Madurai is the Hindu's most pilgrimage centre and is one of the largest city of state Tamilnadu. This city of Tamilnadu is sometimes acknowledge as temple city, city of junction, city that never sleep, city of Jasmine. The history of Madurai dates back with the third century BC. Madurai takes third rank in Tamilnadu, area vise and is situated on Vaigai river. Madurai is longest as well as oldest city of Tamilnadu. According to 2001 census, the population of Tamilnadu was over 1.2 million. Madurai is spread over an area of 248 sq.kms.
This city of Tamilnadu is famous for its temples which are ancient ones and are built by Madurai Nayak and Pandyan rulers. Most of these temples are created in Dravidian architecture style. A Greek ethnographer in Hellenistic period named as Megasthenes specified this city. This city of Tamilnadu is an cultural centre of Pandyan empire. Pandyas ruled over the sourthern parts of Tamilnadu and also Kerala. They ruled over these parts till the first half of 14th century. But their dynasty decline in 1311 and Delhi Sultanate takes their place and also established the arena of Ma'bar, later which became independent.
Many times this city of Tamilnadu is referred as Aalavai, Koodal nagar, Naan maada Koodal. These names are listed in the poem of 17th century. Madurai is located 498kms away from Chennai, state capital and 161km from Tirwehirappalli having an average elevation of 101 metres.
Origin of word Madurai, Tamilnadu
According to a popular theory, the name Madurai sometimes referred as Marutham and is associated with a species of trees and these trees grews on the countryside of Sangam period and on the side of Vaigai river.
Another popular theory is that, in ancient Kumari Kandam (original city of Madurai) was demolish by tidal waves and then moved to a inland where present Madurai is situated. The city is also associated with Vada Mudurai, a town in Dindigul district and Manamadurai, Sivangangai district. All these names are listed in the 17th century poems.
Madurai is also referred as the City of Divine Nectar. The theory behind this is that God Shiva blessed this land of Tamilnadu and its people also. As this city operates everytime i.e. 24 hours a day so sometimes referred as the City that never sleeps or Thoonga Nagaram.
History Madurai, Tamilnadu
In 3rd century, Madura is referred as "Methora". Apart from this, the city is also specified in Kautilya's treatise and also acknowledged as the seat of Pandyan dynasty. Between 300 BCE and 200 CE, Madurai was a home city of third and last Tamil Sangam. It is also listed in Periplus of Erythraean sea.
After Sangam period, Madurai was ruled by Kalabhras empire and were kicked out by Pandyas in 550 CE. After the demise of Kulasekara Pandian, king of Pandyan, Delhi Sultanate rule over Madurai. In 1378, it is ruled by Vijayanagar and then goes under Nayak dynasty but again became independent in 1736.
Madurai is the place where after seeing the condition of agricultural laborers, wearing loin cloths, Gandhi took decision to wear loin cloths too. So we can say that it played an important role in the movement which is for Indian Independence. A lot of leaders took part in this movement.
Population of Madurai
According to 2001 census, the population of Madurai was 1.4 million consisting of 50.53% males and 49.46% females. The average literacy rate of this city is about 77.6% which is far more higher than the country average, 64.5%.
In 2005, the crime rate in this city was about 283.2 per 100,000 people. This city takes 19th rank among the 35 crime cities of India.
Places to see in Madurai
Madurai is well known for its temples so sometimes acknowledge as "temple city". It has a lot of temples. Among those Meenakshi Amman temple is popular one. This city of state Tamilnadu is also having famous masjid, Kazimar masjid. Kazimar mosque attracts a lot of people because of its architecture and is the first Mauslim place of worship in Madurai. Some of these places are discussed below
Mariamman Teppakulam temple
This temple of Tamilnadu is just 5kms away from famous Meenakshi Amman temple. Mariamman Teppakulam temple is dedicated to Lord Vigneshwara. It is having a tank which was dugged by Tirumala Nayaka. When this tank is filled with water then it gives a breathtaking sight.
Pazhamudhir solai is the most beautiful temple of Tamilnadu and is dedicated to Lord Subramaniya. Pazhamudhir solai is situated on the hills of Azhararkoil. Pazhamudhir solai is having a great engrave of Lord Subhamaniya encraved in wood and marble. By moving a number of times across the outskirts of temple, people used to do worship here. This temple is the biggest temple of Lord Subramaniya in sourthern part of India.
Initially this museum was the palace of Rani Mangammal. This museum of Tamilnadu gives the information about India's independence movement. Gandhi museum is having a blood stained Dhoti of Gandhi which he was wearing at the time of his murder.
Kodal Azhagar temple
This temple is the oldest temple of state Tamilnadu. Kodal Azhagar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In Kodal Azhagar temple, you can see Shiva sitting in various postures like sitting, standing, resting etc.
Meenakshi Amman temple
This temple is one of the most popular temple of state Tamilnadu. According to a popular theory, Madura is the place where the marriage of Shiva and Meenakshi took place.
This is one of the famous hill station in southern parts of India and is having a elevation of 2,130 metres from sea level in western ghats.
Adhisyam is a water park and is located at a distance of 15km from Madurai. This picnic spot was established in 2000. It provides all the fun activities and is a spectacular place for entertainment with family and friends.
Kumbakkarai water fall
Kumbakkarai water fall is 105kms away from Madurai and is a good picnic spot. It feels too good to visit this place as waterfall surrounded by a wide forest and gives a awesome look and sound too.
Weather of Madurai
The average rainfall in this city of Tamilnadu is about 85cm. The weather is almost dry and hot with monsoons in the amid of october to December.
Temperature in summer season: 40°C (maximum), 26.3°C (minimum)
Temperature in winter season: It ranges between 29.6°C to 18°C.
How to reach Madurai
Madurai is well connected with rest of the country through air, road and rail links. For more information, kindly read the article as below:
Madurai by rail:
If you want to reach Madurai by rail then the nearest entry point is Madurai junction, which is busiest one in whole of the country. After Chennai, this junction is the second largest divison in state Tamilnadu. The main railway stations in City Madura are:
1. Koodal nagar
5. Madurai junction
6. East Madurai
7. Vadipatti junction
Madurai by air
If you want to reach Madurai through air link then Madurai airport is here for you which is about 12kms away from Madurai. This airport of Madurai offers flights to the major cities of country.
Madurai by road
This city of Tamilnadu has main bus stands as MIBT ( Matuthavani Integrated Bus Terminal), Periyar bus stand, Palanganatham. You can easily reach to this city as it is well connected to NH7, NH45B, NH49.
More articles: Madurai tourist guide