Madurai is Tamil Nadu‘s culturally vast active city. It is also a very popular travel destination for visitors 10 India; Situated on the tanks of River Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings. It is narrated in legend that Madurai Was originally a forest known as Kadambavanam, One day a farmer named Dhananjaya who is as passing through the forest Saw Indra (The king of the gods). Worshipping a swayambhu (self created Lingam) under kadamba tree Dhananjaya the farmer immediately reported this to King Kulasekara Pandya. Kulasekara Pandya cleared the forest and built a temple around the Lingam. A city was soon planted with the temple as its centre. On the day the city was to be named Lord Shiva is said to have appeared and drops of nectar from his hair fall on the town So, the place a us named Madurai ‘Madhuram’ meaning ‘Sweetness’ in Tamil. Madurai has a rich historical background in the sense that Lord Shiva itself performed sixty-four wonders called “Thiruvilaiyadals”.
About 21 km north east of Madurai, stands a celebrated Vishnu Temple didicated to Lord Alagar. The temple is situated on a hill amidst panoramic surroundings. The shrine is known as Alagarkoil and the hill, Solaimalai.
Just one Kilometer distance from Bus stand. The Temple is dedicated to Meenakshi, the lovely consort of Lord Shiva. The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandiya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.
Vandiyur Mariamman Temple
This is a huge temple tank about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has in idol of Vigneshwara)(Vinuyaka). It is said to have been found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal.
Kutladampatti water falls
It 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.
A recreation park owned and maintained by the Corporation of Madurai, located near Corporation Office (Anna Maaligai).
Thirumalai Nayak Mahal
This Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect. The building we see today is the main Palace where the King lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. He conducted daily dance and music performances in the palace. This palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were transferred to other places.
Housed in the old Palace of Rani Mangammal,
the Gandhi Museum depicts the highlights of’ the freedom struggle
and contains a picture gallery of the Gandhian movement. Also can be seen
are a gallery of relics, khadi and village industries section and South
Indian Handicrafts section.