Nestled on the Vaigai River, Madurai is an ancient city dotted with centuries-old gateway towers and home to one of India’s major pilgrimage sites. Madurai celebrates revered Hindu gods during its lively annual festival, while it also offers fascinating architecture, engaging museums, amusement parks and surrounding natural spoils year-round.
Things to do in Madurai
Make sure to visit the towering Meenakshi Amman Temple, one of India’s top pilgrimage destinations. This Dravidian-style Hindu temple rises over 50 metres above the city and showcases intricate carvings, a sacred pool for pilgrims and two elaborate shrines. The temple is surrounded by 14 magnificent gopurams (gateway towers), some of which date back to the 13th century.
Learn about Gandhi and his influence on India at the Gandhi Memorial Museum, home to old photos from his life and over 100 artefacts used by the Indian activist. Afterwards, wander over to Madurai Corporation Eco Park to relax under shady trees, admire historic statues or stroll along the walking paths.
Are you visiting Madurai with your children? Take them to Athisayam, a family-friendly amusement park with twisting water slides, boat rentals and a wave pool. The kids will also enjoy visiting Rajaji Children's Park and riding on its miniature train. The park also boasts a Ferris wheel, aquarium and friendly food vendors.
Time your visit for the month-long Chithirai Festival in April, one of the longest of its kind in the world. It features numerous religious ceremonies devoted to the country’s Hindu gods and goddesses. The four-day Thai Pongal festival is a vibrant celebration of Tamil culture, honouring the Sun God with fruit harvests, family visits and decorated cows.
Getting around Madurai
Madurai is about 30 minutes’ drive from Madurai International Airport and is connected to major cities via trains from Madurai Junction station. You can get around by using the local buses, taxis and auto rickshaws.