A revered land of temples and religious places of worship, this city is full of historical and cultural monuments. There is the famous Shree Meenakshi Sundareswara Temple, which has five entrances and is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi. There are other revered temples as well like the Koodal Azhagar Temple and the Thiruparankundram and the Azhagar Temple etc. The city is also known for its Dargahs, museums and other monuments and buildings of great importance. Things to do in Madurai, thus, range from visiting many temples to finding spiritual nirvana here.
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What to Do in and around Madurai
Enjoy 29 best Madurai attractions and points of interest to choose from!
#1 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 12455 times in trip plans
Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
05:00 am - 10:00 pm
Temple dedicate to an avatar of Goddess Parvati, the Meenakshi Temple comes with an interesting story. The princess Tadaatagai (avatar of Parvati) was born with three breasts and a voice from the heavens announced that the third breast would go away when she met her future husband.
The princess was trained like any other royal blood and she soon captured most of the lands and the heavens with her knowledge. Soon she set out to capture Kailasa and after winning over Shiva’s army, she met Shiva to finally realize that he was her future husband.
Till this day a procession is made everynight where Sundareswarar’s idol (Shiva’s avatar) is brought from his temple to spend the night at the Meenakshi Temple. The Shiva idol is taken back to his abode in the morning.Locals can join the procession.
#2 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 8856 times in trip plans
Panthadi 1st Street, Mahal Area, Madurai Main, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
Built in 1636 AD by KingThirumalaiNayak, the Thirumalain Nayakkar Mahal is one of the most visited places in the city by tourists and locals alike owing to its larger than life architecture, royal intricate design and a spell-binding light and sound show which makes the whole palace come to life.
Take a walk along its beautiful corridors embraced by strong yet detailed pillars.
#3 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 5597 times in trip plans
Tallakulam, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625020
10:00 am - 05:45 pm
A palace built in the 17th century was converted to a Museum and inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959 to hold all the precious belongings of M.K. Gandhi who was brutally assassinated with a gunshot after the Indian independence.
The museum pays tribute to his endeavors and has a section of exhibits which show the freedom struggle of India.
Over 100 articles belonging to Mahatma Gandhi including the blood stained cloth in which he was assassinated.
Articles of importance and historic relevance including a letter M.K.Gandhi wrote to Hitler.
#5 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 6433 times in trip plans
Solaimalai Hill, Madurai 625001, India
06:00 am - 08:00 pm
This depicts the legendary story of a sage (Suthapas) who ignored a Maharishi while he was taking a bath in the river and was cursed by the Maharishi to take the form of a Frog, forms the historic story of the temple.
The Sage would only be free of the cruse after getting blessed by Lord Sundararajar (known as Kallazhakar).The sage offered his deepest prayers to the Lord which made the god ascend to the earth, to the place the temple stands on.
Beautiful rock-cut architecture with larger than life Gopuram and rock pillars which support the Mandapam (hall)
Main Shrine which is always closed except for 1 day every year when the Sudarshana Chakra of lord Vishnu passes over the open door
#6 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 7796 times in trip plans
Vadivelkarai Road, Kilakuyilkudi, Tamil Nadu 625019
06:00 am - 06:00 pm
Located 11 kilometers from Madurai, The Samanar hills are home to ancient Jain Carvings that date back to the 9th Century. The caves have two main sculptures- Settipodavu (Mahavira) and Pechipallam (Thirthankara).
It was here that hundreds of Jain monks undertook ‘sallekena’ or ‘fast unto death’. The incident is mentioned in 2000-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and Vatteluttu writings which were recovered by Archaeologists.
The caves are an intrinsic part of the region’s history and are a must-see when in Madurai.
#7 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 8027 times in trip plans
Near Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
09:00 am - 08:30 pm
A ‘Mandapan’ or Hall near the Meenakshi Amman Temple, the place is a shopping street filled with some of the oldest shops in Madurai. The shops date back to around 1921 and are passed down from generation to generation.
A walk here is a walk through history since the Mandapan itself holds some fascinating stories. The place was used for meetings by Indian freedom fighters during the British Raj!
Today the 125 pillared historic place gets lost in the lights and buzz of the shops which have engulfed it, but still exudes vibrancy and is a must-see for first time visitors.
#8 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 9310 times in trip plans
EChitrai Street, near Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
09:00 am - 06:00 pm
One of the most beautiful Manadapams or Halls in Madurai, the AayiramKaalMandapam is known as the 1000 pillar Hall (985 to be precise). The manadapam is located on the grounds of the Meenakshi Amman Temple.
The hall is carved out of a single rock and the pillars all bear carvings depicting various God and Goddesses from Indian Mythology.
The pillars are well maintained and give you a peek into Madurai’s extensive history and marvelous architecture. The detailed statue of Natraja- the Indian God of Dance in Indian Mythology, gives the hall a characteristic appeal.
Musical pillars which produce different sounds after being struck (located to the west of the Mandapam)
Art Museum including pictures and idols of Indian Gods.
#9 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 5514 times in trip plans
Thiruparankundram, Tamil Nadu 625005
05:00 am - 09:00 pm
One of the most ancient (believed to be built before the 7thcentury) and lavishly carved temple in south India, the ThiruparankundramMurugan temple makes a first time visitor rather speechless just by its gigantic size. The colors that burst at the entrance gives a peek of what lies inside and the story behind the temple only adds more charm to the place. Mythology says this is where Lord MuruganmarriedDeivayanai, the daughter of the king of heaven- Indra.
The whole temple is a pleasureto walk through- every wall and pillar is graced with intricate carving of gods and goddesses from the Indian Mythology. The principal Idol is of Lord Murugan even though many other Idols adorn the temple.
Luxuriously carved Halls and life-sized idols of Gods.
Rajagopuram (royal pyramidal tower) at the entrance.
#10 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 8590 times in trip plans
Gorippalayam, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
07:00 am - 07:00 pm
TheGorippalayamDargah was built by King ThiruvalaiNayak and remains one of the most tranquil places to visit in Madurai.
The Mosque has the tombs of two sultans from Yemen namely HazratKhaja Syed Sultan AlauddinBadusharazi and HazratKhaja Syed SulthanShamsuddin. Both the Sultans contributed towards the spread of Islam in the region.
The GorippalayamDargah welcomes people from everywhere to experience its beautiful architecture and peaceful ambience.
Tombs of the Sultans
The main dome made form a single rock.
13th century inscriptions in Tamil language near the entrance.
#12 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 5753 times in trip plans
South Gate, S Marret St, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
04:00 am - 11:00 pm
Built in the 13th century, the Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara is the oldest mosque in the city and the first place of worship for Muslims. The Mosque was built by HazratKazi Syed Tajuddin- a blood descendant of Prophet Muhammad who came from Oman. HazratKaziAyedTajuddin received this land from the Pandyan King Kulasekara and constructed this Mosque.
The Mosque has a Madrasah- which still teaches basic Arabic to students.
A walk here is filled with peacefulness and spirituality while the history of the Mosque is still seen in its beautiful architecture.
#13 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 5196 times in trip plans
E Veli St, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625001
07:00 am - 07:00 pm
One of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in India, the Saint Mary’s Cathedral is known for its classic European architecture and Roman-styled bell tower.
Founded in 1840, the church was rebuilt in the early 20th century.
In 1969, the church was elevated to the status of Cathedral. Today, the place is one of the star attractions in the city and art, history, and architecture lovers admire the detailing and influences which are so prominently seen in its design.
#14 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 24134 times in trip plans
Melmangalam, Tamil Nadu 625562
07:00 am - 06:30 pm
The Vaigai Dam is located on Vaigai River and is a famous picnic spot for locals during rainy season. Located 60 kilometers from Madurai, the place has a beautiful park and also has a promenade making it a perfect location to walk around.
If you are looking for a quaint spot in Madurai which is away form all the hustle-bustle of the city, be sure to visit the dam.
The view of the city and the still waters adds to the serene beauty of the place.
#15 of 29 Things to do in Madurai | Added 6672 times in trip plans
Meenakshi Nagar, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625009
An artificial water lake formed when the area was mined to build the ThiruvalaimNayyak Palace, VandiyoorMariammanTeppakulum shines its best during evenings- when the whole lake reflects the city.
A sight to behold during festivals, the whole tank is perfect for a quiet evening stroll. The tank has a couple of granite steps which lead to the water- perfect for experiencing the vibe of the temple city as you see the Mariamman Temple reflected in it.