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Home >> Destinations>>Madurai
MADURAI

Thousand Piller Hall - Madurai Located on the banks of the Vaigai River, Madurai is Tamil Nadu's second largest city but is best known for its Sri Meenakshi Temple, the largest and most impressive of all the temple complexes in south India. Also known as one of India's most sacred pilgrimage centers, the city was laid out in accordance with an ancient temple custom whereby this Great Temple dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi was placed at its centre. Considered to be the finest of its kind in Tamil Nadu, temple's towering gopurams are covered in a riot of gaily painted, dancing and cavorting gods and goddesses and inside are impressive pillared halls. It is always a hive of activity and it is recommended to visit both in the day time to witness the hundreds of people attending to their rituals and also in the evening to witness the evening puja when the gods are put to bed.

PLACES OF INTEREST
Meenakshi Temple - Madurai Meenakshi Temple
One of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage, the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple is located at the heart of the city. Built by Kulasekara Pandya in the pre-Christian era, the temple was in ruins before it was rebuilt by Tirumalai Nayak. Spread over six hectares, the temple is an outstanding example of Vijayanagar temple architecture. The temple has four entrances to it and its gopurams (large gateways) and mandapams (multi-pillared halls)are covered from top to bottom in a profusion of multi-colored images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. The southern gopuram, which is about 48.4-metre-high is the most spectacular of all gopurams, and has over 1,500 sculptures. The two presiding deities are seated at Oonjal Mandapam on the western end of this tank. The deities are worshipped every Friday on a swing. Next to this is the Kilikootu Mandapam (hall of parrots) where some beautiful sculptures as well as parrots that chant the name of Meenakshi can be seen. The shrine dedicated to the goddess is just beyond this hall and entry is restricted only to Hindus.
Tirumalai Nayak Mahal - MaduraiTirumalai Nayak Mahal
About 1 km from the Meenakshi Temple is the palace of Tirumalai Nayak. Constructed in 1523, this Indo-Saracenic building was originally four times as large as it is today. Its dome, which lies beyond a huge courtyard and rises to a height of 20 metres without any support, is a magnificent example of the engineering skills of its builders.
Koodal Azhagar Temple - Madurai Koodal Azhagar Temple
Two kms to the west of Madurai is located the Koodal Azhagar Temple, an ancient Vaishnavite temple. The temple has a statue that depicts Lord Vishnu in three poses.
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam - Madurai Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Five kms east of the Meenakshi temple is a tank called Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam. At the centre of the tank is an idol of Lord Vinayaka or Vigneshwara installed on a platform. The tank was built by Tirumalai Nayak in 1646 and is connected to the Vaigai River by underground channels.
Pazhamudhirsolai - Madurai Pazhamudhirsolai
Located on a picturesque wooded hill, Pazhamudhirsolai is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.

General Information

By Air : Madurai airport (15 km)
By Rail : Madurai railway station (6 km)
By Road : Chennai (450 km), Cochin (340 km), Pondicherry (360 km), Tanjore (185 km), Trichy (130 km), Thekkady (145 km), Kovalam (320 km)
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