Madurai could be one of the world’s oldest cities. It has a recorded history from the third century BC. Madurai came under British rule in 1801. But Gandhi also has a link with the city; it was here that he first started wearing loincloth. Sometimes called the 'City of Temples' with so many places to visit in Madurai especially temples, it makes sense that the first activity in Madurai is sightseeing. The city has a deep and fascinating history, and it is up to visitors to decide how much they want to explore the city.
Eating outside is one way to eat cheap in Mudarai. Try the ‘evening mutton stalls,’ for a spicy, cheap and filling non-vegetarian meal. Kothhu Parotha is another roadside treat, a vegetarian version is available- Mutai Kotthu Parotha. The area around Meenakshi Temple is the area to look for most kinds of shopping. Cotton saris, Brass works, Tanjore Paintings, Handicrafts and antiques are all products that the city is famous for.
Adventurous travelers can check out the Bull Run in January. Fighting bulls is highly dangerous, but watching is less so. This tradition is not as brutal as its counterpart in Spain; the matadors have no weapons and are not trying to kill the bull. Animal rights groups still oppose the practice and there is controversy surrounding it. Spectators must keep a safe distance and must not take part. Madurai is also famous for the less controversial Chithrai Festival that takes place in April or May. It is a twelve day Hindu festival that attracts millions to the city.
Be aware of pick-pocketing and petty theft in Madurai. Watch out for guides and touts whose goal is to sell to tourists or overcharge for services. Madurai people are friendly, but proud, so jokes about Madurai, or personal jokes about a person or his family should be avoided. Women should avoid provocative clothing or being out alone late at night.
Fly to Madurai in Tamil nadu or get the train to Madurai. A major city and hub in Tamil Nadu, it’s not difficult to get to a city with a well-served airport and train station. There are also frequent bus services to other major South Indian cities and across Tamil Nadu.
Madurai - THINGS TO KNOW
Historical, City, Pilgrimage
Tamil, English, Hindi