Madurai

Also known as the Temple City, Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India. Nestled on the banks of the river Vaigai, Madurai was constructed in the form of a lotus around the world renowned Meenakshi Sundareswar temple.

As early as 550 AD, Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre and engaged in trade with Rome and Greece. Not surprisingly, it finds mention in the works of Roman and Greek historians. Madurai was ruled by different dynasties throughout its long history – the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire and later came under the Nayak emperors. It occupied the pride of place during The Sangam Age or Golden Age of Tamil Literature. It also played a prominent role during the Indian Independence Movement.

Today, Madurai is bustling metropolis. It is very famous for its temples and attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. The mainstay of Madurai’s economy is textiles and it contributes a major chunk of Indian textile exports. Apart from textiles, there are a number of other small industries like spinning, weaving, and dyeing that contribute to the arts and crafts of the city. Its gold bordered sarees with zari embroidery and fabric painting are very famous. So do remember to add one to your kitty!

Madurai has a grand history of festivals and a number of them are celebrated with great pomp and vigour around the year, chief of them being – The Pongal Festival. Also known as The Harvest Festival, it takes place every January and lasts three days. So if you happen to be in the city in January, you can watch the city come alive. Rest assured, the temperatures are mild from October to February. Though the weather gets progressively hotter and drier after that. In fact, temperatures of 40 degree Celsius are common in summer.

But on the language front, you have nothing to worry. English is widely spoken in the city and Tamil and Telugu are the primary languages.

Sightseeing in Madurai:
Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple - This is the city’s most important cultural and architectural landmarks. Built by the early Pandya King Kulasekara, it celebrates the love of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi. The temple is housed within a high-walled enclosure. Right at the centre are two sanctums for Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi and Sundareshwara. They are surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. There are 12 grand Gopuras or gateways that are covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal - This palace complex was constructed by Thirumalai Nayakar in 1636. Currently, it is a national monument under the care of Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department. There are royal residences, theater, shrines, apartments, armory, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden within the palace complex. The gigantic pillars and structures and the ceilings decorated with large paintings showcases the architectural mastery. Do remember to catch the Light and Sound show that is held regularly within the premises!

Gandhi Museum - The museum contains a wealth of information about Mahatma Gandhi. Amongst other memorabilia, it showcases the original blood-stained garment that Gandhi was wearing at the time of his assassination. Also on display is an impresive collection of pictures taken during Gandhi’s lifetime. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the museum in 1959 and it is said that he was much inspired after his tour of the museum.

St. Mary’s Cathedral - This is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai. It is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in India and is situated very close to Madurai Railway station. If you’re seeking a spiritual experience, this Cathedral is a must-see!


Top News

Tamilnadu Run 2018: On the Road

Tamilnadu Run 2018: On the Road

The second half of the Tamilnadu Run 2018.     After a successful weekend of practice and first day on the road, the Tamilnadu Run had more exploring to do. Here is Princely's final Rickshaw Challenge report until the Classic Run begins in more than two months!   Long Distance to Thanjavur &nb...
22 Oct, 2018 by David 
Tamilnadu Run 2018: The Story So Far

Tamilnadu Run 2018: The Story So Far

Princely tells all from the first few days of the Tamilnadu Run 2018.     We can't believe it's time for another Tamilnadu Run. It doesn't seem a year since last time. This event is the shortest on the Rickshaw Challenge calendar, which gives teams a chance to really get to know Tamilnadu and its amazing...
17 Oct, 2018 by David 
Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 5

Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 5

Princely's final update from the Mumbai Xpress 2018.     It had been a crazy event but the Mumbai Xpress Rickshaw Challenge 2018 eventually had to draw to a close. All teams had impressed by surviving despite the floods, the road closures, and the hangovers! Here is Princely's review of the final two day...
10 Oct, 2018 by David 
Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 4

Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 4

Princely gives us the lowdown on a crazy couple of days.     The Mumbai Xpress Rickshaw Challenge 2018 had been a real challenge so far, and days 11 and 12 were no different. Here is Princely's story:   Day 11 On Tuesday morning teams were in high spirits, excited about the destination Mysore...
3 Oct, 2018 by David 
Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 3

Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 3

Princely's third update from the Mumbai Xpress.     The Mumbai Xpress is always one of the most challenging (and rewarding!) Rickshaw Challenges of the year, and this year was particularly true. After a relatively relaxed first week, things really started getting adventurous! Here is Princely's report: ...
13 Sep, 2018 by David 
The Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 2

The Mumbai Xpress 2018: Update 2

Princely's second update from the Mumbai Xpress 2018.     After a busy few days training and navigating out of hectic Mumbai, by Day 5 this Rickshaw Challenge was only just beginning! The next few days for the Mumbai Xpress included a school visit, hill driving and, the golden sands of Goa. Here's the...
16 Aug, 2018 by David 
The Mumbai Xpress 2018: The Story So Far

The Mumbai Xpress 2018: The Story So Far

Princely's first update from the Mumbai Xpress 2018.     For the Rickshaw Challenge, August brings one of the most challenging events of the year: the Mumbai Xpress. With heavy rains forecast this year's event was always set to provide a real adventure, with, as ever, lots of fun along the way. Here is org...
15 Aug, 2018 by David 
Deccan Odyssey 2018: Day 9

Deccan Odyssey 2018: Day 9

Princely's final Deccan Odyssey 2018 update. After an incredible week, it was time for the final day of the Deccan Odyssey 2018. Arriving in Mumbai can be overwhelming, even if you don't drive yourselves as a part of the Rickshaw Challenge! Here is Princely's report on the events, and celebrations, of Day 9.   De...
26 Jun, 2018 by David 
Deccan Odyssey 2018: Day 8

Deccan Odyssey 2018: Day 8

Princely's penultimate report from the Deccan Odyssey 2018.     After the sightseeing of the previous day, on Day 8 the Deccan Odyssey got back on the road. On the penultimate stage of this Rickshaw Challenge, teams drove from Aurangabad to Nasik. Here is Princely's report:   Deccan Odyssey Day 8...
24 Jun, 2018 by David 
Deccan Odyssey 2018: Days 6 & 7

Deccan Odyssey 2018: Days 6 & 7

Princely's latest Deccan Odyssey Update     Deccan Odyssey teams had seen some amazing sights on Day 4 & 5, but nothing compared to what late in store on Days 6 & 7. Seeing the Ellora Caves is one of the highlights of the entire Rickshaw Challenge calender, and this year was no different. Here is ...
20 Jun, 2018 by David 
Page 1 of 9312345...102030...Last »

Facebook

Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress
X

Come join us on our next rickshaw adventure! Book Your Place!

¤