- Fortune Pandiyan
- Fortune Pandiyan Hotel, Madurai
- GRT REGENCY Madurai
- Royal Court
- Hotel Germanus
- Hotel Sangam
- The Madurai Residency
- Hotel Supreme
- Hotel Park Plaza
- Star Residency
- Hotel Weshtern Park
- Hotel Sri Temple park
- The Madurai Residency
- Hotel Supreme
- Meenakshi Sunshine Hotel
- The Golden Park
- HOTEL ROCKFORT PALACE (60 Kms from Madurai)
Meenakshi-Sundareswar TempleAlso known as Meenakshi Amman Temple, this historic Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Sundareswar and Goddess Meenakshi. Sundareswar means the beautiful God and Meenakshi means the fish eyed Goddess. Lord Shiva is called Sundareswar and Goddess Parvati is called Meenakshi. According to the legend, the second Pandya King Malayadwaja and his queen Kanchanamalai performed Putra Kameshti Yagna in order to gain an offspring.
Goddess Parvati appeared out of the holy fire and granted them a daughter who was the incarnation of herself. The King was shocked to see the girl who had three breasts. But the goddess said that the extra breast will disappear when she meets her future husband. The king named his daughter Tadaatagai and brought her up preparing her as the heir to the throne. She was trained in all 64 Shastras including warfare.
At the time of coronation, according to the custom, Tadaatagai was sent for Digvijayam (Victory across all directions). She conquered Satyaloka, Vaikuntha and Amaravati and marched ahead for Kailasha. But as soon as she looked at Lord Shiva, she was not able to fight due to shyness. The third breast fell down and she realized that Lord Shiva was her future husband. Both of them returned to Madurai and the King Malayadwaja got them married here. That was the biggest wedding on the earth and everybody from all Lokas had gathered at Madurai for attending the never before marriage.
The epitome of Hindu culture, this temple is believed to be about 2500 years old and it is said that originally the temple was constructed by the Pandya King Kulasekara. The entire credit for the grand architecture of this temple goes to Nayaka Rulers who reined Madurai from 16th to 18th century. The original temple was sacked by Malik Kafur in 1310. The present temple was rebuilt by Nayaka Kings. Maharaja Viswanatha Nayak took the initiative and later, King Thirumalai Nayak, Rani Mangammal and Rani Meenakshi made a remarkable contribution in building it up.
Meenakshi - Sundareswar temple, the emblem of Tamil Nadu is the geographical center of the city. The massive temple complex is spread over the area of 45 acres and it has four entrances in four directions. There are 12 beautifully sculptured towers (Gopurams) surrounding the temple, the tallest of them being 170 feet high. The noteworthy features of the temple comprise of shrines of various deities including Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Meenakshi, Velli Ambalam; the stage where Lord Shiva had performed the cosmic dance as a Nataraja, the Porthamarai Kulam Lake, the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam (The Thousand Pillars Hall) and the Ashta Shakthi Mandapam.
You can take the darshana of the deities seated in this temple from 5:00 am to 12:30 pm 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is usually a long queue for the darshana but you can pay extra charges and opt for a shorter queue. Only Hindus are allowed inside the sanctums of this temple.
Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara‘Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara’, also known as ‘Kazimar Periya Pallivasal’ is situated in the heart of the city about 1 kilometer from Madurai Junction. This mosque is positioned about 500 meters from Periyar (Central) bus stand and nearly 800 meters from the world famous Meenakshi Temple. The descendant of Prophet Muhammad, ‘Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin’, who had arrived from Oman in 13th century, was gifted a piece of Land by Kulasekara Pandya, the then Pandya King. He constructed the big mosque at this place which was the first Muslim worship place built in Madurai. Periya Pallivasal means big mosque. As suggested by the name, the mosque is so big that it can accommodate about 2500 people at a time.
‘The Maqbara’, the dargah of the renowned Madurai Hazrats i.e. the descendants of Prophet Muhammad is located inside the premises of the mosque. The names of these Madurai Hazrats are; Hazrat Meer Ahamad Ibrahim, Hazrat Meer Amjad Ibrahim and Hazrat Syed Abdus Salaam Ibrahim Rahmatullahi Alaihim. All the descendants of ‘Kazi Syed Thajuddheen', who were known by the title Syeds and were the ‘Huqdars’ or the shareholders of this mosque stayed here for more than 700 years. They have been in charge of the mosque and have been taking care of it since then. The street where the mosque is situated is given the name Kazimar Street. Syed Thajuddheen was appointed by the Sultan as his Kazi. Even today, his descendants reside at Kazimar Street and they are appointed the Kazis by Government of Tamil Nadu. They follow the Sufi order Fassiyatush Shadhiliya.
A Madrasah, named ‘Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin arabi Madrasah’ is nestled inside the campus of this mosque where nearly 75 students are taught basic Arabic.
ThiruparankundramThiruparankundram, a Panchayat Town in the district of Madurai is situated about 10 kilometers from Madurai City. Famous far and wide for the Lord Murugan Temple, this town carries immense religious importance. The Lord Murugan Temple at Thiruparankundram is regarded to be the first of the Six Abodes of Lord Murugan. The mythological background behind this temple is very interesting and fascinating.
Lord Murugan in a fierce battle with the demon Surapadman defeated him and rescued the Gods from his prisons. As a reward of gratitude, Lord Indra, the King of the Gods, offered to give the hand of his daughter Deivayani to Murugan in marriage. This auspicious divine wedding took place at Thiruparankundram. All the Gods and Goddesses along with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati; the parents of Lord Murugan arrived here to bless the wedding. Viswakarma, the divine sculptor built an abode for Lord Murugan and his newly wedded bride here.
The temple at Thiruparankundram is the only shrine of Lord Murugan where he is worshipped along with his first wife Deivayani. All other temples of Lord Murugan house the idol of the God along with his both the consorts Deivayani and Valli. The temple at Thiruparankundram being the wedding arena of Lord Murugan is considered as a very auspicious venue for marriages. Thousands of weddings have been solemnized here.
The Mandapam of this temple, decorated with exquisite stone carvings of Gods and Goddesses is supported by 48 pillars. The idol of the Nataraja in the dancing posture and Parvati reclining on Nandi and watching the dance is placed here. This is the only temple where Lord Brahma is worshipped and where both sun and moon are placed at the same vicinity. The noteworthy feature of this temple is the cave shrines finely excavated in the rock. Built by Maravarman Sundara Pandya, this temple is open from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm.
Goripalayam DargahNestled on the north banks of the river Vaigai, Goripalayam Dargah is a very huge mosque situated at Goripalayam area of Madurai city. It is believed that this Dargah was built by Maharaja Thirumalai Nayak for the Muslim subjects of his kingdom. The word Goripalayam has derived from Persian language in which ‘Gor’ means grave. The distinguishing dome of this Dargah is 70 feet in diameter and 20 feet tall. This dome is made of a single block of stone brought all the way from the Azhaga Hills. Colored in peculiar green, this dome is clrealy visible from the A.V.Bridge.
Goripalayam Dargah houses the graves of two famous Islam saints and rulers of Madurai - Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badhusha (Radiyallah) and Hazrat Sulthan Shamsuddin Badhusha (Radiyallah). These two brothers had arrived from Oman in 13th century to Madurai to spread Islam. They reined the northern Madurai as the free Madurai Sultanate. Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin Radiyallah staying at Kazimar Street was appointed as their government Kazi. On the outer campus of the Maqbara an ancient Tamil inscription is found which stands as the evidence of existence of the Dargah since 13th century. Urus festival is the annual festival celebrated at this dargah which is held on 15th night of the Rabi al-awwal month every Hijri year according to Islamic calendar.
Thirumalai Nayakar MahalSituated about 2 kilometers from Meenakshi Amman Temple, the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal is a palace built by Maharaja Thirumalai Nayak of Nayaka Dynasty in 1636 AD. Designed by an Italian architect, this palace portrays a classic example of the fine blend of Dravidian, Islamic and European architectural styles. This palace was used as the main palace and the dwelling abode by the Nayaka Kings of Madurai. The original Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal was four times larger than the present one. When the Nayaka Empire was at its pinnacle, this palace was regarded as one of the wonders of South India. During 18th century the actual palace was gradually demolished and what remains toady were Svarga Vilasam, an enclosed court and a few buildings adjoining Svarga Vilasam inside the bigger palace. Yet the palace still preserves the glory of the past.
3,700 sq. meters courtyard surrounded by enormous circular pillars welcome you as you enter the gates. The original palace was divided into two portions: Svarga Vilasam and Ranga Vilasam. In these two sections the royal residence, apartments, palanquin place, shrine, quarters, theatre, royal bandstand, armory, pond and garden were housed. The palace was built in foliated brickwork and an exquisite stucco called chunnam. This chunnam was made of mixing shell lime and egg white.
After Independence, the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal was declared a national monument and is preserved by Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department. This Mahal is open for the tourists from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Gandhi MuseumGandhi Museum situated in the palace of Rani Mangammal at Madurai is the first memorial museum set up in the honor of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. After the assassination of Gandhiji, an appeal was made nationwide to build a memorial for him. Many rich as well as poor citizens of India contributed and a Trust named ‘Gandhi Memorial Trust’ or ‘Gandhi Smarak Nidhi’ was set up. The first memorial museum was established at Madurai and inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on April 15th, 1959.
This museum is divided into three sections.
1) India Fights For Freedom – Where 265 illustrations relate the history of the movement of independence.
2) Visual Biography of Gandhiji - Photos, paintings, quotations, manuscripts, sculptures, Photostat copies of Gandhiji’s letters and renderings are exhibited here. The most prominent feature of this gallery is that 124 rare photographs depicting various phases of the life of Mahatma Gandhi starting from childhood till being taken to the crematorium are displayed in this museum.
3) Relics and Replicas – 14 original articles used by Gandhiji are kept here. The Blood Stained Cloth of Mahatma Gandhi that he wore on the day of his assassination is preserved in a vacuum glass box.
Today Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the five Gandhi Museums in India. UNO has selected this museum as the peace museum.
Vandiyur Mariamman TeppakulamSituated about 5 kilometers from the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is one of the biggest temple tanks in south. The Vaigai River provides the water supply to the tank. There is an island situated in the centre of the lake where Vinayakar temple is set up and a beautiful garden is maintained around. Vinayakar temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the God with the face of Elephant. If we measure the entire area of the lake and the island, it is almost as equal as the total area of Meenakshi Amman Temple.
It is believed that soil was dug out from here to use it in the construction of Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal. The big abyss that was created due to the digging was later converted to the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam. 12 long steps made out of granite are built on all four sides of this tank. Both the Vinayakar temple and the steps are believed to be built by the King Thirumalai Nayak.
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is famous for traditional Float festival which is celebrated on the fool moon day of the month of ‘Thai’ according to Tamil calendar (Mid January – Mid February). This festival dates back to 17th century when it was first celebrated by King Thirumalai Nayak. This festival involves a boat ride to the Lord Vigneswara on the birthday of Maharaja Thirumalai Nayak.
Azhagar KovilAzhagar Kovil or Alagar Koyil is a 5000 years old temple located about 21 kilometers from Madurai at the village of that name perched at the foothills of Alagarmalai Hills. Dedicated to Lord Sundararajar (Lord Vishnu) known as Kallazhagar here, this temple is widely known for its Chithrai festival. The God seated in this temple is the brother of Goddess Meenakshi, who had started for attending her wedding but was late and had to return. The idol placed in the sanctum of this temple is made of pure gold.
According to a legend, Lord Kallazhagar arrived here to redeem Sage Suthapas (Mandooga Maharishi) off the curse of being a frog felled upon him by sage Durvasa. The natives here still believe that this event reoccurs here every year and so they enact it in the month of Vaikasi. During the Chithrai festival, the wedding of Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Kallazhagar is taken to Madurai in a procession to attend the wedding.
Parked at a very spectacular spot, encircled by the ruins of a historic fort, this temple is believed to have been patronized by the King Malayadhwaja Pandya. The main tower at the entrance is said to have been built by Pandya Rulers. The sculptures that embellish this tower depict the epical scenes. The Vimana of the Sanctorum gilded by gold plates is believed to have been built by Maharaja Jatavarman Sundara Pandya. After the fall of Pandya Dynasty, the Nayaka Kings took over the administration of Madurai when King Vishwanatha made a significant contribution in the development of the temple. The unique sculptures of the Kalyana Mandapam of this temple present a master specimen of Nayaka style of architecture.
Apart from the chief deity, this temple houses the shrines of various Gods and Goddess including Goddess Kalyana Sundaravalli, Andal, Yoga Narasimha and Sudarshanar. It is said that nobody will dare to say lie at this temple. 300 meters tall hill erected just next to the temple is well known for its famous springs namely: Noopura Gangai and Silamboru, which are believed to have originated from the anklets of Lord Vishnu.
Koodal Azhagar TempleAcclaimed as one of the oldest temples in South India, Koodal Azhagar Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Azhagar (i.e. Lord Vishnu). Koodal is another name for the city Madurai. This temple, located in the heart of the city near the Meenakshi Amman Temple and very close to Madurai Bus Stop, is one of the 108 holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. Spread over the total area of 2.5 acres, the Koodal Azhagar Temple is surrounded by mighty stone walls elaborated with five tired Rajagopurams.
A grand statue of Lord Vishnu placed in the temple is noteworthy for its marvelous demeanor. This idol of Lord Vishnu demonstrates three different postures of the Deity – sitting, standing and reclining at a time. Other than this, the temple is famous for its architectural and sculptural genius. Some wood carvings in the temple portray the coronation ceremony of Lord Rama.
Apart from Lord Vishnu, shrines of Ram, Krishna, Andal, Lakshminarasimha and Navagraha are also worshipped here. Vaisakhi is the annual festival celebrated at this temple when Dashavataram of lord Vishnu are enacted. Other festivals like Kartikai and Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Navaratri, Maasi Teppa Utsavam, Krishna Jayanti, Aadi Pooram and Garuda Sevai are also celebrated here.
Vaigai DamSituated approximately 69 km from Madurai, Vaigai Dam, built over the Vaigai River is a multipurpose dam that serves manifold purposes. This dam provides water for irrigation, drinking and electricity generation. It also offers a very good opportunity for fishing and it’s a renowned tourist’s destination around Madurai. Fringed with a beautiful man made garden cultivating exotic floral plants on one side and frilled with a natural border of lush greenery on the other side, Vaigai dam makes a really graceful and appealing site. Near the dam an agricultural research center is established to study the crops that grow in the land around the dam. A zoo and a park for children are under construction and they will be ready to serve soon.
Vaigai Dam was opened to public from 21st January 1959. The height of this dam is about 111 feet and it stores about 71 feet of water.