View Map

Overview

Said to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in India, Madurai has been around since at least the 4th century BC, when the Greek traveler Megasthenes passed through town. Modern Madurai is a typical bustling South Indian city, but tourists and pilgrims are drawn here in droves by the famous Sri Meenakshi Temple, arguably the finest example of Dravidian temple architecture in India. Adorned with hundreds of statues of Hindu deities and mythical beasts, the temple's monumental gopurams (towers) loom over the winding bazaars of the old town. Madurai is also famous as the city where Mahatma Gandhi made the decision to wear only homespun ...

Said to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in India, Madurai has been around since at least the 4th century BC, when the Greek traveler Megasthenes passed through town. Modern Madurai is a typical bustling South Indian city, but tourists and pilgrims are drawn here in droves by the famous Sri Meenakshi Temple, arguably the finest example of Dravidian temple architecture in India. Adorned with hundreds of statues of Hindu deities and mythical beasts, the temple's monumental gopurams (towers) loom over the winding bazaars of the old town. Madurai is also famous as the city where Mahatma Gandhi made the decision to wear only homespun khadi cloth rather than imported British cotton. As well as temples, markets and museums, Madurai is well stocked with tailors and handloom fabric emporiums. Other noteworthy sights include the Tirumalai Nayak Palace and the vast Mariamman Teppakkulam tank, which attracts hordes of pilgrims for the annual Teppam festival.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

view full overview

Joe Bindloss for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Tamil Nadu state, south India, on the River Vaigai
  • Language: Tamil, English, Urdu, Malayalam
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March, but rain is possible at any time of year.