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Tourist Places

Tirupparankundram Murugan Temple
Thiruparangundram, located at a distance of 8 km south of Madurai. A rock-cut temple carved out of the mountain is considered as one of the abodes of Lord Murugan. Built in 8th century by Pandya King, the shrine in the temple is cut out of a solid rock. The temple has a wide range of Hindu gods carved on the walls. The Subramanya cave temple has a shrine dedicated to Durga, with the figures of Ganesh and Subramanya on either side. Located atop a hill, the temple is believed to be one of six abodes of Lord Subramanya. A Dargah for Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badusha is also located in the top of the hill. The temple is a place from where sun and moon can be seen together at different times of the day.

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the southern banks of river Vaigai in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 gateway towers called gopurams, ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured shrine over sanctum of the main deities. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is built during 1623 to 1655. The annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during April - May..

Aayiram Kaal Mandapam
Ayiram Kaal Mandapam or the 1000 carved pillars hall (985 pillars to be exact). Built in AD 1569 during the beginning of the Nayak Dynasty by Ariyanatha Mudaliar in 1569 and it is a structure where the engineering skill and artistic vision are blended. Famous for its musical pillars - When tapped each pillar produces a different note. The musical pillars are currently off limits as over usage by tourists and old age have damaged them

Puthu Mandapam
The artistic beauty and historical importance of the 17th century Pudhu Mandapam near Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple remains hidden from the public due to the indifferent attitude of the city corporation. The 333-foot-long and 25-foot-wide mandapam which has 125 pillars, each pillar bearing sculptures of Nayak kings and goddesses, had been rented to shopkeepers many years ago. The Pudhu Mandapam which depicts the sculptures of almost ten Nayak kings is one of the wonderful monuments in Madurai, which must be preserved. It was constructed by Visavanatha Nayak in 1635. One of the Collectors of Madurai, U Sagayam, identified the historical importance of Pudhu Mandapam and ordered that the mandapam be converted into a tourist spot.

Thirumalai Nayakar Palace
Thirumalai Naicker Mahal is a famous tourist spot in Madurai, situated 2kms south east of Meenakshi Temple. The palace was built in 1636 by Thirumalai Nayakar. The 248 pillars in the Mahal are 18 feet circumference and 18 feet to 35 feet height. The dome decorated with Makara fishes, lotus flower, fishes holding the bouquet are wonderful. In Dharbar where the King sits has 12 pillars and it's shape is Octagonal. This Raja's chamber was constructed with two walls, in between the walls air flow is possible so the King's dharbar remained cool in summer months. Furniture and utensils used by the kings have been exhibited inside the palace. The palace is equipped to perform Light & Sound shows depicting the story of Silappathikaram in both Tamil and English languages.

The Mariamman Theppakulam
The Mariamman Theppakulam in Vandiyur - 5km south east of Meenakshi Temple is one of the the huge Temple tank in south India. It was built in 1636 and was commissioned by Thirumalai Nayakar. The area of the tank is approximately equal to the area of Meenakshi Temple. The length of the tank is 1000 feet and width is 950 feet. The mandapam and temple in the center of the tank enshrines an idol of Lord Vigneshwara, the elephant-faced god. It is said to have been found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So the place attained sanctity and was converted into a Teppakulam (tank). The Float Festival is celebrated here on the Full Moon Day from mid-Jan, to mid-Feb every year. The tank has total of 12 long stairs (steps) on all four sides.

Gandhi Museum
Gandhi Museum is a great historic Palace of Rani Mangammal during 1670. This palace was the official residence of the District Collectors of Madurai for many years. In 1955 the palace and the land of 12 acres were dedicated to Gandhi Smarak Nidhi by the government of Tamilnadu in remembrance of the life and work of father of the nation. The museum contains paintings, sculptures, Gandhian quotations, a fine exhibition of South Indian village industries and handicrafts associated with Gandhiji. The model display of the dhoti Ghandhi was wearing when he was assassinated can be seen.Great treasures such as copies of Gandhiji's letters and microfilm reels are preserved in the museum library.

Koodal Azhagar Temple
Koodal Alagar Temple is a Vishnu temple located 2km west of the city, has three altars, one on top of the other, in which Lord Vishnu is in three different poses: sitting, standing, and reclining. The main deity of the temple is Koodal Alagar, who is in a sitting posture. Above the shrine of this deity are the altars of Sri Ranganatha, in a reclining pose, and Perumal, in a standing pose. There are intricate woodcarvings, including one of Lord Rama's coronation. This is one of the 108 Divya Desam temples. There is a Navagraha (nine planets) enclosure in this temple. Lord Alagar's procession to the bank of the Vaigai River on the full moon day is one of the most interesting events of the festival. Lord Vishnu rides on a real-gold horse-chariot to his sister's wedding.

Alagarkoil Temple and Shrine
Alagarkoil Since the presiding deity is of the temple is Alagar (the beautiful), the temple is called Alagar Koil. This is an important Vishnu temple, about 18 km northeast of Madurai, at Alagar Hill. This is one of the most ancient temples in India and round the temple are ruins of an ancient fortified town. The recently renovated gopurams of this temple look resplendent. The Mahabharata says that this temple was visited by both Yudhisthira and Arjuna. It is said that Koorattalwar, the chief disciple of Ramanuja, regained his eyesight by worshipping the deity here. Don't miss the 2,000 years old Sudarsana-chakra in this temple.

Gorippalayam Dargah
Gorippalayam Dargah is the largest mosque in Madurai. The name Gorippalayam was taken from the Persian word Gor, which means Grave. Since the Graves of the two famous saints of Islam and rulers of Madurai, Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badusha and Hazrat Sulthan Shamsuddin Badhusha are located here, it got the name Gorippalayam. The tomb of this Dargah is 70 feet in diameter and 20 feet in height. It is made of a single block of stone which was brought from the Azhagar Hills. On the outer campus of the Maqbara of the Dargah campus, ancient Tamil inscriptions of 13th century can be found planted. On 15th night of the Islamic month of Rabi al-awwal, the anniversary urus festival of the Dargah is commemorated. People from all over, visit this place to seek blessings and go back fruitfully.

Sri Aiyanar Swami (Kochadai Village Deity)
Sri Aiyanar Swami Temple is located 5 Km from Periyar bus stand, Madurai. This temple is dedicated to Lord Aiyanar. Thousands of devotees throng to this place from all over Madurai district to worship Lord Aiyanar. There are 21 deities in this temple. Aiyanar is worshipped as an Kuladevatha by the people of all communities. Since this god is very powerful no horse or carts drawn by horses are allowed in the temple vicinity. Statues of the three Tamil kings, Cheera, Chola and Pandya, and idols for Saptha Kannis (the seven maidens) are also seen in this temple.The sthala (place) vruksham (tree) of the temple is Tamarind tree. Devotees pour milk to Nagamma under the Tamarind tree, for the removal of Naga Dosha (curse of the snake). People seeking for wedding boon tie Mangal sutras and people who wish for kids tie cradles using saris to the tamarind tree of the temple.

Kazimar Big Mosque
Another 13th century structure is the Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara that was built by Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin who had come down from Oman. He built this beautiful mosque on a land received from the then Panidiya king, Koo Pandiyan and it is also one of the first worship place for Muslim's in Madurai. It is 500 meters from the Periyar bus stand and 1 kilometer southeast of Madurai junction and 800 meters southwest of the Meenakshi Temple. Madurai Maqbara, the Dargah of famous Madurai Hazrats (Their Holiness Hazrat Meer Ahamad Ibrahim, Hazrat Meer Amjad Ibrahim and Hazrat Syed Abdus Salaam Ibrahim Rahmatullahi Alaihim - Descendants of Prophet Muhammad) is also located inside the Kazimar Big Mosque premises.

Jayaveera Anjaneya Temple
Sri Jayaveera Anjaneya Temple is one of the rare Temple where Lord Anjaneya has a mount and bell in his tail. This temple is about 300 years old where Anjaneya idol poses one leg upward as if he is jumping. After the pooja, Vibuthi and Kumkum are offered to the devotees. Generally Vibuthi is offered only in Shiva Temples. The other wonder in the Sri Jayaveera Anjaneya Temple is the single idol having Chakrathazhwar and Narasimhar with four hands. The shrine for Navagraha (9 planets) is also present in the temple premises. The idols showing Hanuman offering the Kanayazhi (the ring) to Mother Sita and other Ramayana related scenes are also installed in the temple.

Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple
Sri Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar temple is a temple where Lord Shiva worshipped himself. The scriptures narrate the story of Brahma and Vishnu worshipping Lord Shiva but the temple has the history that Shiva worshipped himself. Lord Shiva himself installed the Linga here. It is firmly believed by the locals That, on worshipping the Lord Shiva here is relieved of all sins in this birth itself and qualifies for a birth in heaven. The Lord Shiva appears along with his consort in a wedding pose in this temple. The temple represents the Prithvi (Earth) philosophy. This is the holy place where Lord Shiva sold bangles for women. According to scriptures, Sage Patanjali performed penance here

Ramakrishna Mutt
In Madurai Sri Ramakrishna Mutt, allows all the devotees, irrespective of caste, creed, or religion, to attend in religious activities like, daily Aarti, Bhajans, and Discourses etc.

Pazhamudhir Solai
Pazhamudhir solai is a fertile hill which is rich in natural springs, herbs, fruits, flowers and vegetables. Lord Subramania temple is located 21 Km North of Madurai on the hill top, covered with dense forest. This hill is also known as Vrishabhadri or idabagiri. This temple is one of the six abodes (Arupadai Veedu) of Lord Subramania. At the foot of the hill, Azhagar Koil is situated. This Pazhamudhir solai Lord Murugan is praised in old Tamil literature such as Silapathikaram, Ettuthokai, and Pattupattu etc. There is a waterfall named Noopura Ganga on top of the hill dedicated to Rakkayi Amman. The main idol of Lord Subramanian is housed in standing posture with single face and four hands with Goddess Valli and Devayanai on both sides.

Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple
Sri Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar temple is a temple where Lord Shiva worshipped himself. The scriptures narrate the story of Brahma and Vishnu worshipping Lord Shiva but the temple has the history that Shiva worshipped himself. Lord Shiva himself installed the Linga here. It is firmly believed by the locals That, on worshipping the Lord Shiva here is relieved of all sins in this birth itself and qualifies for a birth in heaven. The Lord Shiva appears along with his consort in a wedding pose in this temple. The temple represents the Prithvi (Earth) philosophy. This is the holy place where Lord Shiva sold bangles for women. According to scriptures, Sage Patanjali performed penance here

Pandi Kovil
Pandi Kovil, located in Madurai is dedicated to lord "Pandi Muniswarar". He was the savior (Kaaval theivam) of Madurai. Originally Lord Pandi was an ancient ruler of Madurai who was associated with the Tamil epic "Silapathikaram". Other than the main Lord Pandi Muniswarar, there is other idol of Lord "Samaya Karuppar" in the temple premises. When the people desires are fulfilled, they sacrifice the rice and fruits to the main Lord Pandi since he was a vegetarian and people sacrifice animals (cocks, goats), liquor, cigars and sometimes kanja (opium kind of thing) to Samaya Karuppar Lord.

Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple
Sri Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar temple is a temple where Lord Shiva worshipped himself. The scriptures narrate the story of Brahma and Vishnu worshipping Lord Shiva but the temple has the history that Shiva worshipped himself. Lord Shiva himself installed the Linga here. It is firmly believed by the locals That, on worshipping the Lord Shiva here is relieved of all sins in this birth itself and qualifies for a birth in heaven. The Lord Shiva appears along with his consort in a wedding pose in this temple. The temple represents the Prithvi (Earth) philosophy. This is the holy place where Lord Shiva sold bangles for women. According to scriptures, Sage Patanjali performed penance here

St. Mary's Cathedral Church
St. Mary's Cathedral Church is located on East Velli Street in Madurai. This Church was built in the year 1840. It is one of the ancient Roman Catholic Churches in India. St. Mary's Cathedral Church is the seat of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai. It is located at 2 Km to the south-east of Madurai railway station and approximately 200 meters from the famous Thirumalai Nayak Palace on the old Koyavar Palayam road. This Church is dedicated to Viagulamatha and originally it is known as Viagulamatha Koil. The two graceful Roman style bell towers of the church, which are about 42 meter high, are visible from a distance. The architecture of the church is a blend of several forms of European and Continental styles.

Sri Mottai Vinayagar Temple
Before proceeding to open the shops and offices, dealers use to place the key of their business in front of Sri Mottai Vinayagar temple shrine. They believe that the growth of business depends on Vinayagar (Ganapathy's) grace. Therefore this Vinayaka is also known as Vyapara Pillayar. Before commencing any work, devotees seek Lord Vinayagar's (Ganapathy) permission by placing two chits before him. Grass archanas are performed by devotees and they offer vastras (clothes) to Lord Vinayagar, when their wishes come true. Many doctors in the area of Sri Mottai Vinayagar temple offer coconuts to Vinayaka before doing a surgery. Vinayaka Chaturti festival is celebrated in a grand way in this temple.

ISKCON - Sri Radha Mathurapati Temple
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as the Hare Krishna movement, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. This society has been founded in 1966 in New York City by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. This movement of mercy has spread to all continents of the world. Within 40 years it has established centers in most countries and important cities. The objective of this educational non-profit organisation is to make Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtan movement available to every town and village.

Solai Amman Temple
This is one of the six of the holiest of Murugan shrines refered to as the Aarupadai Veedugal. Unlike the other five temples, there is no grand edifice surrounding the central shrine of worship. However, this is a holy shrine venerated by the Skanda puranam and by Nakkeerar's Thirumurugatrupadai of the Sangam period. Arunagirinathar's Thirupugazh also reveres this shrine. This shrine is located on a hill adjacent to theKallazhagar Temple in the outskirts of Madurai, a fortified temple complex, revered as one of the 108 abodes of Vishnu glorified by the hymns of the Alwars.