Best time to visit: September - March
One of south India's most magnificent temple towns, Madurai is identified with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, this town has a rich cultural heritage dating back to a great Tamil past more than 2500 years ago. Madurai became a key cultural and commercial nerve centre as early as 550 AD as the capital of the Pandya dynasty.
Pandyan King Kulasekarar built a splendid temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. Legend has it that on the day the city was to be named, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from Shiva's matted locks and gave the town the name of Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for its jasmine flowers.
HOW TO GET THERE
- By Air: Madurai Airport connects the city with other metros like Chennai and Mumbai by direct flights.
- By Road: Madurai is situated at the crossroads of NH 45 and 78, and therefore well connected to all corners of the state. The city is served by four bus stands, each covering a different region or service.
- By Rail: One of the major railway junctions of South India, Madurai is connected with all the main tourist places in Tamil Nadu and through Chennai (444 kms), to the rest of the country. Madurai Junction Railway Station is near the downtown West Veli Street, hardly 1 km from the Meenakshi Temple.