About Madurai

Madurai - Athens of the East

The temple city and the pilgrim town of Madurai have 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

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

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, they're 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.

3. Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple

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.

4. Alagar Kovil

This temple is situated 20 kilometers 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, the 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

TTake 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, which consist of everything from wooden toys and fabrics to brassware and stoneware. 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

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 ‘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 Madurai's most famous places.

7. Keezadi Village

We are usually very curious to know how our ancestors lived. If we want to know how our Sangha people lived before 2600 years ago, we must visit the Keezhadi Museum.

8. Mariamman Teppakulam

Mariamman Teppakulam Temple is located at a distance of only 5 km from Meenakshi Temple. It is among the beautiful places to visit in Madurai. The temple overlooks a huge tank. It is believed that the idol was dug out of 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.

9. Aayiram Kaal Mandapam

This is an excellent masterpiece of the Pandian era, built out of a single rock. Located inside the Meenakshi Amman temple, this hall houses 1000 pillars, which was built during 1569 A.D. Once you enter Meenakshi Amman temple, it will lead to this mandabam (hall). It has ancient articles displayed around the mandapam, built with 1000 pillars.

10. Samanar Padukai

Samanar Hill is a hike with moderate difficulty. It is not for elderly people; however, it is a must-see site for people who can climb up the steep steps. The carvings are intricate. There are two separate hikes: one with Jain carvings up in the hills, and the other is a cave on the left-hand side of the hike.

11. Noopura Gangai Raykkayi Amman Temple

This temple is Located on the hill. Very nice view from the top side. There was a water spring. The water is considered very sacred.There is a legend about the fresh water spring here.

12. Thirumalai Nayak Mahal

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.

13. Pazhamudircholai

Atop a hill covered with lush greenery and dense forests lies one of the six divine abodes of Lord Muruga, the Pazhamudircholai Murugan. Also known as Solaimalai Murugan Temple, it is 25 kilometers to the north of Madurai and stands only two and a half kilometers away from the Vishnu temple of Azhagar Kovil.

14. Yanaimalai

Yanaimalai, or Elephant Hill, is awe-inspiring in its majesty. Shaped like an elephant, it’s one of the top Madurai 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 in the foothills.

15. Madurai Food Tour

Madurai offers you the best food tour in the country. As we walk and ride through the city's authentic eateries, you will sample the best food the temple town has to offer. A food tour that covers everything from the local snacks to dessert that the locals relish. Get ready for the gastronomical experience of your life!