A colourful, vibrant city packed with pilgrims, vendors, sacred cows, rickshaws, shops and markets, Madurai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, is one of South India’s oldest cities. Tamil and Greek documents record its existence as early as the 4th century BC. A succession of power struggles and invasions ensued, with the British East India Company finally gaining power over Madurai. Today, its appealingly small size makes it easy to explore and its main attraction - the Sri Meenakshi Temple is a real draw. Gopurams cover the temple from top to bottom and there is a breathtakingly colourful profusion of gods, goddesses, beasts and mythical images.Read More
Designed in 1560, within the temple complex is the Temple Art Museum, which houses one of the best Hindu deity exhibits along with brass images and friezes. Another place of interest is the Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, a graceful palace built in Indo-Saracenic style in 1636. Today, only the entrance gate, main hall and dance hall remain. The Gandhi Museum, another interesting feature of Madurai, is set in relaxing grounds and offers a clear account of India’s struggle for independence. A chilling artifact housed here is Gandhi’s bloodstained dhoti, the cloth garment he was wearing when assassinated.
Though Madurai is considered a pilgrimage centre, it is also famed for its traditional handicrafts in bronze and brass and textiles. Madurai teems with cloth stalls and tailoring shops, particularly in West Veli, Avani Moola and Chitrai Streets. South Avani Moola Street is packed with gold shops, and West Veli Street is good for souvenirs. If you've come to India looking for some exotic treasures to take home with you then you have come to the right place.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Madurai
If you are planning a Madurai holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
GRT Regency Madurai
The GRT Regency is a modern, tastefully designed hotel with comfortable rooms that have been elegantly decorated with just a splash of colour. The hotel has extensive business and conferencing facilities as well as a modern gym and health centre to ensure that visitors want for nothing during their stay. Dining options are allow guests to choose from a range of different cuisines including traditional Indian and international. The hotel is only 2 km from the city centre and 3 km from the railway station.
The Heritance is an elegant hotel that boasts a range of opulent accommodation options. Rooms and villas are spacious and filled with only the most luxurious furnishings. Each room also comes with its very own plunge pool. Contemporary Indian and International cuisine is available at the restaurant and a generous selection of beverages can be perused. Heritance Madurai is a resort in the city, built on 17 acres of green gardens, approximately 3 km away from the busy centre of Madurai.
Madurai Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Madurai.