memorial Trust after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
Rajaji Park: Placed 2 km away from the Central bus stand of Madurai, Rajaji Park is a rejuvenation park established by the Corporation of Madurai city for the amusement of the children. It remains open on all days from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Thirupparankundram: Thirupparankundram is one of the six dwellings of Lord Subramanya placed 8 km to the south from the railway junction of Madurai city. Constructed by the Pandyas in the 8th century visitors have to walk through the stone cut steps belonging to 17th and 18th centuries to reach the temple which is placed in a hillock.
One can also have a commanding view of the surrounding vicinity from the top of the hillock due to which devotees and other visitors frequently visit the temple owing to its religious and natural significance.
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam: One of the largest temple tanks in South India, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam houses a garden, island pavilion and tank together of which area is equal to the area of Meenakshi Amman Temple (5 km). It receives water from the Vaigai River. January/February sees a huge mass of people amalgamated to witness the colourful Float Festival.
Though there are many more places of tourist interest including Koodal Azaghar Shrine, Alagar Koil, Adhisyam etc. you can’t miss the above mentioned places as they are the pearl of the Madurai city.