|State: Tamil Nadu
Famous for/as: Temples
Languages: Tamil, English
Best Season: Oct - Mar
Weather: Summer 26-38°C, Winter 20-29°C
Altitude: 8 m
STD code: 0452
Legend has it that King Kulasekara Pandya built a temple around a Lingam accidentally discovered in the middle of a forest on the banks of Vaigai River. A lotus-shaped city came up around the temple overnight !! When it was time to name the city, Lord Shiva appeared and drops of nectar (mathuram in Tamil) dripped from his matted locks here. The city came to be known as Madurai.
The thousand-pillared Meenakshi Temple welcomes you to Madurai. Being the oldest city in Tamil Nadu, the city is the cradle of Dravidian culture and tradition. If you have never been here, come, experience Madurai.
Although Madurai is famous as a temple town, it is also a fascinating shopping place. Madurai has retained its fame as a textile center from ancient times. The hoards of textiles and tailoring shops around the famed Meenakshi Temple are ample proof of this.
While shopping in Madurai, you can buy locale manufactured cottons and batiks from Puthu Manadapam Market, just outside the eastern entrance of the Meenakshi Temple. The interesting things about the rows of tailoring shops here is that they can stitch a dress for you in an hour or two. You can also pick up the famed Madurai silk and handloom sarees from big textile showrooms like the famous Hajeemoosa Textiles. If you want to buy souvenirs in wood or brass, you should visit the Cottage industries emporium and other government emporiums nearby. Madurai is also famous for its ethnically crafted jewelery if you want to indulge in the pleasure of buying gold and silver ornaments.