Places to Visit
of Madurai City
a 2600 years old historical city surrounded by elegant natural plantations,
technical institutes and textile mills situated in Tamilnadu, India.
city is known for its rich heritage, culture and historical background in
the sense that Lord Shiva himself performed sixty-four wonders called "Thiruvilaiyadals"
many centuries ago. Madurai
is located on banks of river Vaigai and was the capital of Pandya kingdom.
Madurai is the busiest commercial
center in south Tamilnadu. This sacred city of south India attracts thousands of pilgrims and
visitors from India
and abroad. Legend says, Madurai
was once called forest KADAMBAVANAM. Once a merchant named Dhananjaya who
was passing through the forest, saw INDRAN - the king of Gods, worshipping
a SWAYAMBHULINGAM under a kadamba tree in the forest. This was reported
immediately to the king KULASHEKARA PANDYAN. Kulashekara cleared the forest
and built a magnificent Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple around the sacred
LINGAM and he built a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the naming
ceremony of the city, Lord Shiva appeared magnificently to bless the city. The
divine nectar (madhu) from the matted locks of Shiva fell on the blessed
city. So, then the city was named "Madhurapuri". Madurai has reference in the great Indian
epics - Ramayana , Kautilyas and Arthasastra.
early as the 302BC, Megasthanes visited Madurai. Great travel-historians like
Pliny (77AD) and Ptolemy (140AD) have made reference to Madurai in their travelogues. Marcopolo
in 1293AD followed by Ibn Batuta in 1333AD. Later many people from Rome and Greece
and established trade with the Pandya kings.
the 10 century AD, Madurai
was captured by Cholas. The Cholas ruled Madurai from 920 AD till the beginning of
the 13th century. In 1223 AD Pandyas regained their kingdom and once again
become prosperous. Pandian Kings patronised Tamil language in a great way. During
their period, many master-pieces were created. "Silapathikaram", the
great epic in Tamil was written based on the story of Kannagi who burnt Madurai as a result
of the injustice caused to her husband Kovalan. In April 1311, Malik Kafur,
the general of Alauddin Khilji who was then the ruler of Delhi, reached
Madurai and raided and robbed the city for precious stones, jewels, and
other rare treasures. This led to the subsequent raids by other Muslim
Sultans. In 1323, the Pandya kingdom including Madurai
became a province of the Delhi
empire, under the Tughlaks.
the Vijayanagar dynasty of Hampi captured Madurai
became part of the Vijayanagar empire. Kings of this dynasty were in habit
of leaving the captured land to governors called Nayaks. This was done for
the efficient management of their empire. The Nayaks paid fixed amount
annually to the Vijayanagar empire. After the death of Krishna Deva Raya (King
of Vijayanagar empire) in 1530 AD, the Nayaks became independent and ruled
the territories under their control. Among Nayaks, Thirumalai Nayak (1623-1659)
was very popular, even now he is popular among people, since, it was he who
contributed to the creation of many magnificent structures in and around Madurai. The Raja
Gopuram of the Meenakshi
The Pudu Mandapam and The Thirumalai Nayakar's Palace are living monuments
to his artistic fervor.
Madurai started slipping into the
hands of the British's East India Company. In 1781, British appointed their
representatives to look after Madurai.
George Procter was the first collector of Madurai.
after Indian independence, Madurai is one of
the major districts of Tamilnadu
State. Madurai is surrounded
by several mountains. It is famous for Jasmine Flowers. Jasmine flowers are
transported to various other cities of India
Kodaikanal is the beautiful hill resort situated near Madurai. The city is surrounded by three
small prominent hills which are called the Anaimalai, Pasumalai and
Nagamalai named after their resemblance to an Elephant, a Cow and a Snake