Situated in the banks of the river Vaigai, Madurai is unarguably the seat of Tamil culture; for it is here, that the Tamil Sangam evolved. The history of this place dates back to almost 6th century BC when it was ruled by the Pandya dynasty. For those planning your holidays in Madurai, here’s a list of things to keep in mind to make sure that your visit in stress free and enjoyable.
Best Time to Visit Madurai:
Madurai has a hot and dry climate. The only respite from the scorching sun is during the winter months when it isn’t too cold, but the sun isn’t blazing as well. It is also the time when the annual Margali Festival when Goddess Meenakshi is taken on a procession along the Chitirai Streets. Various other deities including Lord Nataraja and Manickavasagar are taken on a procession along the streets. Winter is also the time if a visit to the temple isn’t a part of your itinerary. But if the weather isn’t a bother and you wish to be a part of the major functions, consider visiting Madurai in the month of April to witness the Chitirai Thiruvila and the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam- the wedding of Lord Sundareshwar and Goddess Meenakshi. But don’t worry if you happen to visit the place anytime of the year- no day of a calendar year goes by without a festival in Madurai!
Places to See in Madurai:
Besides the Meenakshi Amman Temple, there are several other places of interest. These include, The Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Vandiyur Mariamman Temple, the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Alagar Kovil, and many more.
Clothes to Pack:
For those who aren’t used to hot South Indian summers, make sure you carry a sunscreen. And loose summery cotton clothes…plenty of tissues as well! Madurai is the cultural capital of the state and people here are quiet traditional. Make sure that you cover yourself appropriately, especially when entering the temple.
What to Eat:
Street foods always provide an insight about the eating culture of a place. When in Madurai, you can’t miss out on Madurai specialties like jigar thanda, veechu parotta, kothu parotta, idli, paruthi paal, and many more. But unless you have a strong digestive system, make sure to eat from a reputed eatery that pays attention to hygiene.
Places to Stay:
There are many hotels in Madurai that cater to the many tourists and business visitors (Madurai is also a bustling commercial city and a major trade centre for the south of Tamil Nadu) visiting the place. Sangam Hotels is strategically located at Alagarkoil Road, 4 kms from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Whether visiting for business purpose or for sightseeing, Sangam Hotels in Madurai can cater to all your needs.