Madurai Things to Do

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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace

    by y2ketan2007 Written Feb 13, 2013
    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace , Madurai
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    A wonderful palace in Madurai constructed by an italian architect for King Thirumalai Nayak in 1636.Olly a fourth of the original palace now remains.Part of the palace was removed by the king's grandson for construction material to make a palace in Trichirapally !

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    Meenakshi Temple

    by y2ketan2007 Written Jan 9, 2013

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    A Gopuram in Meenakshi Temple

    This outstanding temple will overwhelm you with the sheer scale of it's size and the tens of thousands sculptures in stone depicting a thousand Gods and Goddesses.There is even a wonderful museum inside the temple premises ! You will need three to four hours to enjoy this ancient wonder.The temple comprises of 12 gopurams , the largest one measuring about 150 feet.
    A Brief history : The Pandya rulers ( Around 1330 AD ) gave the temple it's magnificient towers.The Vijayanagara kings ( From AD 1377 to AD 1560 ) added the beautiful monolithic pillars to the temple premises . The Nayak kings added pathways and pillared halls to the temple.

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    Gandhi Museum

    by y2ketan2007 Written Jan 9, 2013

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    Gandhi Museum housed in a Palace

    Madurai is the unusual setting for a wonderful Gandhi Museum - showcasing the life and times of the Father of our nation - M K Gandhi. The museum is located in a wonderful building -the old palace of Rani Mangammal.The most important exhibit here is the blood stained clothing that gandhi wore the day he was assassinated.You will need a couple of hours to read and see all the wonderful material exhibited here.

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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace--Madurai

    by mehulraj Updated May 7, 2012

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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace
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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace

    Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace built by King Thirumalai Nayakkar in 1636.And according to History its built by some Italian architecture but I didnt found name anywhere during visit.The palace complex area was originally four times bigger than it is now, consisting of two portions – Swarga vilasa and Ranga vilasa. There were also other portions like the palace shrine, harem, theater, royal band stand, armory and other structures which were used to accommodate palanquins, royal chariots, relatives, servants, guests and other regal paraphernalia.The palace has an archaeological museum which houses artifacts, idols, pottery, pillar-stones, scripts and paintings unearthed from various places in South India, right from the 102 A.D. Restored in 1858 by Lord Napier (the then Governor of Madras), Thirumalai Naicker Palace is open from 9 AM to 5 PM for visitors.

    There they have light and sound show 7 in the evening as far as I remember

    To my surprise only part of this palace is open for public rest is closed. Even though its so huge and all pillar are one meter in diameter and hall of this palace is little more than half a football field. Its near to Meenakshi Temple..

    Few of superhit movies like "Bombay" and many more has been shoot here but right now its banned to avoid damage to this great history.I feel sorry bcoz this place is maintained by indian department and its in so pathetic condition.Even if anyone visit this place during day time probably he/she will not dare to go for evening light and sound show.

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    Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

    by mehulraj Updated Apr 1, 2012

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    Stunning Monument

    Out of many places in Madurai this Meenakshi Amman Temple comes first in the list.Madurai has become the greatest attraction for every tourist who visits the South India.It leaves an unforgettable impression in our minds and gives indepth knowledge of Tamilian art,architecture and culture.They cherish sweet memories of their visit and will continue to attract the visitors again and again to the Temple City.

    This famous temple is dedicated to Meenakshi and Sundareswarar.Here Goddess Sakthi incarnated herself as a mortal,reigned as the Pandyan Princess and wedded Lord Siva who performed 64 miracles to render succour to His devotees.The sight of the Majestic towers,a cluster of small and large ones,pulls the attention of the visitor even from a distance.

    According to hindu custom it is to worship first Devi Meenakshi and then Lord Sundareswarar ,People should enter the temple through the Ashta Sakthi Mandapam on the Eastern side.The temple is the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai. The temple walls, streets and finally the ancient city walls were built around the temple in concentric squares. Ancient Tamil classics mention that the temple was the center of the city and the streets happened to be radiating out like the lotus and its petals.Even if u see the satellite view of city you will find the whole city is built around this temple. It is one of the few temples in Tamil Nadu to have four entrances facing four directions and can be entered from all four direction.

    And now let me tell you the time the visit.I prefer going to this place when its not crowded.And anybody who is planning to visit should avoid vacation time in india if u want to stay away from crowd.So I avoid going from April-june i.e Summer Hoilidays and October or november i.e Diwali holidays.And apart from that I follow Hindu lunar calender and according to that I avoid going on new hindu month starting,on full moon and amavasya. And what best is the official website on which they have mentioned some auspicious day for whole year that should be avoided.These all tips is to avoid crowd but if u really want to have glimpse of temple festival then this days are the best to go to temple.

    Temple Regular Opening Hours : 05:00 to 1300 and 16:00 to 22:00

    POOJA TIMINGS



    Thiruvanandal pooja---------- Morning 05 : 00 - 06 : 00
    Vizha pooja---------- Morning 06 : 30 - 07 : 00
    Kalasandhi pooja--------- Morning 07 : 30 - 08 : 30
    Thrikalasandhi pooja--------- Morning 10 : 30 - 11 : 30
    Uchikkala Pooja (Noon Pooja)----------- Morning 10 : 30 - 11 : 30
    Maalai pooja---------- Evening 04 : 30 - 05 : 00
    Ardhajama Pooja (Night Pooja)----- Night 07 : 30 - 08 : 30
    Palliarai pooja--------- Night 09 : 15 - 10 : 00

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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Aug 27, 2011

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    Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
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    Barely 2 kms to the south-east of the Meenakshi Amman Temple stands the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. Constructed in the 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak, the palace is a rare example of the Indo-Saracenic style (fusion of original Indian architectural concepts with those of Muslim architecture or plainly speaking pillars and beams merged with arches and domes). It contains the living quarters of the royalty, a shrine and an armoury. A video is at VirtualTourist.

    The main dome of the palace is an engineering marvel as it appears to stand without the support of rafters. The massive pillars (248 pillars, each 58 ft tall and 5 ft in diameter), the courtyard and the dancing hall, all vie for attention. In ‘darbar’ hall has 12 pillars and is constructed with two walls to allow the flow of air in between the walls thereby cooling the hall during the hot summer months.

    The stucco work on the domes and the arches is painstakingly detailed, vibrant and a feast for the eyes. Similar is the paintings on the ceilings along the corridors. Recently renovated, the entire palace is worth a visit.

    The original palace was supposed to be four times bigger and consisted of two parts, viz., Swraga Vilasa and Ranga Vilasa. There is a room with black polished columns supporting the roof where the queen supposedly used heard music and listened to literary discourses.

    Timings are from 9 am to 12 noon and 1 pm to 4 pm. A sound and light show which details the life and times of King Nayakkar (1623-1659) in the evening, is a rare treat.

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    Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Aug 26, 2011

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    Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam

    About 5 kms from the Meenakshi Amman Temple, lies the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, a 16-acre water tank, 1,000 ft. length by 950 feet breath. Located in Vandiyur region, the tank has a Vinayaka (Ganesha) temple dedicated to Lord Vigneshwara, the Elephant-faced God at the centre. A temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Mariamman (diety of smallpox) is located near the tank. ‘Teppakulam’ means ‘water tank’ in Tamil. Therefore, the name Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam. A very short video is at VirtualTourist

    Its size is equal to that of the Meenakshi Amman Temple. It is one of the largest temple tanks in South India. It gets its water supply through an ingenious system of underground channels from the Vaigai River. Built by King Thirumalai Nayak, it is surrounded by well-laid out roads on all four sides with 12 steps, made of granite, on all four sides, leading to the lake. Apparently, the King used the earth to build a palace (Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal) for himself and in the process, the tank was formed.

    Mariamman Teppakulam is famous for the celebrations of the Float festival or ‘Teppothsavam’, celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb) on a full moon night to commemorate the birthday of King Thirumalai Nayak. The festivities start at dawn with the procession of deities, Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The entourage is escorted by temple elephants, musicians, horses, devotees and other regal trappings through the streets of Madurai. About 3 kms from the Teppakulam, the deities are placed in a ‘mandapam’ for worship by the devotees. The idols are then taken to the Vinayaka Temple in the centre of the tank decorated in a float called ‘Teppa’, where thousands of devotees come to worship Lord Sundareswarar, Goddess Meenakshi and their son, Lord Ganesha. There is a firework display, dramatic enactment of scenes from legends and miracles related to the deities and general gaiety. The waters of the tank turn colourful as the temple is lit by oil lamps and fluorescent lights. At the end of the ceremony, the deities are taken back to the Meenakshi Amman temple in an equally grand procession.

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    Other Things To Do In Madurai

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Aug 26, 2011

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    1. Once you know that the famous M.S. Subbalakshmi is from Madurai, you will be aware of the hold music has over this city. Enjoy an evening of music at Madurai. It is an ethereal experience. Even if you don’t understand the music, feel the rhythm and the melody.
    2. The brightly-coloured tie-and-dyed cotton Sungudi sarees are worth collecting, if not for yourself then for your near and dear ones. Try the stores on South Masi Street or get them at Chennai.
    3. Golu dolls (idols of gods and goddesses), made by SG (an artist whose initials are engraved on the pieces), are worthwhile souvenirs.
    4.For a riot of colours, visit the Madurai flower market (4 am onwards). Be forewarned that the place is chaos and slush personified.

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    Madurai Meenakshi Temple

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Aug 26, 2011

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    Madurai Meenakshi Temple
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    The Madurai Meenakshi (eyes like that of a fish; meen=fish; akshi=eyes) Amman temple may be considered as the apotheosises of Dravidian architecture. The 11 towers (‘gopurams’) with their intricate stucco work multi-coloured statues of gods, goddesses, animals and other mythological figures are a masterpiece. A video is at YouTube or VirtualTourist.

    Some important aspects are:

    1. Built between 13th. and 16th. Centuries.

    2. Four of them (9-storeyed) are the four main entrances.

    3. South tower is the tallest (170 ft.) and the most attractive.

    4. Oldest is the one of the eastern side.

    5. Five musical pillars, near the North Tower, each consisting of 22 smaller pillars carved out of a single stone, produce different notes when tapped.

    6. It is considered proper to enter the temple complex through the Ashta Shakti Mandapam to first worship Devi Meenakshi and then Lord Sundareshwarar. Over the entrance, there is a scriptural representation of Devi Meenakshi’s wedding.

    7. 1008 brass lamps may be seen in the Meenakshi Naicken.

    8. It is believed that Indra bathed in the Golden Lotus Tank to purify himself of his sin. Also, it is believed that Lord Shiva performed a miracle by making this pond free of fishes.

    9. On Fridays, the images of Devi Meenakshi and of Lord Sundareshwarar are placed on the Oonjal (swing) Mandapam and worshipped.

    10. Parrots in the Kilikootu Mandapam are trained to call out the name of Devi Meenakshi.

    11. Devi Meenakshi, with a parrot and a bouquet, stands in the sanctum in the Meenakshi shrine.

    12. The 8-foot high statue of Mukkuruni Vinayakar was found when Thirumalai Nayakkar was building the shrine.

    13. The Kampathadi Mandapam is known for the intricate carvings. Lord Shiva is depicted in each of the 8 ornate pillars in a different manifestation. Equally intricate is the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. However, the best is the sculpture of Devi Meenakshi’s wedding.

    14. The legendary Kadamba tree, the trunk of which is preserved, is in the Sundareshwarar shrine, which houses the ‘linga’.

    15. Lord Nataraja, with His right foot raised (rare dancing pose of His), is in the Valliambalam. It is believed that He did so to please His devotee, King Raja Shekara Pandyan.

    16. Ariyanaatha Mudaliar, on a horse, who built the 1000 pillar hall, greets the visitor to the magnificent hall. The 985 pillars are so arranged that whichever angle you see them, they all appear in a straight line. There are two mini-temples at the place where the remaining 15 pillars should have been. This hall also houses the Temple Art Museum.

    17. Temple timings are 0500 hrs-1230 hrs and 1600 hrs-2130 hrs. The 1000-pillared hall timings are 0700 hrs-2000 hrs.

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    Thiruparankundram Temple

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Aug 22, 2011

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    The Gopuram of Thiruparankundram Temple
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    About 8 kms from Madurai situated at an elevation of over 1000 feet is the 6th. Century rock-cut Thiruparankundram Temple, one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga (Subramanya), the Tamil Hindu god of war and patron of Tamil Nadu. Hindu mythology has it that the Lord rested here after his battle against the demons Soorapadman. Here He married Devasena (Deivayanai), daughter of Indra given to him as a gift for victory. Owing to this many Hindu marriages take place at this temple especially in the festival of marriage, Pankuni Uttiram, in late March. He worshipped His parents, Lord Parangirinathar and Avudainayaki at this temple. A 3.45 min. video of the temple is at VirtualTourist

    During the reign of the Nayaks of Madurai (1559-1736 AD), the temple was supplemented with gopurams and beautified. The 48 ornate pillars, embellished with lotus-shaped medallions, at the entrance to the temple were carved during this period. The presiding deities of the temple are Lord Muruga and Goddess Devasena.

    Some noteworthy features of the temple are:

    1. Over the entrance there is the mugha mandapam.

    2. The seven-tiered gopuram is just behind the main shrine.

    3. Ancient painting of Nataraja, the dancing Shiva.

    4. Sculpture of the presiding deity, Sri Subramaniyaswamy (Muruga).

    5. 41 inscriptions revealing the early history of the temple.

    6. Separate entrance to the Sani Bhagawan, another shrine in this temple.

    7. A rock-cut chamber houses the lingam.

    8. In the eastern side, there is one more shrine with Vishnu and Durga.

    9. A 30 metre long tunnel in the south-eastern part.

    10. Two historical wooden carts used on ceremonial occasions.

    11. Each of the 5 cells within the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is dedicated to a deity, i.e., Durga, Murga, Shiva Lingam, Vinayaka and Vishnu.

    12. The images of Bhoodevi, Brahma, Chandra, Indra, Sri Devi and Surya, are carved on the walls of the temple.

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    Miscellaneous Aspects of Madurai

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Aug 16, 2011

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    1. Madurai ranks as the seventh hottest place in the world. The average temperature hovers at 30 degrees centigrade.
    2. In ancient times, Madurai was encircled by walls. Four gates allowed ingress and egress. Toll was collected at these gates. Of them, only the West gate survives.
    3. Elukadal Street is rich in sculptures and art works.
    4. Sacred groves abound in the villages of Madurai. Villagers enter this forest only with their bare feet. Flora and fauna abound in these forests.

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    Yanaikkal Traffic Island

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Aug 16, 2011

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    At the entrance to the old stone causeway across Vaigai River, there is a huge tusk-less black stone elephant, whose trunk encircles a warrior. Along with a small park, this stone elephant presently serves as a traffic island. The locality around is called Yanaikkal.

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    Street Lights in Madurai in the 1850's

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Aug 16, 2011
    Linnaeus Tripe's Lamp Post

    Vilakku Thoon (lamp post) is in the middle of the Meenakshi Amman temple and the Tirumalai Nayak Palace. It was erected by J. Blackburne, erstwhile Collector of Madurai who left for England in 1847 after a successful career. This lamp post illuminated the streets of Madurai even before the arrival of electricity. It is now replaced by a bigger one along with a statue of Kamaraj. In acknowledgement, the people of Madurai erected a monument of J. Blackburne at the junction of East and South Masi Street.

    From:

    http://mptyvessel.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/a-madurai-odyssey/

    Even, the ten pillar street and the palace is visible in this photo.

    Linnaeus Tripe (14 April 1822 – 2 March 1902) was a British photographer, best known for his photographs of India and Burma taken in the 1850s. His works are on display at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

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    Old Rare Photos of Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Aug 16, 2011

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    South Tower
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    http://mptyvessel.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/a-madurai-odyssey/

    Linnaeus Tripe (14 April 1822 – 2 March 1902) was a British photographer, best known for his photographs of India and Burma taken in the 1850s. His works are on display at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

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    Hall of Thousand Pillars

    by mehulraj Updated Jul 31, 2011

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    %b%s4%fhHall of Thousand Pillars%f*%s*%b
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    Hall of Thousand Pillars

    Name of this hall is Thousand Pillars which means there has to be 1000 pillars but actually there are 985 pillars in the hall and these pillars are so arranged that from whichever angle one views they appear in a straight line.A magnificient image of Nataraja is installed in a mandapam at the farthest end of the hall.An exhibition of many antiques,idols and interesting pieces of art is arranged here.And entry fees to this hall is just 5Rs. and for camera we had to pay additionally.We got see lot of people sleeping here as charges are very less and this place is so cool and soothing.Sculpture of Nataraja we can see as we enter.I hope anyone will enjoy his time at Meenaskshi Temple.And carvings on the pillar is marvelous and I saw people tapping on these pillars and listening for some sound coming out of it.Even I tried but what I have been told that these are musical pillars but for me its like some illusion I was not able to hear anything great

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