Vivacious, mythical, chaotic and soulful-that's what best describe the city of Madurai which is steeped in Tamil culture. Often referred to as the city that never sleeps by locals-Madurai is worth visiting. Be prepared to be greeted by bright colours and tingle of temple bells taking over your visual and aural senses as you step into the city.
01. Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple, also known as the Meenakshi-Sundershwara Temple, is a famous tourist attraction in Madurai and is one of the oldest temples in India. This temple holds great importance to the Indian people due to its mythological and historical significance. It is believed to be the site where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati (Meenakshi), in the form of Sundareswarar (meaning the handsome one).
The temple is known for its astonishing architecture and is thronged by thousands of devotees every single day. The marvellous architecture of the temple surely makes it one of the Wonder of India. The Thirukalyanam Festival, which is quite famous in South India is celebrated over a span of 10 days and attracts over a million devotees.
Meghamalai, locally known as the ‘High Wavy Mountains’, is a picturesque mountain range and amongst the most beautiful places to visit in Madurai. Nestled amidst lush and fragrant tea, cinnamon, pepper, and cardamom plantations and dotted with green meadows, waterfalls, and wildflower patches, this is the perfect place to escape into the remarkable raw beauty of nature.
Meghamalai has beautiful and rugged nature trails that take one deep into the forests at the local wildlife sanctuary that house hundreds of species of exotic birds like spotted doves, blue robins, and the Great Indian hornbill. Some parts of the forests also provide habitat to leopards, Indian gaurs, elephants, and tigers. Don’t miss to see the beautiful Suruli and Meghamalai waterfalls and visit dams like Manalar, Thekkady, Vanniar, etc. that are stunningly lush enclaves of nature. There are ancient temples like the hilltop Murugan and Mangala Devi Temples that are not only visited by thousands to pray but are also great viewpoints for people to soak in panoramic views of the place.
03. Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
One of the most popular tourist places in Madurai, the Thirumalai Nayak Palace was originally the residence of the then king Thirumalai Nayak. This palace is a testimony to the perfect blend of Dravidian and Islamic style of architecture.
Erected in the year 1635, the palace was a magnificent vision by the king for his royal stay. If you’re a history lover and appreciate the marvels of architecture then this is the place to be. The light and sound show here, every evening, makes the visit even more memorable.
04. Vaigai Dam
Located about 70 km away from Madurai, Vaigai is a magnificent dam that graces the beautiful Vaigai river. A blessing for the natives of Madurai, Theni and Dindigul, Vaigai Dam has provided for and been a source of employment for several families since its inauguration in 1959. The dam neighbours a lovely little garden known as the ‘Little Brindavan’, a favourite amongst picnickers and kids. It also harbours a musical fountain that operates on weekends and public holidays.
Monsoon is the ideal time to enjoy the beauty of Vaigai, when it is at its peak. The water level rises significantly, and there’s lush greenery for as far as the eyes can see. If you’re seeking some solitude and peace, Vaigai is the place to be.
05. Goripalayam Dargah
This ancient dargah, one of the most intriguing places to visit in Madurai, dates back to the 13th-century and is dedicated to two famous saints Khwaja Alauddin Badusha and Khwaja Shamsuddin Badusha who came from Oman to spread the knowledge of Islam. The dargah, the largest in Madurai, houses the shrines of both these saints that are visited by people from all over Tamil Nadu to seek blessings and peace.
There is an interesting inscription here that details how the dargah came into being during the ancient Pandiyan regime when Madurai was mostly under Islamic rule and influence. The dargah, in shades of pristine white, is easy to spot amidst the surrounding winding alleys due to its tall minarets and its huge dome. It has a beautiful Islamic-Dravidian architecture that includes ornate arches, stone pillars, and cool marble floors. It even houses a shelter where people of all faiths stay for days and months to seek divine blessings amidst the serene ambience of Quran recitals and the holy azaan.
06. Alagar Koyil
Sitting about 21 km away from Madurai, Alagar Koyil, alternatively known as Azhagar Kovil, is one of the most visited temples of Madurai. Besides the religious significance that the temple holds, it is also an architectural marvel. Depicting the forms and styles of the early Sangam age, the era that it belongs to, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple walls are embellished with fine, captivating carvings, while several mandapams warehoused within.
The presiding deity here is Lord Sundararajan, the brother of Goddess Meenakshi. There are a few shrines dedicated to deities like Andal, Sudarshana and Yoga Narasimha in the temple.
07. Samanar Hills
The beautiful views from the Samanar Hills make them among the top tourist attractions in Madurai. The hill complex is located in the Keelakuilkudi village, about 15 km away from the main city of Madurai. The significance of this spot is deep-rooted in the presence of Tamil Jain monks who resided here around 2000 years ago.
The carvings on the walls give an account of the way of living and the rules that monks followed. There is also a beautiful lotus temple situated on the premise.
08. Koodal Azhagar Temple
For the worshippers of Lord Vishnu, the Koodal Azhagar Temple is surely one of the finest places to visit in Madurai. Originally built by the Pandyas, the temple is situated right in the middle of the city of Madurai. Koodal is another name for Madurai whereas, Azhagar means “beautiful one” in Tamil.
The temple is surrounded by a granite wall, enclosing all the shrines. Constructed in the Dravidian architecture style, the temple is beautifully sculpted and carved by adding hues of different colours.
09. Gandhi Museum
If you’re a Gandhian scholar or just a history enthusiast then, the Gandhi Memorial Museum is surely one of the places to visit in Madurai. Established in the year 1959, this museum is one of the five Gandhi Sangrahalaya (museum) in India.
Built as a memorial, the museum showcases a plethora of artefacts related to Gandhi, from letters to photos and sculptures and historical documents, that reflect the instrumental role he played during the freedom movement of India. But what attracts most of the visitors is the blood-stained cloth that was worn by him when he was assassinated.
If you feel caught up in the world of the countless temples that line the face of Madurai, Athisayam Water Park is the best outlet! One of the most entertaining places to visit in Madurai, the water amusement park is a favourite amongst kids and adults alike.
Whether you're seeking thrilling adventures or just a chill time in the water with friends, Athisayam has got you covered. What started off as a quiet entertainment centre five years ago, has flourished into the largest amusement park in the area! With an array of over 50 fun rides, there is hardly any other place that matches the glamour of Athisayam.
No trip to Madurai is complete without visiting the beautiful and serene ISKCON Temple here. Dedicated to Radha and Krishna, the temple is also known as Radha Mathurapati, one of the most popular places to visit in Madurai. The beige and white palace-like complex of the temple has stunningly carved pillars, walls, and sanctums keeping in line with the ISKCON heritage and beauty.
Resounding Krishna hymns, curling clouds and fragrance of burning incense, and tinkling bells offer the perfect atmosphere for meditation here. The stark-white marble idols of Lord Krishna and Radha are adorned with beautiful ‘vastrams’ and jewellery. Don’t miss to attend the evening aartis, devotional lectures, and kirtans not only to gain more spiritual knowledge but to also lose yourself in an ambience that reverberates with hypnotic chants and divine rhythms. There is a small eatery inside the complex that serves simple but delicious vegetarian food.
Built by King Thirumalai Nayak, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a tank located close to the temple of the same name. This temple tank is a place of worship where people can be seen performing devotional activities, also it is about 2 km away from the Meenakshi Amman Temple.
Connected to the Vaigai river, the tank is a magnificent structure with a system of underground channels and 12 long, granite steps on all four sides. In the middle of the tank, there is a main mandapam known as Maiya Mandapam or the Central Mandapam along with a garden and a Vinayakar temple.
13. Kazimar Big Mosque And Maqbara Mosque
Madurai's oldest mosque, the Kazimar Big Mosque was the creation of Kazi Syed Tajuddin back in the 13th century. Carrying stellar impression of the ages that the structure has witnessed, it is a frequent haunt for lovers of history, culture and religion.
The mosque, true to its informal name 'Big Mosque', is large enough to accommodate about 2,500 people at once! The shrine (known as dargah) of the descendants of Prophet Muhammad also lies within the mosque, where several devotees flock to pay homage.
14. Pazhamudhir Solai
Pazhamudhir Solai is one of the enchanting tourist places in Madurai. Known to be the smallest abode of Lord Murugan, the Pazhamudhir Solai is surrounded by dense forest with a rich variety of flora. Though it is the smallest of the abodes, the temple here still holds significance to the devotees.
It is located 20 km away from the city of Madurai and sits quietly atop a hill and is close to the Vishnu temple of Azhagar Kovil.
15. St. Mary's Cathedral Church
St. Mary’s Cathedral, also known as the Church of Our Lady Dolores was built in the year 1841. Due to its marvellous architecture, it is one of the top places to visit in Madurai. With a rich history of over 150 years, the church is an eclectic mix of Roman, European and Continental architecture. One can visit here to pray and attend the Mass or just adore this age-old structure.
Yanaimalai is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Madurai, besides being a well-preserved tourist attraction. Home to several ancient sculptures, a Shaivite Temple and a couple of caves, the hill is spans over 3 km of lush green land, and is about 300 ft. high.
The structural beauty and historical significance of the hill has earned it the title of a protected monument under The Ancient And Archaeological Sites And Remains Act. Rooted in various mythological tales and folklore, Yanaimalai is an unmissable place for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
17. Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple
Referenced in several ancient texts, including works of the Sangam literature, Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple is one of the most interesting places to visit in Madurai. Stretching across 2.3 acres of land, the temple has managed to beautifully preserve the architectural beauty that Madurai boasts of.
The prominent Dravidian style of architecture stands out beautifully, along with subtle glimpses of the Pandyan era being reflected within the walls. Surrounded by granite walls, there are four prakaramas centred inside the complex. The temple now falls under the care of the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of Tamil Nadu Government.
18 Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
The Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple, with its rich cultural significance, should surely make it to your places to visit in Madurai list. It is one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan (Kartikeya). Legend has it, this is the very site where Murugan defeated the demon, Surapadman, and was married to Deivayani, the daughter of Lord Indra.
What makes this temple special is its rock-cut architecture which, in popular belief, was built by the Pandyas. People believe that it is auspicious to get married in the Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple for a happy and successful married life.
19. Pudhu Mandapam
One of the most serene places to visit in Madurai, this ancient temple dates back to the year 1628 when it was built by King Thirumalai Nayakkar in reverence to the Lord Sundareshwar and Goddess Meenakshi and to serve as their summer abode. One thing that immediately strikes the visitors is the temple’s architectural magnificence and finesse. You will see 124 pillars and columns intricately carved with Hindu scriptures and scenes from the wedding of the Lord and the Goddess and those of the Nayaka dynasty rulers. The mandapam is almost 330-ft. high and stands on a pedestal.
The temple hosts the popular festivals of Avani Moolam, Theppam, Navarathri, etc. that bring thousands of people from all over Southern India. The temple complex houses a traditional market that's been functioning since the 1920s, where you can pick up beautiful local textiles, holy books, jewellery, and sandalwood products.
20. Vilachery Pottery Village: A Walk-Through Artistic Lanes
Another one of the tourist places in Madurai that one should not miss out is the quaint, little pottery village of Vilachery. This is the spot in the southern country where a variety of different idols of Gods and goddesses are structured. The vibrant colors, stunning artwork, and the artistic flair is a treat for both eyes and souls here. Just stroll through the village, admire the beauty of craftsmanship, and capture the beautiful moments as you visit this town.
Meenakshi Amman Temple: Colorfully Aesthetic
The city’s most iconic attraction heads our list of the top Madurai places to visit. In fact, it should be the first stop on your sightseeing tour and things to do in Madurai. Showcasing some of the best of Dravidian architecture, the complex is in the center of the city and instantly stands out with its towering gopurams. 13 acres of fascinating shrines, a golden lotus sacred pool and mandapas wait to be explored. You can spend hours at Meenakshi Amman Temple and you still won’t be able to explore it all!
Location: Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Timings: 9 am – 7 pm
Entry fee: INR 5 for Indians and INR 50 for foreign tourists
Koodal Azhagar Temple: Admire The Beauty
Next on our Madurai tourist places list is Koodal Azhagar Temple, a stunning structure built in dedication to Vishnu. As with temples in the city, it’s constructed in the Dravidian style. A glorious five-tiered rajagopuram dominates and stands over 120 feet tall. The temple is situated close to the Meenakshi Amman and you can’t afford to miss a visit. Try to plan your trip during the float festival that runs for 10 days.
Location: Perumal Koil Sannathi Street Near Periyar Bus Stand, Periyar, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Timings: 7 am – 12 pm, 4 pm – 7:30 pm
Entry fee: None
Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple: Pay A Visit
One of the best places to visit in Madurai is the Thirupparamkunram Murugan temple. It’s located in Thiruparankundram, which is close to the city. The ancient structure is breathtaking in architecture particularly because it’s rock-cut. Another distinct feature is the placement of the gods, Shiva and Vishnu, who face each other. Considering Shaivites and Vaishnavites have always been two different groups, this aspect sets the temple apart.
Don’t stop your exploration at the temple; take a walk around the complex and visit the nearby pond to see devotees feeding the fish.
Location: Thiruparankundram, Tamil Nadu 625005
Timings: 5 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 9 pm
Entry fee: NA
Alagar Kovil: Intricate Carvings
At first glance, the village of Alagar Kovil resembles any other in Madurai. Yet, if you look closely, you’ll notice that much of the community and lifestyle revolve around the Kallazhagar Temple. Set against a lush hill, the temple rises up dramatically and lures visitors to explore it. Life-size sculptures and colorful carvings offer plenty to see and admire.
Unlike other larger temples set closer to the city, Kallazhagar boasts a serenity that adds to its allure. Perhaps it’s the hills or the slow pace of village life – either way, it’s one of the top places to see in Madurai.
Location: Alagar Kovil Main Rd, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 624401
Timings: 6 am – 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm – 830 pm
Entry fee: None
Pudhu Mandapam: For Temple-Hopping
Take a break from temple-hopping to visit the lively shopping area of Pudhu Mandapam. It’s located near Meenakshi Amman. Set amidst massive stone pillars are vendors selling their wares that consist of everything from wooden toys and fabrics to brassware and stoneware. It really is a shopper’s delight and there are plenty of souvenirs to take back home.
Pudhu Mandapam is one of the more popular Madurai tourist places and sees numerous visitors. Be prepared to haggle for the best bargains!
Location: E Chitrai St, Chinnakadai Area, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Timings: 9 am – 8:30 pm
Entry fee: NA
Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of India. Ruled by Pandya kings for the longest time in its history, it is called as the 'Lotus City' as it was planned and built in the shape of a lotus. Madurai is known for Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi with a sanctum for her consort, Sundareshwarar.
There are many other ancient temples in Madurai, including Thiruparankundram. It is one of the important old temples dedicated to Lord Muruga(Karthikeya) and is located on a hillock approximately 8 km from the city. Having trade ties with ancient Rome, the place holds a great cultural heritage. With bustling bazaars and fantastic street food, Madurai has heritage walks conducted throughout the day. Madurai is instrumental in promoting Tamil language and preserving the culture.
A prominent city of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is easily accessible from almost throughout the country. The city has its own airport and a railway station, making it convenient for all to commute to the city easily. Other nearest airports and railway stations happen to be Chennai and Coimbatore.
Madurai has its own airport which is well-connected by the rest of India. Number domestic airlines operate on the route and several flights ply on a daily basis to Madurai. Another option is to take a flight to Chennai from any part of India and then take another flight to Madurai from thereafter.
Just like the airport, Madurai has its own railway junction which is well-connected to all major cities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Even if you cannot avail a direct train to Madurai, you can avail trains either from Chennai or Coimbatore. Express trains from Trichy, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are also available connecting the cities to Madurai.
Madurai can also be reached by road. Travellers can take either a bus or a car. National Highway 45 and 45B connects Madurai to Chennai. It is one of the amazing drives that one can experience. Apart from that, Madurai can be reached from Bengaluru via NH 49. Other cities from where direct buses for Madurai are available include Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Local transport is by means of bus, taxi or auto-rickshaw. If wishing to visit nearby places, you can board a passenger train. However, remember to keep the train timetable in mind.
October to March is the best time to visit Madurai. With a hot and dry climate for most of the year, Madurai is best visited during the winter season. The town is known for its ancient temples and other architectural and religious masterpieces and receives a generous crowd of people throughout the year. Madurai is the most fascinating and welcoming during the months between October and March which coincides with its winter season.
Madurai in Monsoon (June-August)
Monsoon season in Madurai lasts from June to August. Although the monsoon season continues for a smaller amount of time, the south-west monsoon winds bring in a large amount of rainfall which is extremely heavy. This rainfall also makes the weather gloomy but still makes the city beautiful as the nature around Madurai mainly benefits from this rain. This is the perfect time to visit Madurai for people who love greenery and the lush natural surroundings.
Madurai in Winter (December-February)
Many locals look forward to the winter season in Madurai due to the relief it brings from the summers. The season lasts from December to February. The temperature during the winter months ranges from 20 degree Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius. The season is characterised by moderately cool temperatures which make travelling around the city a pleasant experience for all individuals. Pongal, a widely celebrated festival is regarded as extremely special in Madurai. The festival lasts for three days and comprises of praying for a good harvest by locals and farmers alike. Other religious festivals are also celebrated with great vigour. However, hotel prices may climb up as this is the peak tourist season.
Madurai in Summer (March-July)
The summer season in Madurai lasts from March to May. The temperatures during this season range from 24 degree Celsius to 34 degrees Celsius. This means that the weather in Madurai during these months is uncharacteristically hot. It is also really dry which makes the heat more noticeable and discourages travellers to visit. The summer season is, therefore, an offseason for Madurai, and the crowds are comparatively less as well.
Madurai is often referred to as the food capital of Tamil Nadu, given the huge variety in styles, cuisines, genres and sizes that it offers. In Madurai, you can taste the most authentic of traditional delicacies as well as indulge in fast food, Bengali, Italian, Chinese and North-Indian cuisines. Also, the food is lip smacking all though its streets to the elaborate restaurants.
The local delicacies include Paruthi paal, jigarthanda, panangkarkandu paal and chettinadu varieties like appam, kuzhi paniyaram, etc. as well as beverages like Paruthi, Jigarthanda as well as the popular Filter coffee. Other than these, find local favorites from all over Bengal Fish curry, Pizzas, Chaats, Fish and Chips, Gulab Jamuns, Samosas, Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken and lots more.
Murugan Idli Shop
This casual dining restaurant is renowned for its South Indian tiffin cuisine. Serving hygienic food, this air-conditioned restaurant is best known for its authentic idlis, dosas, Jigarthanda, varied accompaniments and meals.
49, West Perumal Maistry Street, (Old Ganesh Mess)Near Chennai Silks,Madurai-625001.
South Indian, North Indian, Chinese
6am? 11pm (Mon-Sun)
This multi-cuisine family restaurant serves quality vegetarian food to its guests. With prompt service and an inexpensive menu, this restaurant is a local favourite.
Garden All Day
This global cuisine restaurant in the Taj Gateway Hotel is renowned in Madurai. From the garden-decor to the delectable spread of dishes par excellence, Garden All Day is one of the best dining experiences in town.
57, Alagar Kovil Road, Tallakulam, KK Nagar, Madurai
11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 11 PM
This casual dining mess serves authentic South Indian cuisine. Best known for its Kali dosa and mutton Kola Urundai, this local favourite is renowned for its traditional authenticity and quality.
1. JC Residency Madurai
Facilites: Parking, Bar, Wifi, Pool, Food
A 3-minute walk from 'Lady Doak College, JC Residency in Madurai provides an outdoor pool and a gym. Fitted with rich wood furnishings, the elegant air-conditioned rooms all come with free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. Parking is free.
Hotel with 3 room options
? 5,180 onwards
3.8 kms from city centre
Facilities: Parking, WIFI, Bar, Pool, Food
Just 4 km away from Madurai Railway Junction, Heritage Madurai offers a 24-hour front desk and features an outdoor swimming pool and concierge service. The property is just 5 km away from the famous Meenakshi Temple.
5-star resort with 3 room options
? 7,080 onwards
1.1 kms from city centre
Facilites: Parking, Wifi
Located in Madurai, 1 km from Meenakshi Temple, Mani's residency features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and express check-in and check-out. Featuring a tour desk, this property also provides guests with a terrace.
Book without credit card
Hotel with 3 room options
? 1,886 onwards
4. Avea Accommodation
3.2 kms from city centre
Facilites: Parking, Wifi
Featuring free WiFi, Avea Accommodation offers accommodation in Madurai. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV. All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom.
Homestay with 5 room options
? 2,086 onwards
2.8 kms from city centre
Facilites: Parking, Wifi , Bar , Pool , Food
Located in Madurai, 3.7 km from Meenakshi Temple, Courtyard by Marriott Madurai provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a garden.
4-star hotel with 5 room options
? 5,605 onwards
2.8 kms from city centre
The Lost Hostel, Madurai in Madurai provides adults-only accommodation with a shared lounge and a terrace. The property is around 3.1 km from Meenakshi Temple, 2.3 km from Koodal Azhagar Temple and 3.5 km from Aarapalayam Bus Terminus.
Hostel with 4 room options
? 500 onwards
Much like Varanasi in the north, Madurai is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in India. Situated on the banks of Vaigai river in Tamil Nadu, the city is known for its Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. Apart from being a pilgrim town, a popular tourist destination, a cultural hotspot and the erstwhile capital of the Pandyan dynasty Madurai is also known for its food, cuisine, architecture, shopping and endearing people.
Madurai is known by several names: Koodal nagaram (City of Junctions), Malligai maanagar (City of Jasmine), Koil maanagar (Temple city), Thoonga nagaram(City that never sleeps) and Naanmada koodal (junction of four towers, that refers here to the four major temples that Madurai was known for) among others. The city even finds mention in the Tamil classical epic, Silappatikaram that revolves around Kannagi who avenges her husband’s death by destroying the Pandyan kingdom.
Puthu Mandapam: It’s Time for Shopping
Your visit to Madurai will perhaps remain incomplete if you don’t explore the Puthu Mandapam shopping area. Located just opposite to the famous Meenakshi Temple, this shopping complex is home to the rows of tailors and stalls who sell wide range of countless varieties of fabric, scarves, jewellery, fashion accessories, handicrafts and art work. You can buy any such stuff that becomes a perfect souvenir that you visited Madurai. Almost all tourists visiting Madurai ensure exploring this market to buy high quality modern clothes, including decent replicas. Foreigners frequently visit this market to buy clothes which they take back to their respective countries as the memories to keep. So, make sure that you include it in your itinerary as it is one of the fun things to do in Madurai.
Location: E Chitrai St, Chinnakadai Area, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Time required: 2-3 hours
Saint Mary’s Cathedral: Spend Some Time Praying
People from different religious views and faiths often attend to the prayers at Saint Mary’s Cathedral Church in the Madurai city of Tamil Nadu in India which is often denoted with its religious harmony. Popularly known with the name Church of Our Lady of Dolours, the Saint Mary’s Cathedral Church is one of the most popular and visited churches in Tamil Nadu. Constructed in the year 1841 by the New Madurai Mission, this church was later expanded to accommodate large gathering of people that comprised of domestic and international tourists. Notable attraction of this church is the magnificent architecture which features the two tall bell towers. Its stunning stained-glass work appeals to all and so is it a perfect amalgamation of the Roman, European and several other architectural styles.
Location: E Veli St, Mahalipatti, Tamil Nadu 625001
Time required: 1-2 hours
Built in the 17th century, Thirumalai Nayak Palace is one of the most visited places in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu state of India. This palace had been built by the then King Tirumala Nayaka who had remained an influential king of the Madurai’s Nayaka Dynasty. Made of the Dravidian and Islamic architecture, this place is worth admiring and exploring while it comes to exploring a Madurai tour today. Besides offering enough avenues to the history lovers to digress into the past era, this palace also keeps the common tourists hooked to visit to enjoy the sound and light shows. Such shows are conducted every evening at the palace to showcase the glimpse of the past era. The palace maintains peaceful and calm surroundings. It is one more reason for the tourist to gather and feel the tranquility here thus enjoy the Madurai tour to the best.
Location: Palace Rd, Mahal Area, Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Time required: 3-4 hours
If you are the one willing to explore the Jain sculptures and are looking for adventurous things to do in Madurai, then you must consider a hike between the Samanar Hills to the Jain caves for an experience to keep for the whole life. In the midway, there is a Keelakuyilkudi village, which is popular for its collection of the painted mud horses and Jain sculptures. Tourists stop by the village as they can easily encounter the mud horses in the surrounding of the village’s picturesque Karuppasamy Temple.
Such beautifully decorated mud horses are donated by the potters from Vilachery to the villagers for their village festivals that take place every year. Apart from ancient rock-cut sculptures of Jain deities, a tour to this region lets you to come across a panoramic view over the countryside.
Location: Nethaji St, Thiruparankundram, Tamil Nadu 625005
Time required: 3-4 hours
Are you one of those who love eating bananas? If your answer is in affirmation, then you must plan a tour to the Banana Market in Madurai and unravel how this market remains unique. This wholesale banana market offers you approximately 16 varieties of bananas. Therefore, it receives the attention of the tourists as much as the banana traders. Being one of the main tourist attractions of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, you will be urged in this market to buy variety of bananas. Tourists always spot the workers unloading several dozens of banana branches and selling them in the market. You can directly purchase bananas to enjoy their deliciousness.
Location: Swami, No. 4/1, East Swami Shanthi Street, Near Amma Store, East, Shanthi St, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
Time required: 2-3 hours
Gandhi Memorial Museum: Gain More Knowledge
Located at the Nayak Queen Rani Mangammal, this famous Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the select few museums in India which is exclusively dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. This museum comprises of several items that were used by him such as his shawl, spectacles, yarn, and the blood-stained dhoti (loincloth). He was wearing those clothes while he had been assassinated in Delhi in 1948. Entry to this museum is free for all.
Location: Collector Office Rd, Tamukkam, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625020
Time required: 1-2 hours
Thiruparankundram: Explore The Abode Of Lord Murugan
If you love exploring Indian monuments, then you must plan Thiruparankundram visit which is a notable landmark in Madurai. It receives large chunk of tourists who are both domestic and international travellers. The Arulmigu Subramaniya Swamy Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan that is known as a handsome son of the Lord Shiva. Due to being having the deity of the one of the favourite Gods which Tamil’s worship, this temple in Madurai receives devotees and pilgrims in large numbers every day and throughout the year.
You can also explore a 14th century grave shrine of the Islamic saint Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badhusha nearby it. It is an indication of the best religious harmony preserved to showcase the secular values enshrined in the Indian societies which reflects from this place in Madurai.
Time required: 1 day
The city of Madurai is popular for several South Indian food ventures from the rich South Indian cuisines. If you are a food lover and want to taste best of the South Indian food in town, you should consider the renowned Murugan Idli Shop. It is famous among the locals as well as international tourists. Besides the simple and delicious taste of recipes cooked here, this restaurant maintains extreme level of hygiene. That is perhaps one of the primary reasons that this restaurant is always flocked by the food lovers. The famous recipes like Idli and Dosa are the must taste items in this restaurant. Such recipes are served to the food lovers with special blend of spicy chutney powders.
Madurai is famous for temples belonging to the Nayaka and Pandyan regimes, some of them even dating to the 7th-century like the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, etc. It is also famous for its vibrant festivals like Pongal & Chithirai, delicious traditional Tamil cuisine, and silks.
2 nights and 3 days are sufficient to see all its architectural beauty in the famous temples, palaces, and museums. This time is also perfect for you to visit several market places to pick up traditional textiles and handicrafts and try a range of delicious Tamilian cuisine.