Monday, March 15, 2010

Madurai - The Temple City of South India

According to an OLD TAMIL SAYING “to attain mukti be born in Tiruvarur, think of Tiruvanamalai, have darshan at Chidambaram, die in Kashi and live in Madurai.

Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu is a gentle blend of tradition and modernity. It is known as the temple city of South India. Temples, monuments and ancient cultural wonders abound in Madurai. Madurai is situated on the banks of the dry river called Vaigai.



In fact, Madurai is no somnolent small town, but a bustling city with a population of at least 11 lakhs. It is the major pilgrimage centre of Tamil Nadu. It is even called ‘The Athens of the East’. It is also South India’s key trading and transport center. Shops remain open until at least 10 pm.

Indeed, this ancient temple town has a lot to please----and surprise----today’s visitors. For instance:

Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple, one of India’s most stupendous and most popular temple is in Madurai. Around 30, 000 devotees visit this temple everyday. It costs Rs. 2 lakhs a month to illuminate the temple’s interiors with tube lights.


The world’s most productive eye hospital is based here. Run by an idealistic local family of ophthalmologists, the Arvind eye facility performs 70% of its 290, 000 annual surgeries for free.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace,built under the supervision of an Italic architect, is a classic and rare example of Nayak Architecture. There is a half hour show about the life and victories of King Thirumalai which help us to know how past age kings used to live in royalty.


Mariamman Teppakulam, a magnificent tank built by King Thirumalai, is 5 km east of Meenakshi Temple. Towards the northern side of the tank, there is a temple dedicated to Mariamman who is a famous village divinity.


The School of Biological Sciences at Madurai Kamaraj University has an international reputation. A few years ago, its scientists, after testing the DNA of some communities here, confirmed that the first humans to migrate from Africa some 60, 000 years ago walked through western India on their way to Australia.

The still-expanding Paramount Airways, one of India’s new carriers, was started by a young Madurai businessman. Crisscrossing the country during the day, M. Thiagarajan tries to fly back home every evening.

Sourashtrians, a people who migrated from Gujarat centuries ago, constitute one of the largest communities in the city. Known for their silk-weaving, many continue this profession and still speak an old form of Gujarati.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, one of the oldest Roman Catholic Churches in India, is in Madurai. This elegant church, built around 150 years back, attracts lot of visitors. St. George Church, First Baptist Church, Our Lady Lurdu Church are the other important worshipping places for Christians.




It was in Madurai in 1921 that Gandhiji discarded his daglo (long coat), dhoti and turban for a simple loin cloth to identify with India’s poor. The house in which he made this momentous decision is now a government khadi shop, not far from the Meenakshi temple. Gandhiji’s influences remains alive here, and 55 kilometers away, Gandhigram, the rural institution that he set up to serve the poor, is still going strong.

This city is the birth place of many famous personalities. M. S. Subbulakshmi, the late queen of Carnatic Classical Melody and the first singer to win Bharat Ratna, was born in Madurai.

One of the heartening features of Madurai is the generally friendly relationship between its major religious communities. All religions are keys on the same harmonium. Several Madurai Christians visit the Meenakshi Temple regularly.








16 comments:

  1. wowow I was in 7th class when i came to see madurai with the school trip.. went to kodai kanal too It was wonderful then its WOW now tooo ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. great blog and very informative

    ReplyDelete
  3. India has lots of intresting place to visit. Thanks for commenting my site.

    http://maldiveslive.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Alan! Thanks for the comment on my site ;) It's great to have u dropping by my site! Stay tuned with PerutBesi & enjoy all the food & travel photos! Feel free to comment as well :D Btw, u've an informative blog...I've never been to India & it would be nice to visit India someday ;) Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Indigo Airlines offers Cheap Air Tickets - Book cheap & discounted indigo flights tickets booking online with lowest air fares flights deals on Cheap Air Tickets india for domestic travel.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good to see what medical facilities are available.
    Thanks for your compliment when you visited my Living in Greece site.

    http://www.britsincrete.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very Informative Blog

    10 Most Beautiful Places of the World.

    Posing Facts http://posingfacts.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very nice city. I like to visit your city.

    http://maldiveslive.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. India is a great place to go on holiday. People are lovely and food is amazing. I just hope the flights will start flying again soon!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have also wonderful blog...

    Thanks for visiting my Blog.

    http://traveltoindias.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. thanks for ur comment at my blog http://extremesportchallenge.blogspot.com
    and u have a nice blog too

    ReplyDelete
  12. India is also well known for its holy and the most enjoyable places. It is well known for its holy temples and other most enjoyable places. You have made really nice blog so that other people can know about the beauty of India.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Nice Web Blog good content and nice look really great. In North India, The Golden Triangle Tour is also quite famous for covering historical city tour like Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
    Golden Triangle Tour
    India Tour Packages
    Rajasthan Tour
    India Tour Packages

    ReplyDelete
  14. South India is extensively famous for antique temples. There have various destinations in South India where traveler find antique and gorgeous temples.


    1-Chennai
    2-Thirupati
    3-Kanchipuram
    4-Mahabalipuram
    5-Tiruvannamalai

    I have mentioned some famous temples but not only 5 temples; South India is the hub of more than 3000 temples. Some temples are more than 1000 year old and accorded the status of world heritage site by UNESCO. Begin your journey with cheap flights to India and discover all these magnificent temples.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very Nice blog about Cheap Air Tickets and Cheap Domestic Air Tickets and cheap air tickets in India, Cheap Domestic Air Tickets, Low Price Airline Flights

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete