Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is the historic Hindu temple which is located in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. This temple is among the most famous temples of India which is known throughout the world for its outstanding and impressive architectural beauty. In the Hindu religion temple is the place which is reserved for spiritual and religious activities that include prayers and analogous rites.Sri Meenakshi Amman temple of Madurai is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Meenakshi (Parvati). Goddess Meenakshi is another form of the Goddess Parvati who is worshiped mainly by South Indians. The utmost architectural wonder of Meenakshi Amman temple is a testimony to the affluent Dravidian Culture. Some of the prominent features of this colossal temple are Temple Architecture, Ashta Shakthi Mandapam, Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam, and Porthamarai Kulam Golden Lotus Tank.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace
Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th century palace was built by King Thirumalai Nayak, one of the Madurai Nayak rulers in 1636 AD in the city of Madurai, India. This Palace was built with the help of an Italian Architect and is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles.Tirumalai Nayak's Palace at Madurai was considered to be one of the wonders of the South. Thirumalai Palace was declared as a national monument and is now under the protection of the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department. The time for the visit to the palace is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the payment of the entrance fee. The palace is well equipped to perform Light & Sound shows depicting the story of Silapathigaram both in Tamil and English languages. The Palace is located in the eastern side of the city, around 1.2 km South East of the Meenakshi Amman Temple in the city of Madurai. Madurai being a popular tourist center is well connected by railways and has daily flights to Mumbai and Chennai.
Rani Mangamma's palace has been renewed and converted to Gandhi museum. The museum displays information about Mahatma Gandhi, and most importantly it showcases the original blood-stained garment of Gandhi when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. The other piece of the garment is kept at the Gandhi Museum in Delhi. This museum is one of the 5 museums in India (others in Mumbai, Barrackpore, Sabarmati and Patna) known as Gandhi Sanghralayas. No entry fee for museum visitors. Gandhi Memorial Museum at Madurai has been built and organized by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi. It is accepted as a building probably constructed by the Nayak Queen Rani Mangammal, as evidenced by a letter written to her in 1700AD. It was in the year that the palace with about 13 acres of land was gifted by the Tamilnadu state Government, to the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi for the purpose of housing Gandhi Memorial Museum.
Thiruparankundram is one of the abodes of Lord Subramanya. It is situated 8 kms south of Madurai. The six abodes of the deity are known as `Arupadai Veedu`. This is a cave temple. This temple is known from the Sangam times. One of the Sangam poets Nakkiran has sung a long poem about this temple called Thirumurugatrupadai. Thiruparankundram temple has become a symbol of the religious harmony as of the people of Madurai. The important characteristic of this temple of Thiruparankundram is that Siva is holding the flag of Rishaba in his hand while dancing. It is a rare sculpture and cannot be found elsewhere. There is another group of sculptures separated by wall. These are with Nandi standing in bull-head and human-body form beside some sages. Another interesting fact about the Thiruparankundram temple is the presence of subsidiary cave shrines excavated in the rock, with idols arranged so orderly like a military session. These small cave shrines can be approached through narrow dark passages. It is quite difficult to find similar group of cave shrines elsewhere.
Alagar Koil is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated at a distance of 21 km from Madurai, on foot of Alagar hills. It is a temple that has the residing deity as Vishnu. The Lord here is known by the name Azhagar. He is the brother of Goddess Meenakshi and when the wedding of the Lord and Goddess takes place in the month of Chithrai, amongst the natural beauty of the woods. The Vaishnavite temple is famous for its beautiful sculptures and exquisite 'Mandapam'. It is believed that pilgrims visited Azhgar Koil even in the early days of the Sangam age. There is another shrine nearby, dedicated to Karuppannaswamy, the God of Kallars. There are finely carved eighteen steps, which are an object of both worship and amazement by the devotees. It is claimed that nobody dares to tell a lie at this spot. The place is also known for its holy springs called Silamboru and Noopura Gangai. According to local tradition, these springs originated from the anklets of Maha Vishnu during His incarnation as Trivikrama.
Pazhamudhircholai is a Hindu temple located 10 miles north of Madurai, a top a hill covered with dense forests. One of the six important abodes Arupadai Veedu of Lord Muruga, it is very close to the Vishnu temple of Azhagar Koil. There is a bus shuttle for every 20 minutes from the foot of the hill to the Temple. It takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the temple. This Pazhamudhircholai Lord Murugan is praised in old Tamil literature such as Silapathigaram, Ettuthokai, and Pattupattu etc. Pazhamudhircholai is rich in fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is a dense forest where Valli is supposed to have lived. It is a small temple with Valli, Deivayanai, and Lord Muruga in a separate shrine. Lord Ganesha is also present in a separate shrine. There is a Temple Tower and monkeys play around the area. There is another small temple above Pazhamudhircholai. Local tribes lead their lives here. It is a fertile hill with many natural springs and herbs.
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is situated at Madurai that is about 5 kms from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. There is a huge tank and in the middle is situated a Vinayakar temple. There is a temple located with the tank. The water supply for the tank is from the Vaigai River. Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam in Madurai is famous for float festival. One of the most picturesque is the Float Festival or ' Teppothsavam'. On that day, the idols of Goddess Meenakshi and her consort Lord Sundareswarar are taken in grand procession to the big lake called Teppakulam, and drawn round and round a shrine built in the middle of the small island in the center of the lake, seated on a decorated float called Teppa.
Sri Narasingam Perumal Temple
This rock-cut temple for Sri Narasinga Perumal is situated at the foot of Aanaimalai hills in its Northern side, which is at a distance of about 12 km north of Madurai. The main God and Goddess of this temple are Sri Narasinga Perumal and Sri Narasingavalli Thayar. This temple is known for "Girivalam' meaning circumnavigating the hills. The presiding deity Sri Narasinga Perumal seen in seated posture and doing penance is the special feature of this temple. Narasingam Patti is the birthplace of Poet Perungoushiganar known for his literary work 'Aatru Padai' in "Paththuppattu". According to legends, once Saint Romasanmar penanced near the holy pond Chakra theertam, wishing for a child and darshan of Sri Perumal in Narasinga incarnation. Satisfied by the penance, Lord Narasingar appeared before Romasanmar. Unable to withstand Narasingar's flame of anger, Devas brought Pragaladhan. When Goddess Lakshmi embraced Narasingar's bosom, his anger settled down and he blessed Romasanmar. Later Sri Narasinga Perumal penanced here. A temple was formed at this site for Yoga Narasingar.
Pandi kovil temple is dedicated to Lord Shri Pandi, one of the kaval deivams that is guardian of Tamilnadu. People come and pray for their wellbeings and offer to God, when their desires are fulfilled. Pandi kovil is most powerful temple in Madurai which is located near Gomathipuram.
Thirumohur is a small town located at north east of Madurai at a distance of 12 kilometers on the Madurai Melur road. The temple was renovated and expanded by 1st Pandiya emperors to king Krishna devarayor and Siva Ganga - Maruthu Pandi brothers. From the inscriptions available, it has been reported that the temple was built around 7 century. The idols are reported to be more than 5000 years old. It is a well known legend that Lord Vishnu took the Mohini avatara. The Vishnu temple here is dedicated to Kaalamegha Perumal. In the shrine of Chakrathalwar, the deity is installed on a peetam with Bhijaakshara Mantra. Thirumohur is considered as holy as Nannisaranyarn in the North. Thirumohur belongs to the Pancharatra agama and is one of the 108 Divya Desams in the Vaishnavite tradition. Nammalwar and Thirumangai Alwar have written in praise of this temple. Thirumohur, Madurai, has its legendary origin in the distant past when devas and asuras churned the ocean to ger amirtham.
Thiruvathavoor rests 35 km North East of Madurai in Madurai District, Tamil Nadu. This is the birth place of one of the four great saints of Shiva ‘Manikavasagar’. A beautiful temple built by him is located here. Narasingam and Thirumohur are the nearby important places. A Siva Temple located 25 km from Madurai and 5 km from Othakkadai. The presiding deity of this temple is Siva and Parvathi. This is the birth place of Saivit Saint Manikka Vasagar.
Koodal Azhagar Temple
Koodal Azhagar Temple is ancient and acclaimed Vaishnavite Temple is noted for its remarkable architectural and sculptural magnificence. The lord here is in the sitting (Asana), standing (Sthanaka) and reclining (Sayana) postures all enshrined in one vertical plane.
Kutladampatti water falls
Water falls is located 36 km from Periyar bus stand on the way to Kodaikanal. An amusement park lies in a hill called “Sirumalai” with a natural beauty 7 km away from Kutladampatti near Vadipatti village. The height of the falls is 87 feets. During holidays and festive days thousands of domestic tourists take bath and enjoy the natural beauty. Near this falls a 500-years-old temple dedicated to Goddess Thadagai Nachiamman is there.
A recreation children’s park owned and maintained by the Corporation of Madurai, located near Corporation Office (Anna Maaligai). Timings 10:00 am to 08:00 p.m. open all days. Entrance lee: Rs. 5 /- per head. No tickets for children below 3 years.
Madapuram kali koil
Madapuram kali is the Kaval deivams of Madurai Pandyan king. This temple has no roof and it’s famous for goddess kali. Madapuram kali koil is located in thirupuvanam on the eastern border of Madurai. Madapuram kali is very famous here she stands with no roof and about 12 feet high. People sought her blessings. Ammavasya days will be very crowded and al the people offer 54 lemon mala and archani.
Nagamalai is a suburb of Madurai situated about 10 km west of Madurai City along the Madurai-Theni Highway.Samanar Hill which is present opposite to Nagamalai is of historical importance. Samanars were said to have stayed in the hill fearing persecution from the then rules of Madurai. Many stone statues and other artifacts are present in Nagamalai. Nagamalai is also known for its snake biodiversity, and a government proposal is in the works for creating an eco-tourism snake park in the area. The Madurai Kamaraj University is located in Nagamalai Archeological Department Says that there is a cave and some Samanars are staying inside, they come out once in twelve years. They will collect food and return to the caves.
Teppakulam Mariamman Temple
The Teppakulam Mariamman Temple is one of the most popular places of interest in Madurai. It is actually a big temple tank, which is situated quite close to another important tourist attraction of the city called the Meenakshi temple. The distance between the Meenakshi Temple and the Mariamman Teppakulam is only 5 km. The Mariamman Teppakulam at Madurai is the biggest temple tank in the state of Tamil Nadu. The idol of Vinayaka was discovered when earth was dug out from this region, which is said to be dug out by Tirumalai Nayaka. Following this incident, this place has been considered sacred by the people of the state. Therefore, this place has been transformed into a Teppakulam or a tank.
St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Church in Madurai, Tamilnadu, India was first constructed in 1840. An imposing building with two tall (42 meters) Bell towers, the church has been elevated to the status of a Cathedral in 1969. St. Mary's Church is located on East Veli Street in Madurai; St. Mary’s Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai. It is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in India, situated about 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) south-east of Madurai Railway Station. Its two elegant Roman style bell towers, about 42-meter-high (140 feet), are visible from a distance. The façade of the church is an amalgamation of various forms of European and Continental styles. The new church, the one we see today, was constructed during 1916.