- 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)
- State: Tamil Nadu
- District: Madurai
- Type of Tourism: Pilgrimage
- Area: 51.82 sq. km
- Population: 928,869 (As per Indian census- 2001)
- Altitude: 8 meters (26 ft)
- Languages spoken: Tamil, Saurashtra, Telugu, Malayalam, Urdu, Kannada, Hindi, English
- Telephone Code : India (0452), International (+91)
- Pin Code: 625001 to 625022
- Best Tourist Season: October to March
- Clothing recommended: Comfy cotton in summer, warm woolen in winter.
- What to buy: Cotton, Silk, Batik and Sungundi Saris, Handicraft Items, Artifacts, Religious Idols, Lamps, Religious Books.
- Food Specialties: Paruthi Paal, Panangkarkandu Paal, Pongal, Jigarthanda, Chettinadu, Kuzhi Paniyaram, Appam, Kotthu Parotta, and all other South Indian food items like Idly, Sambhar, Medu Vada, Dosa, etc
- Local transportation : Cycle Rickshaws, Auto Rickshaws, Taxis, Buses.
Rightly known as ‘The Temple City’, Madurai is recognized world wide for the grand ‘Meenakshi Temple’ dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi. Also renowned as "Thoongaa Nagaram", meaning, ‘The Sleepless City’, Madurai is the third largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu. One more feather in the hat of Madurai is that, it is one of the oldest cities in the world that have been continuously inhabited. The headquarters of Madurai district, this city, is famous for its Dravidian Style temples and is a prominent pilgrim hamlet in India.
Madurai, the icon of 2500 years old rich Tamil culture, is situated on the banks of the river – ‘Vaigai’. The capital city of Pandya Kingdom, Madurai, was also a foremost trade hub from 550 AD. The celebrated Meenakshi Temple was set up by the great Pandya King ‘Kulasekarar’ who later founded this city in the shape of lotus encompassing the temple. Madurai carries an amusing mythological background. It is said that on the day when the city was to be named, Lord Shiva had been invoked. He blessed this city when nectar i.e. Madhu poured out of his locks. In the memory of this incident, the city was named Madhurapuri, which later became Madurai.
Also famous for the cultivation of jasmine flowers, Madurai has received another title; ‘Malligai Maanagar’, which means the city of jasmine. This lotus city is also called ‘the Athens of the East’ due to its rich cultural, historical and literary endowment. Madurai is the home to the widely known ‘Madurai Kamaraj University’, and Tamil language is spoken in its purest form in this habitat.
History Of Madurai
The history of Madurai, one of the oldest cities in the world that have been continuously inhabited, goes back to the Pre Christian Sangam period. It is believed that this place was formerly known as ‘Kadambavanam’ where Lord Indra worshipped a Swayambhu Lingam of Lord Shiva. This Lingam was discovered by a farmer who reported the event to the king Kulasekarar Pandya. The king commanded to build a temple around the Lingam. And later, the city Madurai was established in the shape of Lotus surrounding the temple.
The first literary evidence of the name of this city is found in the traveling records of Megasthenes, who visited Madurai (Methora) in 3rd century BC. Other than that, Kautilya's Arthashastra, Sangam literature (Maturaikkāñci), Silapathikaram, the works of Roman historiansPtolemy and Pliny, Greek geographer Strabo, Periplus of the Erythraean Sea are some of the authentic literary records that read the name Madurai.
After the Sangam age, Madurai was under the dominion of the Kalabhras Kings, who were later conquered by the kings of Pandya dynasty in 6th century CE. 9th century witnessed the coronation of Chola kings who reined Madurai till the early 13th century AD. In 1223, Pandya kings regained the sovereignty and theirs was the golden age of all round development of the city. In 1323 Pandya Kingdom was made a province of the Delhi Empire.
Vijayanagar dynasty of Hampi conquered Madurai in 1371 AD and Nayakas, the feudatories of Vijayanagar kings managed the governance of Madurai. Nayakas declared themselves free in 1530 AD with the death of Krishna Deva Raya, the Emperor of Vijayanagar Kingdom. Thirumalai Nayaka played a remarkable role in making the city architecturally prosperous. During the colonization era, British East India Company appointed George Procter as the first collector of Madurai. After Independence, Madurai was integrated in Tamil Nadu.