Madurai is known as the “Athens of the East”. This tag is earned because of the presence of many historical monuments and temples that abound the city.
Do not miss the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which is one of the most prominent places of Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. The 33,000 sculptures and the delicately sculpted figurines atop the Gopurams of the temple can be awe-inspiring.
Another major attraction of the city is the Tirumala Palace. You can observe the royal grandeur of the palace by just looking at its magnificent domes at a height of about 70 feet! The courtyards, dancing hall and the throne room can be a visual delight for any traveler to the place. During the evenings the grandeur of the palace would be recited in the form of music. The entire palace would be lit up and watching it can certainly be a feast to the pair of eyes.
The elephant and Yali sculptures of the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam can be stunning for anyone and is a perfect form of artistic engineering. You can be amazed at some items on display at the Temple Museum as they can be as old as the civilization. There are astonishing musical pillars outside the Mandapam on which if you strike at the right places, it can produce rhythmic notes!
If you are planning to visit the Koodal Azhagar temple, be ready to shell out Rs. 10 for viewing the soft paintings and the intricate stone carvings. The delicate blue background of this temple will be mesmeric for viewing and is worth the entire penny invested in it.
There are many hotels in Madurai that can be helpful for a comfortable stay. Hotels are available for types of the budget to meet individual needs of travelers. To name a few well-known ones, there is The Madurai Residency, Hotel Madurai Ashok, Hotel Pearls, Hotel President, Taj Garden Retreat, Hotel Supreme, Hotel Duke, and Hotel Annapoorna among many others.
The cuisine of Madurai is rich in taste and flavor. The aroma of freshly served steaming hot feather soft Idlis and crisp brown dosas can be mouthwatering. The Murugan Idli shop is a must-stop destination for every foodie as it serves some special South Indian delicacies. While you are in Madurai, you can also have Vatha Kulambu Sambhar, Poriyals, Kootu, curd and Rasams. Do not miss on the famous Jigarthanda, which is one of the famous delicacies of Madurai. This “Falooda” like delicacy is one of the best things to be eaten during summers.
Madurai is known as the city that never sleeps. It is due to the many businesses that transact round the clock. Madurai is also famous for its textiles, silk, cotton fabrics and batiks. There are many shops dotting the streets of the city that sell these fabrics as well as intricate jewelry.
You can get traditional art and craft products of Tamil Nadu from the Government Handicraft Emporium or Poopuhar Handicraft outlets if you are a detailed crafts lover.
The best way to explore the Temple town is by taking a walk through the city. Alternately, you can also hire a guide to get a range of customizable tour of the city.