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Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi Amman Temple is the undisputed winner of the most popular places in Madurai, and probably in all of Tamil Nadu. It is enjoys a title amongst the Seven Wonders of India! Housing over 33,000 ancient sculptures, the temple complex is an architectural marvel, carrying reflections of the Dravidian style of architecture.

The reigning deity of the temple is Meenakshi, one of the many incarnations of Goddess Parvati. Sculpted in emerald, the idol is adorned with a beautiful pair of eyes, referring to the meaning of her name - ‘Fish eyed’. The complex also features another temple of Lord Sundareswarar, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

Timings:
09:00 AM to 07:00 PM

Entry Fee:
No entry fee

Location:
Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 62500

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Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal

Constructed in the year 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak, the palace is a beautiful fusion of the Dravidian and Rajput architectural styles. Distinguished as a national monument, Thirumalai Nayakar Temple is one of the most incredible places to visit in Madurai.

With the iconic Meenakshi Amman Temple in the vicinity, the interiors as well as exteriors of the palace feature beautiful, intricate carving, along with some great stucco work that graces the arches. The imposing structure of the palace is held up by 248 pillars carrying excellent carvings! In fact, you can also indulge in the entertained sound and light show here.

Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Entry Fee:
INR 05 per person

Location:
Panthadi 1st St, Mahal Area, Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001

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Alagar Koyil

Sitting about 21 km away from Madurai, Alagar Koyil, alternatively known as Azhagar Kovil, is one of the most visited temples of Madurai. Besides the religious significance that the temple holds, it is also an architectural marvel. Depicting the forms and styles of the early Sangam age, the era that it belongs to, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple walls are embellished with fine, captivating carvings, while several mandapams warehoused within.

The presiding deity here is Lord Sundararajan, the brother of Goddess Meenakshi. There are a few shrines dedicated to deities like Andal, Sudarshana and Yoga Narasimha in the temple.

Timings: 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM

Entry Fee: 
No entry fee

Location:
Alagar Koyil main road, Tamil Nadu

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Vaigai Dam

Located about 70 km away from Madurai, Vaigai is a magnificent dam that graces the beautiful Vaigai river. A blessing for the natives of Madurai, Theni and Dindigul, Vaigai Dam has provided for and been a source of employment for several families since its inauguration in 1959. The dam neighbours a lovely little garden known as the ‘Little Brindavan’, a favourite amongst picnickers and kids. It also harbours a musical fountain that operates on weekends and public holidays.

Monsoon is the ideal time to enjoy the beauty of Vaigai, when it is at its peak. The water level rises significantly, and there’s lush greenery for as far as the eyes can see. If you’re seeking some solitude and peace, Vaigai is the place to be.

Timings: 
06:00 AM to 06:00 

Entry Fee:
 No entry fee

Location: 
Guest House Rd, Melmangalam, Tamil Nadu 625562

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Koodal Azhagar Temple

One of the most popular tourist places in Madurai, Koodal Azhagar Temple was erected as a tribute to Lord Vishnu. The presiding deity of the temple is named ‘Abhaya Thirukkarathan’, a form of Lord Vishnu. While the temple remained swamped with tourists during festive and holiday seasons, the beauty is much more enjoyable during the off-season, especially if you’re there for the peaceful ambience, rich historical roots, and the architecture.

This temple is also an example of the architectural brilliance that Madurai is famous for. The temple guards literature and sculptures dating as far back as the Sangam era. The craftsmanship and artwork belonging to Sangam and other following ages are also beautifully exhibited in the temple. 

Timings: 
08:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Entry Fee:
 No entry fee

Location:
 Near Periyar Bus Stand, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001

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Gandhi Museum

Constructed and maintain by the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, the Gandhi Memorial is amongst the most interesting places to visit in Madurai. Madurai is of great significance to the legend of Mahatma Gandhi, for it was here that he switched to his iconic loin cloth in the year 1921. When the ban on Harijans to the temple was lifted in the year 1946, Gandhiji also partook in the victory by visiting the temple.

The memorial spans about 13 acres, and harbours a ‘Hall of Relics’, Khadi centre picture gallery, a museum and an exhibition centre relaying details from India’s fight for, and rise to, freedom. There is also an exhibition of fine handicrafts that are donations from Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states. 

Timings: 
10:00 AM to 01:00 PM, 02:00 PM to 05:45 PM everyday

Entry Fee:
 No entry fee

Location:
 Tamukkam Park Road, Gandhi Nagar, Near Collectorate, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 62502

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Mariamman Teppakulam

One of the most visited tourist places in Madurai, Mariamman Teppakulam is a beautiful temple complex which sits about 2 km away from the legendary Meenakshi Amman temple. A hotspot for devotees and patrons of religion, the temple is home of the largest temple tank of South India.

The temple is steeped in religion, history and mythology, and also stands guard to a lovely idol of Lord Ganesha that was unearthed here. Another fascinating fact is that the river Vaigai runs right underneath the temple!

Timings: 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Entry Fee: No entry fee

Location: Meenakshi Nagar, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625009

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Pazhamudhir Solai

Dedicated to Lord Subramanya, Pazhamudhir Solai is one of the most revered tourist places in Madurai. Guarding beautiful sculptures of the said presiding deity, thousands of devotees swarm to the temple to pay their respects.

Resting atop the hills of Azhagar Koyil, the temple is also a tourist magnet for patrons of architecture. It is also believed to be the final place where Lord Murugan unites with both his wives Valli and Deivanai. It is part of several tales relating to Lord Murugan, any of which you may hear throughout your visit.

Timings: 
05:30 AM to 01:00 Pm, 04:00 PM to 09:00 PM

Entry Fee: 
No entry fee

Location: 
Southern Railway Colony, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001

Ask a Question

What You Should Know More About Madurai

  • Q. What is the best time to visit Madurai?

    Winters (October to February)
    The best time to visit Madurai is in the winter months of October to February.

    Monsoons (July and August)
    The monsoon helps bring temperatures down and those who want to see the natural landscape come alive should travel during the months of July to August.

    Summer
    Summer is hot and sultry and can make exploring the city uncomfortable.

  • Q. How to reach Madurai?

    Madurai is easily accessible from different parts of the country by air and rail. It’s also connected to the southern region of India by road.

    Air: Madurai Airport is one of the points of entry by air. Flights can be booked from Chennai and a few major Indian cities. Travelers coming in from abroad will arrive at the nearest international airport, Chennai International Airport.

    Rail: Traveling by train is the preferred mode of entry for many domestic tourists. The railway station is connected to many cities in India. If you’re traveling from Chennai, it takes about 8 hours to reach Madurai.

    Road: Travelers coming in from cities in South India can take a bus to Madurai. It takes about 8 to 10 hours to get here from Chennai.

  • Q. Which are the best places to visit in Madurai?

    Madurai has many points of interest with temples topping the list. Check out these must-visit places that you can’t afford to miss –
    -Temples
    -Vaigai Dam
    -Gandhi Museum
    -Samanar Hills
    -Puthu Mandapam
    -Banana Market

  • Q. What things can I do in Madurai?

    Temple-hopping is the top activity for most visitors. With so many temples to see,

    it’s a must that you check them out. However, there are other things to do such as –

    • Food tours
    • Cycle rickshaw tour
    • Go on a potter’s trail
    • Go on a guided walk

  • Q. Which are some best resorts to stay in Madurai?

    Visitors have their pick of resorts in Madurai, some catering to budget travelers and others to luxury travelers. Here are the best places to stay at in the city –

    • The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai
    • Regency Madurai by GRT Hotels
    • Astoria Hotels
    • Hotel North Gate
    • Fortune Pandiyan
    • Royal Court
    • The SPK Hotel
    • Hotel Royal Court
    • West Marret Hotel
    • Moskva Hotel

  • Q. Which are the best places to experience local cuisine in Madurai?

    South Indian cuisine dominates in Madurai and when you’re here, you must sample as many local dishes as possible. From dosai to idli to sweets to meals served on banana leaves, you’ll never run out of food to try. Here are some of the best places to eat at –

    • Famous Jigarthanda Shop
    • Sulthan Restaurant
    • Burma Idiyappam Kadai
    • Madurai Idli Shop
    • New Shri Ram Mess
    • Amma Mess
    • Konar Mess

  • Q. What are the best public transport modes to commute around Madurai?

    Buses and auto rickshaws are the best ways to get around the city. Renting a car is possible but unless you have experience driving on Indian roads, it’s best avoided.

  • Q. Which are the best places for shopping in Madurai?

    Handlooms, silk sarees, carvings and bell metal lamps are some of the most popular things to buy in Madurai. You can get them as these favorite shopping places –

    • Poompuhar Sales Showroom
    • Cottage Arts Emporium
    • Madurai Gallery
    • Hajeemoosa
    • Rajmahal Silks
    • Khadi Emporium
    • Benzers
    • Handloom House
    • Surabhi Handicrafts

  • Q. Which are the famous historic monuments in Madurai?

    Madurai has a long history and a visit here will immediately immerse you in it. There are several famous monuments that should make their way into your itinerary. They are –

    • Gandhi Memorial Museum
    • Mary's Cathedral
    • Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
    • Goripalayam Mosque

    Samanar Hills

  • Q. Which are the famous temples in Madurai?

    The city is famed for its numerous temples, most featuring detailed Dravidian architecture with pyramid shaped towers and figures of deities. Here are some of the most noted temples in Madurai –

    • Sri Meenakshi Temple
    • Koodal Azhagar Temple
    • Pazhamudircholai
    • Meenakshi Amman Temple
    • Inmaiyil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple
    • Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal temple
    • Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple
    • Kallazhagar Temple
    • Vandiyur Mariamman Temple