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Inhabited since the third century BC, Madurai is an ancient city with a rich artistic and historic heritage. Situated in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is linguistically and culturally distinct from the rest of India; for instance, the Tamil language dates back almost two millennia. As in centuries past, modern-day Madurai remains a center of learning and culture, populated by universities and colleges teaching a wide range of subjects. Madurai today is a frenetic city of 2 million, but despite its development, has not lost sight of its proud history; the city periodically repaints and renovates its myriad monuments, restoring them to the glory of their colorful past.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall is a regular visitor to India, where he loves staying in the palace hotels of Rajasthan. His favourite experience? The amazing Kumbh Mela festival.
Visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, built in 1636 by King Thirumalai, the first and greatest of the Nayakas rulers. Madurai was the principal seat of the Nayakas for two hundred years, from the 16th to the 18th century. While only a quarter of the original structure remains, the palace is a showcase of the fusion and ingenuity that characterized Tamil design. The palace possesses the elaborate, life-like sculptures that are a hallmark of Dravidian architecture, as well as the deep, pronounced arches and domes popular in Islamic styles of design.
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Discover the Meenakshi Amman Temple. On any given day, nearly 10,000 people pass through Meenakshi Amman to take full baths and go to temple. Soak in the atmosphere of people prostrating themselves in front of the statues of Ganesh, buying colorful bangles, making offerings to different Hindu gods, and drawing floral patterns called kolams with rice flour on the floor.
Head to sunny South India for 12 days of luxury travel. You’ll explore Mumbai, taking in the dazzling, world-famous Bollywood, then head to the backwaters of Kerala where you’ll step aboard a luxury Kettuvallam. Interact with locals, shop in markets, and view ancient temples while staying in luxurious Taj hotels.
Take in the best of South India’s culture on this 14-day luxury journey from Mumbai to Madurai. You’ll peruse bustling markets, explore UNESCO-listed ancient ruins in Hampi, and enjoy the colonial charms of Pondicherry as you feel like royalty sleeping in some of India’s most luxurious Taj hotels.
With a comprehensive view of Meenakshi Temple, the 100 year-old Taj Garden Retreat is set amidst lush, serene gardens. The resortâ€™s fifty rooms feature in-room safes, twenty-four hour room service, currency exchange, and high-speed internet access. The resortâ€™s rooms fall into three categories: Old World Rooms are the oldest, and feature wooden furniture and colonial charm; Deluxe Rooms offer views of the Meenakshi Temple and Kodai Hills; and Superior Rooms are the newest, with views of the swimming pool and Madurai city. The resortâ€™s signature restaurant offers a range of international and Indian dishes in an opulent, luxurious setting that evokes the bygone days of the British Raj. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool shaded by a growth of trees, and several tennis and badminton courts. The Taj Garden Retreat lies less than half an-hourâ€™s drive from Madurai International Airport, and fifteen minutes from Meenakshi Temple and downtown Madurai.