Madurai is one of the oldest cities in the country as well as a traditional center of Tamil Nadu. The city has a large number of Hindu temples making it the City of Temples. This place is located on the edge of River Vaigai and is a more than 2000 years old city. Madurai is the country’s most famous city for its beautiful architecture temples and palaces. This city is also known as the Lotus city because its structure is made in the form of a Lotus flower.
This city is known for its Jasmine flowers worldwide and is the largest producer of jasmine flowers in the world. Tamil culture is rooted in the city for several generations and still, you can see a glimpse of it in the locals here. Festival-like Float festival, Chithirai festival, Jallikattu, and many other famous festivals are celebrated here with huge celebrations. Additionally, Madurai is the second Medical Hub after Chennai in the state. The city is also renowned for its food because several dishes are founded with the influence of different cultures but end with the earthy taste of the region.
Madurai is famous for
The city is famous for everything that is present here. You cannot just count on the famous things here as they are uncountable. So, let’s start with its beautiful name Madurai, this word literally means sweetness. And it is undoubtedly to say that the city is full of sweetness. Additionally, the city got its name from a mythology that says that when Lord Shiva has come to the region the drops of nectar from his hair fell here and after that, this city is name Madurai.
Next, the place is famously known as the city of temples because you will find several temples here. Every temple has its own value as well as the story to explain. The temples are famous for their unique as well as undefinable architectural structures and astonishing beauty. Meenakshi Temple, Alagar Koil Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple, and Mariamman Teppakulam are some of the most famous temples here.
This city is prestigious for its production of Jasmine flowers worldwide. These flowers bloom here since 300 B.C. and have great value. The flower is famous in the world for its strong fragrance that is used to make perfumes and decorations. Madurai is also known as the Lotus of the South because the formation of the city is like a lotus flower blooming in the region.
Every vacation is vague without shopping, it is kind of necessary to bring something from where you go. In Madurai, you can buy hand-weaved clothes, bronze lamps, and many other things. The city holds markets open for 24 hours so that you can not miss out on shopping due to closed markets. Therefore, this is not it, still, there are a lot of specialties about the city that you can explore here and learn about.
Nearby tourist places
- Vaigai Dam :- This dam is near the Andipatti on river Vaigai in the Theni district. The dam was constructed in 1959 and is 111 ft. high. Near the dam, an agriculture research center is founded to do research on crops growing in the region. Here tourists can enjoy the garden situated on the bank of the river having various varieties of flowers.
- Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal :- This palace was built by king Thirumalai Nayak in 1636. It is constructed in astonishing Italian and Rajput styles of architecture. Tourists from around the world come here to witness the beauty of this spectacular palace. This place is the must to visit destination of the region.
- Gandhi Museum :- This is one of the Peace Museums Worldwide of the country. It is a memorial built in honor of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi in 1959. In this museum, you can witness numerous structures as well as tokens of Indian history. Here you can find the blood-stained clothes of Mahatma Gandhi which he was wearing on his death day.
- Meghamalai :- It is an Animals Sanctuary on the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This sanctuary is spread across an area of 63000 hectares. It is a haven for wildlife lovers as well as for outdoor lovers. This is a beautiful forest place famous for its mesmerizing views and cardamom plantations. Here you can see numerous animals along with exotic species of flora.
- Idly – Dosa :- This is the most famous dish of South India. Therefore, it is a must to try a dish here that is served in proper traditional ways. Idli is a steamed rice cake eaten with sambhar, coconut chutney, or sometimes alone. Tourists can also try different types of Dosa here. This is a healthy dish with a lip-smacking taste.
- Paruthi Paal :- It is a healing drink made with cotton seeds, milk, cardamom, almonds, ginger, and a little bit of sugar. This is like tea but very different in taste and is most famous in Tamil Nadu. It is a traditional drink earlier made in households, and due to its time-consuming process, it is foregone now.
- Jigarthanda :- This delicious drink is the most famous desert of Madurai. It was brought by the Nawabs of Arcot. It is prepared with condensed milk, ice cream, almond jelly, food syrups, and some other natural ingredients. It is a drink known for its perfect taste and health benefits.
- Idiyappam :- It is a breakfast special dish in the city. In this noodle of rice flour is steamed and served with coconut chutney, korma, coconut milk, greeted paneer, and curies. This is a traditional and ancient food here, which means one should definitely try this dish whenever they are in the city.
- Bun Parotta :- This is a special dish found in Madurai. Famous for its unreplaceable taste as well as for its bun shape. This is a puffy roll stuffed with a kneaded mixture of milk, bananas, egg, sugar, and butter. However, it is similar to basic parotta but appears in a bun shape and is much puffier than basic parotta.
Madurai’s famous Temples
- Meenakshi Amman Temple :- It is the most visited place here. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. It Is believed that Shiva came here to marry Parvati. The temple is the most beautiful destination in the city with an incredible architectural structure. This temple was built between 1623 – 1655 and tourists from the whole world are here.
- Alagar Koil Temple :- This temple is the resting place of Lord Vishnu. It is situated in the northwest of the city in Alagar hills. Here you can see the idols of Vishnu in several positions are settled under one roof. Additionally, a big hall is formed in the temple for worshipping Lord Vishnu as well as for performing Yagya.
- Koodal Azhagar Temple :- The temple was built by Pandayas originally then with the addition of the Vijayanagar Empire and Madurai’s Nayak kings the temple was developed further. This temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and has a large premise spread over an area of 6 acres. This temple is a famous worshipping place for the locals during the months of May and June.
- Mariamman Teppakulam :- It is a large square tank formed by king Thirumalai Nayak in an area of 16 acres. Here is a mandapam in the center of the pond in which the idol of Lord Vianeshwara is kept. It is believed that this idol was founded here under the tank. However, the famous float festival is celebrated on the birth anniversary of the king.
Why Madurai is called a sleepless city?
Madurai is the sleepless city of India and is known as Thoonga Nagaram which literally means the sleepless town. This city runs 24-7 which means you can roam around the city whenever you want. The city has a lively vibe as it is a city of festivals and celebrations. Therefore, people here keep the charisma of livelihood every time. It is believed that the city is sleepless because of the holy vibrations of the Meenakshi Temple. They say it is a blessing that goddess Meenakshi protects the city by keeping an eye on it every time.
So, the people keep the environment bustling as well as joyful while being devoted to the goddess. The people of Madurai are vibrant and love to work. This is the reason the city has separate markets for days known as Naalangadi and for nights it is known as Allangadi. In these markets, you can find everything of your need as well as eat the delicious street food of the city.
Therefore, it can be concluded that Madurai is an incredible destination to visit. The city has so many things to learn about with its values and cultures. Here, you will feel harmony and peace in its every time working environment. This city is an abode of god, which means it is a blessed place with wonderful surroundings. However, it is a colorful city with variations in festivals as well as culture.
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