Madurai Vacations

Madurai is a city in southern India, and one of the oldest on the sub-continent. The city’s founding date is unclear, but historians accept that it has been continuously inhabited since multiple century’s BC. It was one of the most important Asiatic trading cities during Greek and Roman times, and finds ample mention in those culture’s histories. ... Read more
Madurai is known as the Temple City for its enormous number of temples. The most famous and heavily trafficked of these is Meenakshi Temple, a glorious complex whose unique construction dominates the city’s skyline. Other popular temples are Thiruparankundram, Alagar and Koodal Alagar. Thirumalai Nayak Palace is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. These seventeenth century ruins once housed the region’s rulers, and is truly a site to behold. The city’s most cherished museum is without question the Gandhi Museum, which is a must-visit for all those coming to the region for the first time. The local cuisine carries a Tamils influence. You have to try to understand!

Madurai places to stay and top hotels

Madurai things to do and experiences




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Top Madurai restaurants

  • Prema Vilas
    10.01 review
    Ice Cream and Desserts, Specialty Food Stores
    Popular withFoodies
  • Murugan Idli Shop
    9.65 reviews
    Indian, Breakfast & Brunch
    Popular withVegetarianFamilies
  • Simmakkal Konar Kadai
    10.01 review
    Local Traditional Cuisine, Indian
    Popular withFoodiesFamilies
  • Naveen Bakery
    10.01 review
    Popular withVegetarianOutdoorsy

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Madurai reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Family Travelers
  • 9.7
    Spiritual Seekers
  • 8.6
  • 8.4
    History Buffs
  • 7.5
    Adventure Travelers

Member Reviews(23)

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I had a good time when I visited. The only problem is with the temperature. Nice time to visit is during April for festival and during winter season.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesSpiritual Seekers

Omg the whole city is amazing .. Taste food .. Good culture .. Nice to visit with family and friends ..

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesAdventure TravelersSpiritual Seekers
Stuttgart, Germany

Very intersting city, easy to spend some days enjoy the city and visit beautiful temples, lot of good bars and enought Hotels near the center

Recommended for:History Buffs
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Famous for the massive Meenakshi Temple that attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims annually, Madurai has managed to resist the trend towards modernity that has put so many other Indian cities firmly on the global map. Although still fairly large at about 2 million people, Madurai is not Delhi or Mumbai or Bangalore. And despite the economic boom those cities have experienced recently, you get the sense that few residents of Madurai would exchange their rich, traditional, uncompromised culture for a chance at a few more rupees. With the exceptions of Coke and Pepsi, still served in heavy glass bottles, you won't find many examples of Western culture creeping in to this area, or at least not too quickly. The phenomenal temple, the warm, welcoming people, and the fantastic local food - perhaps best sampled at the Meenaksi Bhavan chain - will likely keep you in Madurai longer than your guidebook led you to expect.

Recommended for:Backpackers
Sydney, Australia

Madurai is a town that bears splitting in two: There's the gorgeous Sri Meenakshi Temple, and there's everything else. The center of the old city is dusty and squalid, and holds few attractions for the visitor, but the temple at its heart is one of the finest in South India, with Dravidian-style gopuram towers riotously decorated from top to bottom in fantastic sculpture. The temple's inner reaches are also a great place for photography, with huge numbers of pilgrims visiting daily.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversSpiritual Seekers
Tel Aviv, Israel

In the middle of the small and colorful city of Madurai lies one of the largest and biggest complexes of temples in India. This is like a small neighborhood inside the city and it seems like the beating heart of Madurai. The temple was built in the 17th century and is dedicated to lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.

Once in the temple compound you will get lost in the labyrinth of inner rooms, rotating around a large pool with green water. The temple is full with worshipers all day and night and the corridors are packed. Devotees are seen offering pujas in early morning and it goes on all day till the evening. The whole atmosphere is filled with oil lamps, incense sticks fragrance and the sound of bells. Almost every night a wedding party is held, with thousands of participants. This is a golden opportunity to see an Indian wedding in Tamil style in which the bride and groom are full with colorful powders and are dressed in glamorous clothes, necklaces of flowers, fancy robes and crowns. They are led to the temple to be married, just like Shiva and Parvati.

The temple is open from 5:00 to 12:30 and 16:00 to 21:30. It costs only 2 rupees to put the shoes in the keeper stand at the entrance.

Also nice to know: The temple was in the list of top 30 nominees of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” and the annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during April–May and attracts 1 million visitors.

Cheltenham, UK

Over two Thousand year old, South India's great temple town of Madurai has the Meenakshi Temple at its heart. Much celebrated and sitting on the banks the Vaigai River, it is truly a sight to behold.

Having visited many great monuments over the years (The Great Wall, The Pyramids, Machu Picchu, Angkor, etc) I have never had such an intake of breath as when I first saw the gopura towers of Meenakshi Temple at night from my hotel's roof top restaurant. Their sheer size literally stunned me.

Visiting the temple the fokllowing day was another highlight, teeming with devoted Tamil pilgrims praying and presenting offerings to the gods, the rather dark halls are electric with religious fervour (not to mention the odd colourful elephant). Every month has a festival in the temple, so you'd be very unlucky if you missed one.

Madurai itself is a pleasant enough city in the centre of Tamil Nadu, and part of a wider Dravidian temple circuit. Checkout the street food, it is delicious!


it is also called the temple city and it also has the famous meenakshi amman temple. it is 125 km away approximately from salem

New York City, New York State, USA

South India's answer to Agra, the royal city of Madurai is a rare gem in a traveler's itinerary. Not too touristy, incredibly authentic India at its dusty, crowded, genuine best. Must see: The Meenakshi Temple: the grandest hindu temple in the last millenium. Must watch: Jallikattu bull fighting festival during middle of January. Must eat: Jigardhanda - a milk based dessert whose recipe for some reason has never left Madurai.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Madurai is a city where you can appreciate what the spirit of Tamil Nadu is all about...take in the absolutely amazing and brilliantly colored Meenakshi Temple, shop in the markets in the downtown area, enjoy the delicious South Indian food, and be welcomed into one of the hundreds of small neighborhood temples. My favorite city in South India.