Madurai, Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu
Languages Spoken:
Tamil and English
Best Time To Visit:
September To March
Long Distance Code:
Famous for the Meenakshi temple
Located in the southern parts of the state, the district of Madurai is landlocked. Dindigul district is in the north, district of Sivaganga in the east, Teni in the west and the disrtict of Virudunagar in the south.
One of the most beautiful cities of the state of Tamil Nadu, Madurai, has a history of more than 2500 years with it. Famous for the Meenakshi temple, the city was ruled by the Pandian kings and finds a mention in many epics, only to prove its age old culture and longitivity. It is referred to in the Ramayana and Kautily's Arthashastra. Megasthenes (302 BC), pliny (77AD) and Ptolemy (140 AD) wrote of "Madurai, the kingdom of the Pandian". Macro polo visited Madurai in 1293 AD.
Situated on the banks of River Vaigai, the name Madurai has a beautiful legend attached to it. It is said that one of the Pandian kings, Kulashekhar, built a beautiful temple complex in madurai, clearing the forest. Around the temple he developed a township in shape of a lotus flower. On the naming ceremony of the township, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed the land and its people. As he blessed divine nectar; Mathuram in the local dialect, was showered on the city from his matted locks. Hence the city was known as Madhurapuri.
Madhurapuri grew and prospered to become the capital of the Pandyan Kingdom. The Pandian kings encouraged the cultural movement of the town as praise to the Lord. Madhurapuri, later became Madurai and still boasts to be the cultural capital of the state. Today along with the beautiful Meenakshi temple it is also famous for the textile mills producing wonderful silk.

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