Maduri is a city that is famous for its temples and a lotus like structure. In India when one plans a tour of pilgrimage visits he chooses two kinds of plans either a tour of north pilgrimage sites or a tour of south pilgrimage site. When someone plans a trip to south, Madurai is one stop, which is a must visit destination in Southern India.
Loaded with temples of colourful tops, clean roads, welcoming people, prayers, smell of the holy candles all around the auspicious city will make you feel close to the God.
The architecture of the temples in this city is unbeatable; the beauty of the colour combinations on the building top and the thought behind the making of those kind of different temples is a blessing of an art on the architect of the olden times who made these temples.
Not just the temples but also the very cleanliness and the greenery of the city will make you love the city with whole heart.
A pilgrimage city ought to be an ancient city, and a city, which is ancient, has to have a huge history flowing behind the glorious present. This city in the south region of India has a past worth knowing.
According to the legends, Madurai was anciently a forest whose name was Kadambavanam. Once a merchant was passing by the forest and he saw the king of Gods, Indira worshiping under a kadam tree to the Swayambhulingam, the merchant told the king about, what he saw. Then King Kulsekarer Pandayan immediately cleared off the forest and created a temple there named the meenakshi sundareshwar temple and later built a lotus shaped city around the holy temple.
It is said that lord Shiva appeared on the naming ceremony of the city to shower his blessings. He blessed the city with the divine nectar from his hair locks, he dropped a pinch of nectar on the land of the city hence it was named MADHURPURI, which means the city of madhur (nectar). Madurai is almost as old as Ramayana and Kautilya’s Arthashastra as these legendary books have the mention of these cities in their stories.
In 302 BC ibn Batuna and Magasthanese visited Madurai as mentioned in their biography in the column of travelogues. Many other officially high and famous men visited the city from Greece, Italy and Rome.
Until the 10th century Pandaya kings ruled the city until in the same century, the city was taken over by Chaolas until 13 th century, after which Pandayas took over the place again and the city rained a lot of acknowledgement in the reign of Pandayas.
The great epics were written, city was developed architecturally and beautified in all aspects at the time of Pandayas until the most loved official of Alauddin khilji; Malik Kafur plundered the land completely and took all the ornaments, stones, jewels and high valued things from the city to empower his Empire. After this in the year 1323, the Pandayas came under the empire of Delhi, which was ruled by the Tughlaks.
The year 1371 saw the downfall of the rulers of Delhi, Tughlaks and Madurai came under the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty of the beautiful Hampi. Kings of this dynasty left the captured land to governors called Nayaks, for the eminent management of their empire. After the demise of Krishna Deva Raya (King of Vijayanagar Empire) in the year 1530, the Nayaks became independent and started ruling the territories singlehandedly. Among the Nayaks, Thirumalai Nayak who lived from1623 to 1659) was the most popular one and is still remembered by the men and women of the city, Madurai.
He had a big hand in making the city as beautiful as it is looking today in the pictures. His amazing thought of architectural values, education, monuments and temples made the city look like a house of the god himself. Later the city came under British Raj and the first collector of the city appointed was George Proctor.
After independence, Madurai became a land of tourism and a commercial hub of the state of Tamil Nadu.
Whole of the year is the best time to visit Madurai, there is no certain time as the city faces pleasant temperature all throughout the year. On an average, the city is most visited in between March and October to be precise.
The city with so many temples ought to have a number of hotels and resorts for comfortable stay. The city has many luxury and budget hotels to spend the nights peacefully. Enjoy the view of the auspicious temples from the window of the hotel room itself and enjoy a cup of coffee with the person you are travelling with feeling absolute joy.
The oldest and the most prestigious temples in the southern India is shree Meenakshi aaman temple, made with colourful top like a tiara of a queen studded with colourful jewels. This temple is most visited by the men and women from around the world to seek blessings from the gold sitting in one of his oldest homes. Don’t miss the morning or evening aarti for a complete visit to the auspicious temple.
A cave temple residing in the south Himalayas as called in hyperbole. This is one of the six places that have been chosen by God Murugan as one of his abodes. It is believed that this temple is made exactly on the spot where god murugan married Devasena. This is the place known for the location, where sun and the moon abide. The architecture of the temple will make you go bonkers.
It is 10 kilometres away from the Meenakshi Aaman Temple, the caves of this area was used by samanar’s who were Jains and these places belong to 1AD. People visit this place to see the Jain carvings and sculptures on the caves.
The view from this hilltop gives a splendid view of the Madurai city.Pechchi pallam is a natural fountain that is found in this area of the city where one can sit and enjoy a good time in solitude.
This museum was constructed after the assassination of Gandhiji, the father of the nation. He and Madurai share a special bond, his visit to Madurai is what changed his dressing style completely from shirt-pant to dhoti and he carried that off until his death. This museum will improve your knowledge about the pre- independence struggle of the nation. One can enjoy a lot of shows taking place in the museum.
This temple is another famous place dedicated to Lord Murugan and is located on a hill top. It is considered to be one amongst the six abodes of god Murugan. The sculptures present here are carved of marble and wood making it look unique. The huge steps in front of the temple make for a great climb. It is one of the most beautiful temples in Madurai and all over south-India.
Two kilometres away from the cities west is this ancient temple of South- India. The temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu. Maduri is famous for its art, culture and architecture and Koodal Azhagar temple is one such example of truest beauty of architectural excellence. This is a rare location with beauty and spirituality at the same spot.
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