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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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.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace

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.

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