Madurai India - This temple town of south India beckons tourists - for architecture and culture lovers, this is the place to be.

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Madurai is said to be one of the oldest cities of India. It is famous by many names like ' Temple Town of south India' and 'Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu'. The city is situated on the banks of river Vaigai. Madurai was built by the Pandayan king Kulasekra. There are umpteen temples in the city of Madurai. People with a spiritual bend of mind and other jaded travellers would find great relief of mind, body and soul in the temples of Madurai.

The architecture of the temples are stupendous. They leave an indelible mark on the visitors from worldwide. The city of Madurai is certainly no atheist's land.

Meenakshi Temple - When we talk about Madurai, the images and thoughts of Meenakshi Temple sets in our minds. Such is the bond of both which each other. The temple has been a centre of attraction for the tourists since time immemorial. The temple is a huge piece of architecture. There are about 12 gopurams in this temple. The temple complex and the surrounding areas are spread over 60,000 sq m. Madurai is also revered as one of the five Cosmic Dance Halls Of Shiva. The temple was originally constructed by the Pandayan king Kulasekra.
Meenakshi TempleTirumalai Nayak Palace - This palace lies at about 1.5 km from the Meenakshi Temple. This palace was built in 1636 by Tirumalai Nayak . The domes and the arches of the palace are very impressive. The massive white pillars are the major attractions of this palace. This palace is a fine synthesis of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Gandhi Museum - The highlights of the freedom struggle can be witnessed in the Gandhi Museum. This museum houses a picture gallery belonging to the Gandhian movement. There is also a section of south Indian handicrafts and khadi and village industries here.

Mariamman Teppakulam - Spread in 16 acres, the Mariamman Teppakulam is a beautiful square tank. It is located at about 5 kms from the East of Meenakshi temple. The colourful float festival celebrating the birth of king Tirumalai Nayak is held here in the month of January/ February.

Alagar Koil - About 12 kms from Madurai lies the celebrated Vishnu Temple dedicated to Lord Alagar. The temple is located amidst the serene and beautiful surroundings. The temple is te home to some of the most beautiful cavings that draws tourists to this place very often.

Koodal Azhagar Temple - This ancient shrine has Vishnu in sitting, standing and reclining postures one above the other.

Shopping in Madurai
Madurai is not only a place for the pilgrims but also for the shopping lovers. A great variety of sarees are available in Mdurai ranging from the bright tie -and -dyed cotton Sungudi sarees to Co-optex sarees. The Khadi Emporium located here also brings in a great number of surprises for the tourists in the matter of variety in sarees.

For handicrafts the Poompuhar Sales Emporium ( East Avani Moola Street) is very much preferred. A great place to buy locally manufactured cottons as well as the batiks loved by many travellers is Puthu Mandapam, an old, stone-pillared hall just along from the eastern entrance to Sri Meenakshi Temple. Here you'll find lines of textile stalls opposite rows of tailors, each busily treading away and capable of whipping up a good replica of whatever you're wearing in an hour or two.

How To Reach
By Air - The city of Madurai owns its own airport that is 12 km from the city centre. Vayudoot Services also connect Madurai with Madras & Pondicherry.

By Rail - Madurai is well connected by regular trains that link Madurai to Coimbatore, Chennai, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari and other towns of India. The Madurai railway station is within the city centre.

By Road - City of Madurai is well connected by a fine network of roads and road transport to all major towns of the state of Tamil Nadu.

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