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Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

The Temple dominates the old city which evolved around it. The streets run in concentric circles around the temple. The four "Veli" streets mark the outer limits of the temple town. The temple is dedicated both to Meenakshi, the lovely consort of Lord Shiva and to Lord Shiva himself (Sundareswarar). It is one of the holiest places of worship in South India, drawing thousand of devotees every day from all over India. It has also been the centre of Tamil Culture, literature, art. Music and dance over the centuries. When the third and the last Tamil Sangam (Academy of Tamil Literature) met at Madurai, it is said, literary works were thrown into the temple tank, where a diviner force caused works of merit to float and inferior literature to sink.

The original temple was probably a modest structure built according to Agamic guidelines. However, it has grown with the greatful additions of pussiant dynasties and victorious monarchs into an enormous complex extending overn an area of 65,000 sq.metres. The temple is dominated by four enormous toweres (Gopurams) over the entrances. The oldest tower is the 13th centuary Eastern Gopuram, opposite to the Sundareswarar shrine, built by Jatavarman Sundara Pandiyan. The Southern Gopuram is the tallest and was built in the 16th Century. From the top of this tower one can get a panoramic view of Madurai and 11 other gopurams of the temple as well.

A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing structure known as Ayiramkal Mandapam(Hall of thousand Pillars) in the outermost corridor. The mandapam flaunts 985 pillars, and each is an elaborate work of art. Each pillar features highly ortymate bold sculptures that come vibrantlty alive. Viewed from an angle these 985 pillars appear in a straight line-an architectural master piece and a marvel indeed. In the outer most corridor (Prakaram) are situated the matchless musical stone pillars carved of stone. When tapped, each pillar produce a different musical note.

Visiting hours: 7.00 Hours to 13.30 Hours and 14.00 hours to 18.00 hours. Entrance Fee: Adult -Rs.2/-, Child - Re.1/-.

The Pudhu Mandapam built by Thirumalai Nayak stands between the Easternm tower and the unfinished Raya Gopurams. This hall is noted for beautiful sculptures.

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam

This Tank, also known as Vandiyur Teppakulam, is at the eastern end of the city. It is almost equal in area to that of the Sri Meenakshi Temple. The Float Festival is held here every year in the month of January/February.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace

This Palace is about one kilometre south-east of the Sri Meenakshi Temple. The whole building was constructed in Indo-Saracenic style by Thirumalai Nayak.This palace is open from 9.00 A.M to 1.00 P.M and from 2.00 P.M. to 5.00 P.M. There is Lunch Time from 1.00 P.M. to 2.00 P.M. Admission fee is Re.1/- per head. A sound and Light Programme, depicting the story of Thirumalai Nayak and of Silappthikaram is organised here daily at 6.45 P.M.(English version) and 8.15 P.M.(Tamil Version) has been temporarly suspended with effect from 14.8.99 untill futher orders.

Koodal Azhagar Temple:

To the west of the city is this ancient Vaishnavite temple with beautiful sculpture. The Lord is in three poses-sitting, standing and reclining- each depicted one above the other.

Gandhi Museum:

The museum contains a picture gallery, a gallery of relics, khadi and village industries section and south Indian Handicraft. Working hours: 10.00 A.M. to 1.00 P.M. and 2.00 P.M. to 5.00 P.M. on all days .Government Museum Situated within the Gandhi Museum Complex itself is the Government Museum. It was established during 5th World Tamil Conference which was held in January 1981. Working hours: 10.00 A.M. to 1.00 P.M. and 2.00P.M. to 5.30 P.M. (2nd Fridays and Sundays holiday)

Madurai Kamaraj University:

It is 20 Kms. from Periyar Bus Stand. This University has a dynamic role in imparting higher education and promoting research studies. This University was established on 6.2.1966 first in Alagarkoil Road. Then from 1973, it has been functioning in University Nagar of Nagamalai Hill.

Agricultural College:

Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai started in 1965-66 is located on Madurai-Tiruchirappalli Highway. 12 Kms. from Madurai City. A constituent College of Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, it is the 2nd biggest teaching campus with more than 100 members of staff abd 650 students. The campus, 154.14 Hectares in area, is famous for its silvan wealth, the only glades being the playgrounds. Phone No.822956, Fax No. 0452-822785.


Eight Kms. south of Madurai Junction, the temple here is dedicated to Lord Subramanya and is one of the sox abodes of the Lord. Its inner-most shrine is cut of a solid rock.



It is about 21 Kms north - east of Madurai. The fanmous Vishnu temple dedicated to Lord Azhagar is at the southern end of the hill Azhagarmalai. Pazhamudirsolai, one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya, is on of the same hill, about 4 Kms. from Azhagarkoil.


A popular hill station, 'Kodai' is located at an altitude of over 2,133 mts.(7000 ft) in the western ghats. It is 120 Kms. from Madurai and 80 Kms from Kodai Road Railway Station.

Vaigai Dam:

This impressive dam is 69 kms. from Madurai on the way to Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary. It is a picnic spot.


It is 122 Kms. from Madurai. A famous pilgrinm centre of the South and one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. It can be reached by bus or train. The temple is on a hill in the Palani range of the Western Ghats. The presiding deity is known as Dandayuthapani. Which available to to to the top of the hillrock.

Suruli Water Falls:

Suruli Water Falls is 128 Kms. from Madurai on the way to Thekkady (Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary). This is also a good picnic spot.


The Vatapatrsayi Temple has one of the most impressive gopurams in the South. The Temple chariot also has some beautiful carvings on it. 74 Kms from Madurai.

Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary (Thekkady):

Located in Kerala State, on the Border of Tamilnadu, it offers game-watchers an exciting prospectn of viewing elephant, bison, sambhar, barking deer, wild boar, etc. in their natural habitat. It is 155 Kms . from Madurai.


Air: Madurai has an Airport connecting Chennai, Mumbai and Tiruchirappalli .

Rail: Madurai is a major junction of the Southern Railway.

Road: It is also connected with all the important places of interest by road.

Local Transport: Town buses, suburban buses, taxis, autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws are available.

Airlines Offices: Indian Airlines Phone No.341234 and Air India Phone No. 342707.

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