Madurai is famous for
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A day in Madirai
I am heading to Madurai
History of Madurai
Madurai, also called the Temple City, is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the oldest inhabited cities of India. Apart from the Temple City, a few other names for the city are the City of Four Junctions, City of Festivals, Athens of the East and Sleepless City, all pointing to one or other aspect of Madurai. The name Madurai is supposed to have originated from the word Madhura in Sanskrit, which means sweetness. The history of Madurai dates as far back as the 3rd century BC. The city finds mention in the works of Megasthenes as well as Arthashastra by Kautilya. Madurai was ruled by the Kalabhras until the 6th century, after which, it was subsequently ruled by many other dynasties, viz. the Pandyas, Cholas and Nayaks. The British took control of Madurai in 1801, and it was then that it was made a part of the Madras Presidency. Madurai holds significance in Indias independence struggle as well. The city was home to leaders like NMR Subbaraman, Mohammad Ismail Sahib and Meer Ibrahim Sahib. It was Madurai where Mahatma Gandhi decided to wear the loincloth and shunned trousers as he was inspired by the agricultural labourers here.
People and Culture of Madurai
Madurai is known to have a mix of cultures and religion, which is evident from the presence of many religious structures belonging Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Some of the important religious structures of Madurai, which also serve as tourist places, are Goripalayam Dargah, Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple and St. Marys Cathedral Church. Gandhi Museum is another tourist attraction of Madurai. The Chithirai Festival, which will be celebrated in Madurai from April 22 to May 4, 2012, is a major tourist attraction. Organised every year at the Meenakshi Temple, the important facets of the celebrations include the coronation of Goddess Meenakshi; a wedding marked by rituals between the deities and the Chariot Festival. According to mythology, Lord Vishnu came to Madurai to attend the wedding of his sister, Goddess Meenakshi. But as he was late, he missed the wedding and became extremely angry, which is why he went back home. This legend has resulted in a grand procession that marks the end of the festivities where Lord Kallazhagar, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is carried back to the temple. Madurai has come to be called the sleepless city because of its 24x7 work culture. There are plenty of food joints here, which remain open 24 hours, along with the transport, which is operational late at night.
Things to Do in Madurai
The city is well connected to other parts of the country. It has an airport, a railway station and a reliable public transport system, which commuters can use for intercity as well as intra city travel. Being a major city, Madurai is well connected domestically by air, road and rail transport. The Madurai airport is at a distance of 10 km from the city centre. Taxis are available from the airport. The nearest international airport is in Chennai. It is also well connected by rail including major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Mysore, Coimbatore, Chennai and others. By bus, it is connected to several cities within the state as well as neighbouring states. Frequent services are available to Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram etc. Services are provided by the TSRTC as well as private operators. Lying at an elevation of 101 m above sea level, Madurai experiences a hot and dry weather throughout the year. The day temperature during the summer months hovers at about 40° Celsius while the same during the winters is between 20-25° Celsius. It is best to avoid visiting Madurai during the rainy season from June to August when the south-west monsoon hits the city. The best time to visit Madurai is from October to March.
Madurai seems to be very popular this season!