City of Nectar Madurai
Madurai is the oldest and the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. Mythology says when the city was being named; Lord Shiva blessed city and its people. On the auspicious occasion, some divine nectar fell from the matted locks of Shiva. The life of Madurai revolves around the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. This magnificently carved temple is the main attraction of Madurai and its huge Gopurams towers over the city. Precisely there are 985 pillars and each of them is delicately carved. Among these are the musical pillars which produce music when tapped. The temple has been a hub of Tamil culture and has been sponsoring literature, art, music, and dance in the region for a long time. The temple also has an art museum.
Meenakshi Amman Temple: It is the most exquisite temple of Dravidian architecture. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and the lotus shaped city surrounds it completely. A striking feature of this temple is the astonishing structure known as Ayiramkaal Mandapam or the hall of thousand pillars and each pillar features high, ornate, bold sculptures that look life like. View from any angle these pillars appear to be in a straight line.
Koodal Azhaar Temple: One of the most ancient temples in Madurai, it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In this temple he is seen in various postures sitting, standing, reclining one over the other. There are intricate woodcarvings in here, including one of Lord Rama's coronations. Other attractive feature of the temple is the musical pillar, intricately carved wooden panels and ornamental windows. There is an attachment of Navgrahs (nine planets) in this temple. The monument of the Lord Vishnu is carved in front of the temple.
Azhagar Kovil: The temple’s heritage goes back to 6th century and the Hindu relic Mahabharata has a reference to this temple having been worshipped by Yudhishtra and Arjun. This is one of the 108 special shrines of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Vishnu came to this place from his heavenly abode to give away Goddess Meenakshi in marriage to Lord Sundareswarar. The temple is found in the ruins of a fort.
Thiruparankundram temple: Is dedicated to the Lord Subramanian. This is a cave temple; the most important sculpture is Lord Shiva with flag of Rishab in his hand cannot be found anywhere else. Rock-cut temple contains 41 inscriptions revealing the early history of the temple. exquisite stone carvings of various deities in the 48 pillared Mandapam (Hall); the Nataraja (Shiva) dancing with his Flag and Parvati seeing the dance in a reclining posture on Nandi – you can worship Brahma only in this temple (as he had a curse that people will not build temples for him); Sun (Surya) and Moon (Chandra) are at the same place, which could never happen in the universe.
How to Reach
By Air: Madurai Airport is the nearest which is about 10 km.
By Rail: Madurai has its own railway station which connects the city to every part of the country.
By Road: Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation buses connect Madurai with other local cities in and around.