27 Best Places to Visit in Madurai – Tourist Interest, Festivals

Madurai – The Vibrant and Dynamic City

Madurai is situated on the banks of the river Vaigai, gets its name from an earlier name Madurapuri. It is believed that the King Kulasekara Pandyan built Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple and the city around it.

Madurai was the capital of the Pandya kindgom which ruled until the early 10th century. Thereafter, the Cholas ruled for the next three centuries before Pandya rule was re-established. Madurai became a part of the Mughal empire. When the Vijayanagar empire took over, they appointed the Nayaks as their representatives to rule Madurai.

Top Places to Visit in Madurai
Some general information for visitors. It covers an area of 3,741 square kilometers and had a population of 3,038,252 as per the 2011 Census. Situated at an altitude of 101 meters above sea level, Madurai experiences a summer temperature ranging from 37° to 25° Celsius, while in winter, it ranges from 29° to 20° Celsius. The average rainfall in Madurai is 85 centimeters, and the city enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. The recommended clothing for this tropical region is light and comfortable. The primary languages spoken in Madurai are Tamil, Sourashtra, Hindi, and English, and the STD code for the city is 0452

Cultural Capital

Madurai is famous as a center of literary achievement and learning. In the pre-Christian era, Madurai was home to the Tamil Sangam which attrached literary personages who flourished under royal patronage. Many literary Masterpieces were composed which survive to this day.

Places to visit in Madurai

Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • The magnificent temple dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi.
  • One of the famous Shakthi shrines in India.
  • Every day thousand of devotees visit this temple.
  • One of the center of Tamil culture, sponsoring literature, art, music, dance over the centuries.
  • The original temple was likely a modest structure built according to agama guidelines.
  • Over time, it has expanded significantly with the grateful addition of successive dynasties and victorious monarchs.
  • Today, it has transformed into an enormous complex covering an area of 65,000 square kilometers (15 acres).
  • The temple building itself is rectangular in shape, measuring 847 feet in length and 793 feet in breadth.
  • The central focal points of the temple are the magnificent sculptures of Meenakshi and her spouse Lord Sundareswara.
  • Surrounding the temple, there are four majestic gopurams (towering gateways) on the outer wall, which rise gracefully and dominate the skyline.
  • These gopurams are visible from a considerable distance, creating a striking sight.

Alagar Kovil

  • 21 km away from the Madurai City.
  • Dedicated to Kallalagar consort wirh Sridevi and Boomadevi.
  • Situated on a foot hill amidst Panoramic Surroundings.
  • Temple Dharsan Timings : 5.45 am to 12.30 pm  & 4.30 pm to 8.00 pm

Solaimalai Mandapam

  • This temple also known as Pazhamudhirsolai.
  • Situated at alagar hills and it is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramaniya about 4 kms from the foot hills.
  • Main God is Lord Murugan and also contain some beautiful carvings, making a visit rewarding.
  • This place also famous for event Lord Murugan offered Nellikkani to the poetess Avvaiyar
  • Pooja Timings : 6.00 am to 5.30 pm.
Pazhamudhir Solai

Alagarmalai (Jain Tourist Spot)

  • Located 30 km from the Madurai towards North.
  • Jain beds and inscriptions were created by Kaninathan, Pomkollam, Athan, Anargan, Uppuvanikam, Viyakkun, Ganathikam, Panitha Vanikan Nedumalan, Kozhu Vanikan, Illanchandhan, Ven palli, Aruvai Vanikan at 2nd Century B.C – 1st Century A.D.


  • Located 8 km from the Madurai towards South.
  • One of the six abodes of the Lord Murugan and the first among them.
  • Main sanctum sanctorum is curved out of a solid rock.
  • Dharshan Timings: 5.30 am to 12.30 pm & 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
  • Anicent Vaishnavite temple with beautiful sculptures.
  • Situated 0.5 km from the Madurai Railway Junction.
  • Main God is Koodal Azhagar and Goddess Sridevi and Boomadevi.
  • The main God is depicted in three postures – sitting, standing and reclining.
  • Pooja Timings: 6.00 am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
Koodal Alagar Temple
  • Mariamman Teppakkulam is beautiful square tank of huge size.
  • Located 5 km from the Madurai towards East.
  • Colorful Float Festival held in Januaary / February to celebrate the birth anniversary of King Thirumalai Nayak who built this tank.
  • Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are taken here and placed in a gaily decorated float.
  • Illuminated with hundreds of lights, this fascinating float is taken round the tank with traditional music.
  • Northeast side of the tank is a temple dedicated to Mariamman, a famous village deity of Tamil Nadu.
  • Graceful palace built in Indo Saracenic style.
  • Famous for the stucco work on its domes and impressive arches.
  • Swarga-vilasam constructed entirely with brick and mortar without support of a single rafter or grider is a marvel of architectural engineering.
  • Massive white pillars, several of which line the corridor that runs along the courtyard.
  • Connected by high decorative arches, these pillars measure 20 mts height and have a circumference of 4 mts.
  • Palace was built in 1636.
  • Open Timings: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
  • Sound and Light Show timings: English ver 6.45 pm and Tamil ver 8.00 pm.
Thirumalai Nayak Mahal
  • Museum contains a picture gallery of Gandhian movement.
  • A gallery of relics, Khadi and village industries section and South Indian Handicrafts sections
  • Visiting Hours: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.45 pm. Friday Holiday.
Gandhi Museum
Gorippalayam Dargah
  • Locally Known ad Hajha Syed Sultan Alaoudeen Syed Sultan Samsudeen Aolya Dhargah.Goripalayam Dhargah is Madurai’s most commanding mosque.
  • Standing on the northern banks of the Vaigai River.
  • Holy shrine offers an arresting view with its stunning green tombs and hugely built dome, high as 20 ft and 70 ft in diameter.
  • Imposing dome is built of a single stone which was brought from the Alagar hills.
  • Goripalayam in  Persian means ‘Gor’ or ‘Grave’.
  • The holy spot houses the mortal remains of two Islamic sage brothers – Hasrat Sultan Alauddin Badusha and Hasrat Sultan Samsudeen Badusha.

Yoga Narasingaperumal Temple

  • Temple is situated about 12 km from Periyar Bus Stand and 5 km from MGR Nilayam (Mattuthavani Bus Stand).
  • Main God is Yoga Narasingaperumal and his consort is Narasingavalli.
  • Main sanctum sanctorum is curved out of a rock Yanai Malai (Elephant Hills)
  • Pooja Timings: 6.00 am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

Thirumarainatha Swamy Temple

  • Located 16 km away from the Madurai city and 10 km from Melur on Madurai Thiruchirapalli road.
  • Main God is Vathapureeshvarar or Thirumarainathar and Goddes Vedanayagi or Aranavalli Thayar.
  • Famous Saivait Poet Manikkavasagar wrote Thiruvasagam in this temple.
  • Pooja Timings: 6.00 am to 2.00 pm & 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

Chithira Radha Vallaba Perumal Temple

  • Located 38 km away from Madurai near Sholavandan
  • Main God is Chithira Radha Vallaba Perumal, Goddess Sridevi and Shenbagavalli Thayar.
  • Famous Guru Bhagavan temple is located near to it.
  • Temple belongs to 12th Century AD during King Vallaba Pandiyan.
  • Dharshan Timings: 6.00 am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.


  • Heritage village of Madurai located near Mangulam,
  • 27 km away from the Madurai city.
  • Famous for its Ovamalai where Five Jain Caves and Six Brahmi inscriptions found.

Edaganathaswamy Temple

  • Shiva Temple about 25 km away from Madurai city.
  • Near Sholavandhan at river bank of Vaigai.
  • Temple dedicated to God Edaganathaswamy and Goddess Elavar Kulai Amman.
  • Pooja Timings: 6.00 am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.

World Tamil Sangam

  • World Tamil Sangam established in 1st March 2016.
  • Center for higher research for Tamil language.
  • Located in the Madurai city.
  • Built over an area of 87300 sqft.


  • Name of hills itself explains its association with Jainism.
  • Hills lies in the village Keelakuyilkudi.
  • 15 km west of Madurai near Nagamalai Pudukkottai Village.
  • Three importanr Jain vestiges are found which speak about the existence and flourishing nature of Jainism during 9-10 BC.
  • Picturesque place with lotus pond at the foot hill Samanamalai.

Karadipattimalai, Perumalmalai

  • Just behind the Samanamalai 2 km  away.
  • Three ancient Tamil Brahmi records and Jain beds found here.

Kongar Puliangulam

  • Village lies at Madurai – Theni main road 20 km.
  • Weatern end of Nagamalai range one nature caverb is found in which more than sixty rock beds are carved for the stay of Jain ascentics.
  • Three early Tamil Brahmi inscriptions are also engraved on the base of the rock.


  • Tourist spot located 35 km from Madurai towards western side in Madurai to Theni highways.
  • Famous for its Natural beauty of hills, pond and the Kailasanatha Temple.
  • During Full Moon day local people usually go for Girivalam around the Tidiyan hill.

Kutladampatti Waterfalls

  • Located 36 km from Periyar bus stand on the way to Kodaikanal.
  • An amusement park lies in a hill called Sirimalai with a natural beauty and 7 km away from Kutladampatti near Vadipatti Village.
  • Height of the falls is 87 ft.
  • During Holiday and festival time many local people take bath and enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Near this falls 500 years old temple dedicated to Goddess Thadagai Nachiamman is there.

Sathaiyar Dam

  • Best picnic spot near Madurai.
  • 27 km away from the Madurai city.


  • Two large and beautifully decorated wooden temple-cars at the center of the East Masi Street, generally used for carrying the idols of the God and Goddess on  a Procession after the celestial wedding of Meenakshi and Chokkanathar during the Chithirai Festival.
  • The cars were made by Thirumalai Nayak 400 years ago.

Some other villages to visit are:

  • Arittapatti
  • Karunkalakudi
  • Varichiyur
  • Raya Gopuram

Tourist Interest in Madurai:

  • Athisayam Theme Park
  • Government Museum
  • Kazimar Periya Pallivasal
  • Muktheeswarar Temple
  • Vadipatti Arokia Annai Shrine
  • Kochadai Village Deity Temple
  • Ramakrishna Math
  • Sri Aravundar Annai Trust
  • Sri Thiyagi Vishwanathadas Memorial

Events and Festivals

  • Jallikattu – Pongal celebration and held mostly in Villages like Alanganallur.
  • Pongal Festival
  • Chithirai Festival
  • Puttu thiruvizha
  • Avanimoolam Festival
  • Float Festival
  • World Tourism Day

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I’ll do my best to provide you with a helpful answer.

Have a great journey

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