About Madurai

Madurai - Athens of the East

The temple city and the pilgrim town of Madurai has captivated visitors for years. Ancient history and culture permeate every corner and mesmerizing Dravidian style temples dominate the skyline. Walking through the streets of bustling places like Pudhu Mandapam, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into the past as vendors call out and encourage you to buy famous Madurai cotton sarees and intricately designed brassware. Yet, the best places to visit in Madurai aren’t confined to temples and shops that look as old as time. There are many more destinations to explore, each as interesting as the next.

Popular Places In Madurai

Surely your escape will be magical with these highlights added to your itinerary! These places are definitely worth capturing. Have a look at the top tourist places in Madurai. Do not forget to add them to your list of Madurai places to visit.

1. Meenakshi Amman Temple: Colorfully Aesthetic

The city’s most iconic attraction heads our list of the top Madurai places to visit. In fact, it should be the first stop on your sightseeing tour and things to do in Madurai. Showcasing some of the best of Dravidian architecture, the complex is in the center of the city and instantly stands out with its towering gopurams. 13 acres of fascinating shrines, a golden lotus sacred pool and mandapas wait to be explored. You can spend hours at Meenakshi Amman Temple and you still won’t be able to explore it all!

2. Koodal Azhagar Temple: Admire The Beauty

Next on our Madurai tourist places list is Koodal Azhagar Temple, a stunning structure built in dedication to Vishnu. As with temples in the city, it’s constructed in the Dravidian style. A glorious five-tiered rajagopuram dominates and stands over 120 feet tall. The temple is situated close to the Meenakshi Amman and you can’t afford to miss a visit. Try to plan your trip during the float festival that runs for 10 days.

3. Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple: Pay A Visit

One of the best places to visit in Madurai is the Thirupparamkunram Murugan temple. It’s located in Thiruparankundram, which is close to the city. The ancient structure is breathtaking in architecture particularly because it’s rock-cut. Another distinct feature is the placement of the gods, Shiva and Vishnu, who face each other. Considering Shaivites and Vaishnavites have always been two different groups, this aspect sets the temple apart.
Don’t stop your exploration at the temple; take a walk around the complex and visit the nearby pond to see devotees feeding the fish.

4. Alagar Kovil: Intricate Carvings

This temple is situated at 16km north of Madurai and is located at the top of a hill in a dense forest. A large number of festivals are celebrated here, which include the Tamil New year, Vaikasi Visakam, AadiKruthuka, Annual Abhishek Festival, Skanda Shashti, and Thirukarthigai Panguni Uthiram. A lot of mysterious and fun things happen, which you can get into. These come under old temples in Madurai.

5. Pudhu Mandapam: For Temple-Hopping

Take a break from temple-hopping to visit the lively shopping area of Pudhu Mandapam. It’s located near Meenakshi Amman. Set amidst massive stone pillars are vendors selling their wares that consist of everything from wooden toys and fabrics to brassware and stoneware. It really is a shopper’s delight and there are plenty of souvenirs to take back home.
Pudhu Mandapam is one of the more popular Madurai tourist places and sees numerous visitors. Be prepared to haggle for the best bargains!

6. Gandhi Memorial Museum: Dig Deep In The History

A Madurai sightseeing tour should definitely include the Gandhi Memorial Museum. It’s housed in the grand Tamukkam Palace built during the Nayak Dynasty period, dating back to the 17th century. Beautifully landscaped grounds with tall trees and sculptures create a quiet place for reflection and allow you to immerse yourself in history.

The museum is divided into three sections and all are worth a visit. The ‘India Fights for Freedom’ gallery features illustrations on panels depicting the freedom movement. The ‘Visual Biography of Gandhi’ gallery, meanwhile, gives visitors a glimpse into his life through photos, manuscripts and selected letters. The last gallery, ‘Relics and Replicas’, exhibits artifacts used by Gandhi. A part of his blood-stained garment worn at the time of his assassination is also displayed although some say it’s a replica. It is one of the Madurai famous places.

7. Kazimar Big Mosque: Bow & Seek Blessings

Next on the list of Madurai tourist places is Kazimar Big Mosque, which is believed to be the first mosque in the city. It was founded by Hazarat Kazi Syed Tajuddin who is said to be a direct descendent of Muhammed.

The mosque is huge and can accommodate as many as 2,500 people. It’s also known for its maqbara of important hazrats of Madurai.

8. St. Mary’s Cathedral: Praise The Lord

St. Mary’s Cathedral is a wonderful blend of architectural styles that include European and Roman influences. It’s one of the best places to visit in Madurai with its peaceful ambience. Try to go during Christmas to see the striking Nativity scene and illuminations.

Although built as a modest chapel in the mid-19th century, it was given the status of a cathedral in the late 1960s. Today, it’s the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai. The cathedral is beautiful as a whole but the bell towers and orange vaulting are particularly arresting.

9. Yanaimalai: Hill Like Elephant

Yanaimalai or Elephant Hill is awe-inspiring in its majesty. Shaped like an elephant, it’s one of the top Madurai India points of interest. Its appearance isn’t its only allure, however; it stands out for being home to Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples and Jain sculptures. The latter are situated in caves on the top of the hill while the temples are located at the foothills.

Yanaimalai offers terrific hiking opportunities for travelers eager to get out into nature. Spend a few hours to explore its many attractions.

10. Thirumalai Nayak Mahal: See The Indo-Saracen Style

Dating back to 1636, this palace complex is built in the Indo-Saracen style of architecture. It is one of the best Madurai places to visit. In the erstwhile era, the palace had two parts, of which only one passed the test of time – Swargavilasa. The interior of the palace is decorated in Shaivite and Vaishnavite themes, with The Darbar hall (courtyard) and the Natakasala (dancing hall) being prime attractions of the Thirumalai Nayak Mahal. And once you are done exploring these places, head to a few places near Madurai on a day trip or weekend getaway.

11. Keezadi Village

Vaigai Plains Civilazations - 2600 Years ago A Status Symbol

12. Mariamman Teppakulam: Pay A Visit With family

Mariamman Teppakulam Temple is located at a distance of only 5 kms from Meenakshi Temple. It is among the beautiful places to visit in Madurai India. The temple overlooks a huge tank which is considered to be the biggest tank in the whole of Tamil Nadu. It is believed that the idol was dug out from the same tank which is why this temple gained popularity. If you want to see the true magic of this place then plan your vacation during the festival season.

13. ISKCON Madurai

Everyone has heard of ISKCON temples that are scattered all over the world to spread peace and love. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna & Goddess Radha and locals visit this place almost every day. You will hear chantings and songs all the time in this temple. This is what makes it one of the soothing places to visit in Madurai India. Moreover, the devotees are served with prasad and one can find a pure veg eatery on the premises where you can savor some dishes.

14. Goripalayam Dargah: Bow Down & Pray For Well-Being

If you are looking for religious places to visit in Madurai, then you must consider heading to Goripalayam Dargah which is a famous place in the region. The structure is painted with green and white paint along with a spectacular dome in between with towering minars. The mosque houses the shrines of Hazrat Sulthan Shamsuddin Badusha and Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badusha.