Friday, February 22, 2019

5 Top Tourist Places to Visit in Madurai

Madurai is one of the oldest and the largest city in Tamilnadu. Referred as the cultural capital of Tamilnadu, the city is known for Madurai Meenakshi Temple and is considered as Athens of the East and Temple Town.

Madurai is also known for its food, cuisine, architecture, shopping and endearing people. Madurai has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission. Here are some of the top tourist places to visit in Madurai.

Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

Also referred as Meenakshi Amman Temple, Meenakshi Temple is an old historic Hindu temple situated on the banks of the Vagai River. Dedicated to Meenakshi Devi and Shiva, it is the major landmark in Madurai and one of the top places to visit in Madurai.

Built in 45 acres of land, the temple complex houses with 14 gopurams, two golden sculptured vimanas and 33,000 sculptures, Porthamarai Kulam, the sacred temple tank and several halls. Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival is a ten day annual festival celebrated during April and May which allures huge number of devotees.

Gandhi Museum

Gandhi Museum is a memorial museum for Gandhi located in Madurai and was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959. Earlier, it was the palace of Rani Mangammal of Nayak dynasty and later it is converted into Gandhi Museum by the Gandhi Memorial Trust after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. It is one of the five great Gandhi Museums in the country which depict the life of the Father of the nation.

The museum houses blood stained dhoti that he was wearing at the time of his assassination along with photographs of his lifetime. Also, the Museum contains with a ‘Visual Biography of Bapuji’ containing photos, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, quotations and some of the selected Photostat copies of many of the letters written by him.

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal is a beautiful palace in Madurai built by Thirumalai Nayak in 1636. Divided into Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa, it is one of the important tourist places to visit in Madurai. Enclosed with 248 pillars, the ceilings are decorated with large paintings showing Shaivite and Vaishnavite themes.

The Darbar hall (courtyard) and the Natakasala (dancing hall) carry the original glory and are the prime attractions for tourists. The major and the remarkable part of this palace is the dome of Swarga Vilasa which lies beyond a huge courtyard.

Thirupparankundram Temple

Thirupparankunram Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Also called as Thirupparankunram Murugan Kovil, it is one of the six abodes of Murugan and considered as the first and foremost temple of Lord Muruga. It is a cave temple and the entrance is built with 48 Nayaka period pillars with artistic carvings. A unique feature of this temple is that the Gods Shiva and Vishnu face each other in the main shrine, which is a rare scene in ancient Hindu temples. Also, this rock cut temple has separate shrines for Lord Ganapathy, Shiva, Durgai, Vishnu and other deities.

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