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MADURAI AS A TOURIST HUB OF THE SOUTH

TAMILNADU-A STUDY

CHAPTER-I

Introduction

Madurai, which is more than 2500 years old, was once the

mighty capital of the ancient pandya kingdom. This city has been

famous as the seat of Tamil literature in southern India and conferences

of scholars-sangams-were held here from remote ages. In one of those

gatherings of scholars, Lord Sundareswarar himself is said to have

played the part of a poet.1

Madurai is the oldest inhabited city in the Indian peninsula.

It is the second largest city and a municipal corporation. Situated on the

banks of the river vaigai in Madurai district in the Indian state of

Tamilnadu.The city is also referred to as the Temple city.

Madurai was called as “Athens of the East”. Madurai is a

place of great historical importance.

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1,Ravi.S,A Road Guide to Maduraichennai,2005,p.3

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A centre of leaving and pilgrimage for centuries,Madurai

is one of the most lively cities in south India It was originally known

“kadambavanam” or the “forest of kadamab”(nauclea

kadamba)2.Madurai which is usually called nanmadakkoodal’ in Tamil

literature is an ancient city more than 4000 years old.koodal Means

assembly and as all the 3 Tamil academies were established in

madurai,it got the name koodl.literary evidences prove that the first

Madurai was devoured by the sea and what we now see is the second

Madurai founded by the pandya king kulasekara in 6th century. The

culture of Tamilnadu is woven with the history of Madurai in all

aspects history, religion, art, legent, polity, learning and so on. It as the

city of elites and learned men, so it is aptly called the “Athens of the

East”.3

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2. VV.K.Subburaj, Tourist guide to south Indai, Chennai, p.106

3. Ratandep singh, Tourist India, New Delhi1996, pp.209-210

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Madurai is famous for pilgrimage centre. It’s main

attraction is the famous shree Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the old

town,a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with

gopurams covered from top to bottom with a breathless profusion of

multi colored images of god’s goddesses, animals and mythical

figures. Nothing quite like it exists outside Disneyland, The temple

seethes with activity from down till dusk and its many shrines attract

pilgrims from all over India and tourists from all over the world. On

any one day it’s been estimated that there will be 10,000 visitors here.4

Madurai’s history falls into roughly four periods

beginning over 2000 years ago when it was the capital of the pandya

kings and known to the 4th century BC Greeks via Megasthenes,their

ambassador at the court o0f chandragupta Maurya .In the 10th century

AD it was taken by the chola emperors and remained with them until

the pandyas briefly regained their independence in the 12th century,

only to lose it again in the 14th to the Moslem invaders under malik

kafur,a general in the service of the Delhi sultanate.

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4.Rupa.G,south India, New Delhi,1992,p.25

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malik kafur set up his own dynasty here which ruled for a while

before being overthrown by the Hindu vijiyanagar kings of

Hampi.After the fall of vijiyanagar in 1565,Madurai was taken over by

the nayaks who ruled from1559 until 1781 A.D.It was during the reigh

of Tirumalai nayaks (1623-55) that the bulk of the Meenakshi temple

was built .5

Madurai passed into British hands in the shape of the East

India Company who took over the revenues of the area after the wars of

the carnatic in 1781.In 1840, the company razed the fort which had

previously surrounded the city and filled in the most. Four broad streets

the veil streets-were constructed on top of his fill and define the limits

of the old city to this day.

This city is one huger, on-stop bazaar crammed full of shops,

street markets, temples, pilgrims, choultries, hotels, restaurants and

small industries .It’s one of the south’s liveliest cities, yet small enough

not to be overwhelming and it’s very popular with travelers.6

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5. V.K.T.Balan, Welcome to Tamilnadu, Chennai, 2001, p.120

6. S.Ravi, Op.cit, p.12

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ORIENTATION

The old town of Madurai is contained within the

almost square enclosure marked out by the veli streets(south veli st,East

veli st,etc) on the south bank of the River vaigai.with in this area are

found almost all the main points of interest, the transport services,mid-

range and budget hotels,restaurants,tourist office and Gpo.Most of the

hotels and restaurants used by travelers are west of the Meenakshi

temple between North Masi street and south Masi street but

particularly along Town hall Road and west Masi street. The bus

station, railway station and GPO are all on west Veli Street as is the

Tourist office which close to the Hotel Tamilnadu near the junction

with south veli street.

Outside this area, on the north bank of the River vaigai in the

cantonment are the ITDC Tourist lodge.YWCA circuit House, the

Gandhi Museum and Madurai’s best hotel, the pandyan.The

Mariamman Theppakulam tank and temple stand on the south bank of

the vaigai several Km east of the old city.

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Madurai is a fasinating,city a place of pilgrimage, joy and

in many ways the embodiment of Tamil nadu’s temple culture.7

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Satellite image of Madurai urban area.

Madurai is the second largest city in Tamilnadu. Madurai city

has an area of 52km, with in an urban area now extending over as

much as 130 km and it is located at 9.93,78.12. It has an average

elevation of 101 meters above mean sea level. The climate is dry and

hot, with rains during October-December. Temperatures during summer

reach a maximum of 40 and a minimum of 26.3 degrees Celsius.

Winter temperatures range between 29.6 and 18 degrees Celsius. The

average annual rainfall is about 85cm.

Today, vast stretches of lush paddy field, dusty roads and

crowded bazaars make it seem almost like an overgrown village that is

just blossoming into a town. It is also a burgeoning industrial centre

with its famous textile mills, engineering industries and vast university

campus.

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7.Ratandeep,Tourist India Hospitality services,New Delhi,p.25

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It covers an area of 22sq kms and contains a population of 10, 93,702.

Lying at an altitude of 100.58 meters, it receives an average rainfall of

85cms.8

DEMOGRAPHICS

As of the 2001 India census, the city of Madurai had a

population of 928,869 with in the municipal corporation limit and the

urban area 1,194,665.Males constitute 51% of the population and

females 49% Madurai has an average literacy rate of 79% higher than

the national average of 59.5% male literacy is 84% and female literacy

is 74%.In Madurai, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

There are 968 females per 1000 males.9

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8.Manoj.k ,Enchanting tamilnadu,Chennai,2001,p.6

9. Manoj.k,Op.cit,p.

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CHAPTER-II

HISTORY OF MADURAI

HISTORY OF MADURAI

The history of the place is described in detail in the

Halasya Mahatmya in Sanskrit and in the Tiruvilayadalpurana in

Tamil. Reference to madurai is made in the Indian epic Ramayana and

kautilya’s Arthasastra.Great chroniclers such as Megasthenes (302BC)

pliny (77AD) and Ptolemy (140A.D) have made references to this city

in 1293 AD,followed by Ibn Batuta in 1333 AD.10

This place is also famous for the representation of Lord siva

dancing as Nataraja with the right foot planted on the ground while in

all other representations he stands on his left foot.The hall where

nataraja is said to have danced here,is known as velliambalam or the

silver hall.11

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10.A.L,Basham,The Wonders that was India,New Delhi,1998,p.428

11. T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,The History of Meenakshi Temple,Madurai,p.3

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Legends state that madurai was originally a forest known as

kadambavanam,where the kadamba trees grew luxuriously.The

discovery of the sacred place is attributed to a merchant by name

Dhananjaya of Manavoor, a few miles to the east of the preent town of

madurai.The Merchant was returning from the west coast, it became

night.The day was somavara or Monday and the merchant observed

Indira.The lord of the Devas,workshipping the swayambu(self-created)

linga.He reported the fact to the king,kulasekara pandian,who at once

cleared the forest and built the temple and the beautiful city around it

,as laid down in the silpa sastras or the science of architecture .The

town is planned in the shape of coiled serpent and it is said that the

design of the town was suggested to the king by Lord sundreswarar

himself.

On the day the city was to be named lord siva is said to have

appeared.Drops of nectar from his hair fell on the town.hence the place

was named madurai mathuram meaning “Sweetness” in Tamil.12

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12.Prabha chopra,A panorama of Indian culture,New Delhi,1995,p.232

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Madurai’s history can be divided into roughly four periods, beginning

over 2000 years ago when it was the seat of the sangam literature as

well as being the capital of the pandyan kings.Apart from a brief

perioch when it fell to the cholas, Madurai remained with the pandyas

until the decline of their empire. The 2000 year old region of the

nayaks marked the second golden era when art, architecture, and

learning scaled new heights once again.

Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India,with a history

dating all the way back to the sangam period of pre Christian era.the

glory of madurai returned in a diminished form in the earlier part of this

millennium,it later on came under the rule of the vijayanagar kingdom

after its ransack by the ravaging armies of Delhi(Malikkafur).

During the 16th and 18th centuries,madurai was ruled by

the Nayak Emperors the foremost of whom was Tirumalainayakar.The

sangam period poet Nakkeerar is associated with same of the

tiruvilayadal episodes of sundarewarar that the enacted as a part of

temple festival traditions even today.13

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13. Kannagi Kalaivayendhan, Art of Tamilnadu temple,Madurai 1995,p.202

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The sangam age or the Golden age of tamil literature produced

master pieces way back in the pre Christian era and in early Ist

millennium.madurai was the seat of the tamil sangam or Academy of

learning.The entire city of madurai is built around the meenakshi

sundareswara temple.The temple par excellance concentric rectangular

streets surround the temple,symbolizing the structure of the cosmos.

The cholas ruled Madurai from 920 A.D till the beginning of the 13th

century.In 1223 A.D pandays regained their kindom and once again

became prosperous.Pandian kings patronized Tamil lanuage in a

greatway.During their period,Many master pieces were creaed

silapathikaram the great epic in tamil was written based on the story of

kannagi whi burnt Madurai as a result of the injustice caused to her

husband kovalm.In April 1311 Malikafur,the general of Alauddin

Khilji.14

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14.S.Ravi,Op.cit,p.7

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As early as the 3 rd century B.C Megasthanes visited

madurai.later many people from Rome and Greece visited madurai and

established trade with the pandya kings.Madurai flourished till 10th

century A.D. when it was captured by chola the archivals of the

pandya.who was then the ruler of Delhi reached madurai and raided

and robbed the city for precious stones.jewels and other rare

treasures.This led to the subseauent raides by other muslim surface.In

1323 the pandya kingdom including madurai became a province of the

delhi empire, under the Tughlaks.

The 1371, the vijayanager dynasty of Hampi captured

madurai and it became part of the vijayanagar empire.kings of this

dynasty were in habit of leaving of the captured land to governors

called nayaks.this was done for the efficient management of their

empire.The nayaks paid fixed amount annually to the vijayanagar

empire.After the death of Krishna Deva Raya (king of vijayanagar

empire) in 530A.D the nayaks to be came independence and ruled the

territories under their control.Among nayaks Tirumalai nayak (1623-

1659) was very popular even now he is popular among people,since it

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was he who contributed to the creation of many magnificent structures

in and around Madurai.The Raja Gopuram of the Meenakshi Ammam

Temple.The pudhu mandapam and the Thirumalai Nayakar’s palace are

living monuments to his artistic forever.15

Madurai started slipping in to the british East Company.In

1981 british appointed their representatives to look after

madurai,George procter was the First collector of madurai.Now After

India’s independence madurai is one of the major district’s of

Tamilnadu state.Later on madurai district was bifurcated in to two

districts namely madurai and Dindugal Districts.In madurai

District,there are 15 state assembly constituencies and two parliament

consistuencies

Madurai is famous for temples.the Aappudaiyaarkovil tevara

stalam and the koodalnagar Divya desam are the most important

temples one should rarely miss go.In the vicinity of madurai is

Tirupparam kundram one of the 6 padai veedu shrines of murugan

(glorified in Madurai sangam nakkeerar’s thirumurugatru padai).

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15.A.Rajayyan,History of Madurai,1996,p.25

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Also the vicin city of madurai is Alagar kovil one of the

prominent Divya Desam shrines of the srivaishnavite faith.16

The greater part of sree Meenakshi temple was built

between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries.It was built first of

wood and then replaced by brick and mortar.At about 700 A.D.stones

were introduced in the temple.kulasekara pandian built several

mandapams such as the Swami koil,Artha mandapam,mani mandapam

and Maha mandapam.He also constructed a great part of the city

around the fort.He also constructed temples of protective deities on the

four sides of the city-the Ayyanar koil in the east.vinayagar koil in the

south,perumal koil in the west and the kali kovil in the North.

The history of this city dates back to the 6 th century B.C.It was

the capital of the Pandyan Empire till the fourteenth century A.D.

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16.A.Rajayyan,Op.cit,p.26

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Madurai is an international tourist centre.many Foreign tourist

visit the city.more Entertainment facilities,shopping facilities are

available in madurai.17

III.LEGEND OF MADURAI

According to the legends,Lord siva came down to earth

and ,married Meenakshi,the divine daughter of Malaydhwaja pandian

who ruled madurai.During his stay in the material world.He performed

sixty four wonders,which are known as Thiruvilayadal or sacred

games.These legends are a strange mixture of actual history and

folklore.Hidden in the mists of hoary past,these stories give a stirring

account of a faith as the earth itself,if not older.18

More recent miracles have a more solid base in

1812,Rous peter was the collector of Madurai.He treated the people .so

kindly that he was called peter pandian by them.One night,there was

heavy rain with lightening and thunder.Suddenly a small girl entered

peter’s bedroomwoke him up and asked him to go out.As soon as he

came out,lightiningdestroyed the room.

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17.S.Ravi,op.cit,p.3
18.T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,Describtion of Meenakshi Temple,Madurai,p.10

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The girl disappeared.peter believed that sree Meenakshi had

saved him.he presented a pair of golden stirrups,embedded with

precious stones,for use on the idel of Meenakshi when taken in

precession.19

GARLAND OF MADURAI

The most remarkable description of an ancient Indian city is

contained in the early Tamil poem The Garland of Madurai said to have

been written in honour of a 2nd century pandyan king Nedujeliyan.but

probably a century or two later.After a long panegyric on the king,the

poet describes the various regions of his kingdom and concludes with

an account of his capital city,madurai.This is too long to quote,but we

most at least summar this part of the lovely poem,which has a realism

rare in the literature of the North. with images of the goddess lakshmi

,and which is grimy with ghee, poured in oblation upoint to bring

safety and properity to the city it guards. It is a day of festival, and the

city is gay with flags some presented by the king to commemorate

brave deeds, flying over the shops, which sell the gladdening today.

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19.T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,Op.cit,p.11

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The streets are broad rivers of people, folk of every race,

buying and selling in the market-place or singing to the music of

wandering minerals.20

IV .THE PEOPLE OF MADURAI

The people

The local Tamils are a majority but you may find a a fir

sprinkling of people from other states as well. Tradition bound, you

will find the people deeply religious, clinging with hide-bound tenacity

to their habits as well as superstitions. Thus a highly educated person,

fully dressed in suit and tie for work, will still stop to look for

auspicious signs before leaving his door step in the morning.21

The culture

Madurai can be called the south capital of tamil culture,where

the traditional arts grow and flourish.the tamil culture of hospitality is

known the world over.hospitality so warm and caring that comes

naturally.

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20.A..Basham, A cultural history of India, Delhi,1998,p.208

21. S.Ravi, op.cit, p.10

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Even the himblest house-holder will welcome you with same simple

eatables and drinks to offer22

The Customs

The customs of the city are closely interlinked with the

religions and hence present a picture of colourful contrasts and mixed

medley throughout.generally early and rising and incorporating

religious rites into their day today living is not unusual.The door steps

are decorated with kolam or patterns made from rice powder or white

stone powder for decorative as well as religious purposes.Friday

evenings are allotted for visits to the temples.it is customary to

celebrate the various religious festivals with the accompaniment of

pomp and show.23

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22.Geoff Gowther,A Travel Survial Kit,New Delhi,1999,p.20

23.V.meena,The Madurai,2005,p.2

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The Life Style

It is measured and slow-paced. The cost of living being

among the lowest in the country,one can fulfill one’s needs within a

pittan.In Madurai,people have plenty of times-so unhurried is the pace

that if you lose your way ,you can be sure some one will be kind

enough to take time off to show you the way.24

The Language

Tamil is spoken pre dominantly in and around Madurai.The

dialect of “Madurai Tamil” differs from others such as “kongu tamil”

“Nellai Tamil” “Ramnad Tamil”and “Chennai Tamil”.Along with tamil

other languages spoken are English,telugu,Malayalam,kannada and of

these sourashtra.However the words of these languages have tamil

word mixed in with them.

The Religions

Hinduism is the main religion.A fair representation of other

religions such as Christianity and Islam can also be found here.25

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24.S.Ravi,Op.cit,p.15

25.V.V.K.Subburaj,Op.cit,p.100

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Places of Madurai

The Meenakshi Amman Temple. The original temple was

built by pandyas but the entire credit for making the as splendid as it is

to day goes to then Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16 th to

the 18th centuries and left a majestic imprint of their rule in Meenakshi

Sundareswarar Temple its tweleve gopurams (towers) are replace with

sullpted figures of Gods and Goddess. The four tallest Gouprams stand

one each side.26 The southern Gopurams is the tallest in the temple and

the only that may be claimed from a top of this50m (160ft) high

Gopurams one gets a complete view of the other gopurams as well as

the two Viands (roof above the shrine) besides the four towering

gopurams on the counter walls of the twin temples, there are four

smaller Gopurams on the two shrine compounds. The half Finished

Rajagopuram on the eater side has a base measuring almost 60 m (174

5sqft)

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26.Ratandeep Singh,Tourist IndiaNew Delhi,1996,p.209

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If it had been completed it would have been the most

spectacular temple tower in India badly however it remains unfinished.

one way enter the temple through any of its five entrances in front of

the Meenakshi Sannadhi (shine is ) generally used as Meenakshi

Sannadhi(shine) is generally used asMeenakshi is the reigning deity of

the Twin Temple .This is the only entrance which is not surrounded by

a towering Gouprams.27

For the visitor who steps in through the entrance Ashta

Shakthi Mandapam (Mandapam hall) is the first place of temple. It was

built by Tirunmalai Nayakers Wives rudrapati Ammal and Tholmamai

In this hall lord was once distributed to the devotes who came from far

off places. The sculptures on the Pillars here relate some of Lord Siva’s

thiruvilayadal.28

The story the stone tell is this Malayadwaja Pandian a King

of Madurai was childless for a long time.

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27. T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,South TemplesMadurai,1990,p.5


28. Ratandeep Singh, op.cit, p.210

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He performed a number of Yoga’s (sacrifices made before a

scared fire) because he wanted an heir to this throne. Once such

occasion a three year old girl comes out of the fire and Malayadwajs

adopted her. But the girl had three breast and worried Malayadwaja

however a divine voice assumed that the third breast would

disappear as soon as the met her consort. 29

The Giri view unto a brave and beautiful princess she won

many battles field in Kailas AS soon as she saw him her third breast

disappeared and she recognized her divite consort for the princess

was none other than Siva’s were Parvathi After ruling over the

Pandyan Kingdom for a while they settled in the Madurai Temples as

Meenakshi and Sundareswarar.

The Meenakshi –Sundareswar Thirukkalayanam (wedding)

is celebrated every year in the most of Chitrai when a veritable human

sea foods the temple on all ten days of the festival.

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29.S.Ravi,Op.cit,p.15

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Walking westwards from the Astha Shakthi Mandapam

Enter the Meenakshi Naicher Mandapam. Each pillar in this Hall has

the Scullpted figure of Yallion like animal with an Elephant’s

Proboscis. 30

As small Mandapam joins the Ashta Shakthi Mandapam

and the Meenakshi Naicher Mandapam There is a Verandaha on each

side of this Mandapam on the Southern Verandaha there is a statue of

goddess Paravathi eight feet height a Five Looded Serphant her had

from the Suns rain. Some consider the statue to be that of hunterss on

the northern verandah there is a statue of hunter. This statue is also

eight feet high. The hunter has majestic look. The Legends say that lord

sundar and sree Meenakshi appended in the from of a Hunter and

Hunters and blessed a Villain who repented for his crimes of his

believed that these have statue receive the suffering of those who

repented their sins.

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30.K.karuppaiya,Historical view of Madurai,2001,p.62

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Temples Towers:

There are twelve temple towers (Gopurams) The outer

towers are the landmarks of Madurai. East tower (nine storegs) height

161. This Gopura has 1011 Sudhai Figures. South tower (nine storges)

height 1706. this tower has 1511 Sudhai figures west tower (nine

storyes ) height 163 .3. This towerhas 1124 sudhai figures lesser figures

of sudhai than other towers.

Gopura:

Pyramidal gates (Gouprams) rise to a height of more than

500m .These towering gateways endicate the entrance to the temple

combine at the Four cardinal Points white lesser gopuraslead to the

sanctums of the main deities.31

Stuceo work:

The figures of deities on the tower are repaired repainted and

ritually deconsecrated every 12 years

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31.kannagi kalaivayendhan,Art of TamilnaduMadurai,1995,p.206

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Ashtr sakthi Mandapam:

A visitor who entered the temple through the eastern gate

way - First enters this Mandapam (hall) it was built by Thirumalai

Nayakar’s wives Rudrapthi Ammal and Tholimamal in this hall food

was once distributed to the devotes who came from for off places Next

to this hall is the Meenakshi Nayakar Mandppam a specious cloumed

hall used for shops and stores. This hall has a value Lamp Holder with

loss lamps which are lit on festive occasion and present a spectular

sighat.

The story depicted on the Stories is as follows:- Malayadwaja

Pandya a king of Madurai was Childless for 206 a long time. The

performed a number of yagnas (sacrifices made before a scaned fire)

because he wanted an heir tothis throne on three year old ginee came

out of the fire and Malayadwaja adopted her but the girl had three

brests and this worried Malayadwaja however adivine assumed him

that the third breast.32

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32.Kannagi kalaivayendhan,Op.cit,p.207

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The girl grew into a brave and beautiful princess she win

many battles by even fually lost her heart to Lord Shiva When shemet

him on thre battle Field in Kalias. As soon as she saw him her third

breast disappeared and shrecoznized had divine consort for the

princess was none other than shivas wifeParvathi Afterrulling over

thePandya kingdom for a while settled in the Maudrai temple as

Meenakshi andsundaram

Meenakshi Nayakar Mandapam

The big hall adjustment to Ashta Sakthi Mandapam consisting

of 110 Pillans Varying the figures of a Peculicar animal with a Lions

body and an elephant’s headcalled Yalli.

Potramaraikulam (golden temple)

This temple tanks has an ancient tank where dovetess have

bath in the holy water. The area around this tank was the meeting

place of the sangam the ancient academy of poems. The history of the

sangam goes back to the days the academy judged the worth of

anyunous of literature presented before it by throwing it in the tank

only there that did not link were considered worthy of attention.33

33. Kannagi kalaivayendhan,Op.cit,p.23

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This academy judged the worth of anywone of literature

presented before it by throwing it into the tank. only those that did not

sink were considered worthy of attention this tank is surrounded by a

pillaned comder bleps lead dove to the tank enabling workeffens to

batteenif

Oonjal mandam:-

The Oonjal (swing) mandapam and killikoetthu (parrot

lafe) mandapam are on the western side of the tank. Every

Friday the golden ldols of meenakshi and sundansuar, and seated

on the swing in the oonjal Mandapam. The parrots in the kilikothu

mandapam have been trained to repeat meenakshi name. But

more entertaining are the 28pillars at the Mandapam which

erchebit some excellent surprises at figures from hindu

mythology.34

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34.G.Rupa,South India,Chennai,1995,p.72

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Livy Tank:-

The south western corner of the Golden willy Tank

presents a grand view to once coming in the from the temple.

The area around this tank was the meeting place of the Tamui

sangam the ancient academy of Behs. The history of the sangam

goes back to the days when gods deeied with men.

This academy fudged the worth of any work of

literature presented before it by throwing it in to the tank. Only

those that did not sink considered worth of attention. This tank is

surrounded by a pillared comder sleps lead down to the tank,

enabling worthffers to haften it.35

KilliKottu Mandapam

The parrots in the Killikottu Mandaoam have been

trained to repeat Meenakshi’s nam out More intreseting are the 28

Pillans of the Mandpam exhibit some excellent figures from and

hindu mythology from here are can enter Meenakshi Santum sanctorum

through a gate way by a three storeged fover.

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35.T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,The Meenakshi Amman Temple,Madurai,p.5

28
Having worshipped Meenaksi cross ever the

Sundereswara temple though a five storged tover entrance opposite to

this gateway is a huge ideal of vitayaka the sanctum sanctorum of

sundereswarar is closed to non hindus never the loss there is cef etonelt

the non hindu visitor the sanctum sanctorum also in the outer comidor

are the kambathadi mandapam an ideal of Natraj. 36

Kambathadi Mandapam

The Kambathadi Mandapam is perpads most beautiful Piere

of architecture of Sree Meenakshi temple The granine pillams bear

Various The granite Pillans bear various seener including the

mmarriage seene of Meenakshi sundameswar. Other are lord siva

destroying the demes of Inpuram killing. The lord of death to save

Markandaya ,Burning of Kaman the god of love cove etc.

Accordingly on the letft side the conehpearl and after vaishnavite

marks and the brilliant carryings of the feature on the right side are the

snake.

__________________________________

36.T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,Op.cit,p.6

29
Gajasamdavamuruthy Temple.

Gaasamdaramurthy saving and elephant distress is shown on

the another pillan a prt from theses the ten avathar of lord Vishnu.37

Tirumalai Nayakar Mahal

Tirumalai Nayakar Mahal at Madurai This Palace complex

was constructed in the indo Saracen style style by tirumalai Nayakar

in 1636. it is a national Mounment and is how under the care of the

Tamil nadu Archaeelogist Departement. It has fallen into run and the

Pleasure grdens and surrounding Defensive wall have disappeared but

it was partially restored by lord Napier, the Governor of

Madras in 1866 -72 and further restoration work is in progress at

present only the entrance gate and the main today but they’re well

worth a visit.

________________________________

37.Andrew Sangar,A foot loose of south India,New Delhi,1990,p.95

30
The original palace compels was four times bigger that the

present structure, it was divided into two parts, swarga vilasa and

Ranga vilasai in each of these there are royal residences,theater,

shrineapartements, armory, Palanquin place, royal bandstand,

quarters,pond and garden.The ceilings are decorated with large

paintings showing shaivite and vaishnavite themes.

The portico Known as swarge vilasam is an arcade octagon

wholly constructed of bricks and mortar without the support of a

single rafteror grider. The stucco work on its domes and arenas is

remarkable. The gigantic pillars and structures represent architectural

mastery. The courtyard and the dancing hall are central attractions for

visitors. There are 248 Pillars each 58 feet tall and 5 feet tall and

English Languages.38

___________________________________

38.K.R.Pod,Tourist guide of Tamilnadu,New Delhi,p.85

31
The palace has been featured in many Indian films such as

Bombay Iruvar, Guru and jodi .The palace is open daily between 9 am

to 13:00 pm and 2 to 5 pm and entrance costs Rs 10 foreigners Rs 50

entertainment telling the history of the city with sound and colure

lights on the temple carvings Phone No 0452 -2332945.39

Sound and Light show

There are sound and light shows on the life of Tirumalai Nayakar

to whom the palace is dedicated and on the Tamil Epic

Silappathikaram.

Vandiyur Mariamman Theppakulam Taluk

Vandiyur Theppakulam a tank almost 300 m long and wide

with an island in its middle having a ganeshan Temple. Four white

tarrets border the garden of the island. In January , February the annual

float Festival here marks the birth anniversary at Thirumalai Nayakar

who built this Tank man temple deities with silks and jewels, including

and sunderswarar are taken out an floats decorated with oil lamps and

flowers .

______________________________

39.k.R.Pod,Op.cit,p.86

32
This tank, several km east of the lot city covers an are a

almostequal to that of the Meenakshi Temple and is the site of

teppam festival (float Festival) in January and February when images

of Meenakshi and lord Sundershwara Temple are mounted on floats

and taken in Procession to the extant here they are pulled back and

forth across the water to the island temple in the centre of the tank

The festival attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over India. The

tank was built in 1646 by Tirumalai nayakar and is connected to the

River Vaigai by under ground Channels. 40

Koodal Azhagar Temple

Lord vishna in Madurai is called Koodal Azhagar and this

temple though tall Gouprams are absent the vimana called Ashtanga

stands in the center with diminishing tiers which is the sanetum

foregusn the connoisseur of Arts estimate that it surpasses anything

of its Kind to be found in south India.” There are three sanetuns

where the deities ae seen in sitting, Standing and recurement postures

one above other.

40,Rango Rao,vision India,Andhra Pradesh,1998,p.125

41.Steven.J.Rosen,vaisanavi,New Delhi,1989,p.15

33
The Tamakam

It is beautiful relic of Thirumatai Nayak resembling his palace,

the Mahal. The lotus hall here has a dome with ceiling, Shaped like

an inverted lotus it was the nayaks summer place.

Goriplayam mosque

There is a large mosque in goripalayam containing two

tombs of two Delhi sultans of the madurai sultanate. The amazing

thing about it is that the dome which is 70ft in diameter and 20ft in

height is made of a single back of stone. It is said that it was bult by

thriumalainayak for his muslim subjects.42

Gandhi Museum:

The beautiful building in which the Gandhi Museum is how

located has an historicall back ground. The building was known as

Tamukkam Bungalow, among the local People. The term Tamakkumu

or Tamagamu is a telugu word meaning asumme house or a

building having high roof supported by pillars without walls.

__________________________________

42.K.karuppaiya,Op.cit,p.75

34
The drawingroom of the Tamukkam Bungalow which is

constructed on the top of a square mound of earth about meters high

with an mansonry dome of about 7 meters diameters was a great

building. It is a accept as a building probably constructed by The

Nayak Rani Mangammal .

As evidence by a letter written to her in 1700 A.D scene after

the assassination lot the father of ther Nashen “Mahatma Gandhi in the

year 1948 an appeal was issued to the public to varie funds to except

suitable memorial to Gandhi.

The rich and poor vivid with each other in contributing their

mute and this made Gandhi memorial trust New Delhi came in to

being the Gandhi memorial Trusts has allocated with the life of

Gandhi. The Gandhi memorial museum at madurai has been built and

organised by Gandhi.

35
There are sample places in southindia which are important in

relation of Gandhi since all of them madurai city I go this district

place of this own it was in madurai in the year 1921 Gandhiji adopted

for the first time the line as his mode of dress which made him

known throughout the worked as the half naked fakir.43

The building that houses of the Gandhi memorial Museum

Madurai is the palace of Rani mangammal of nayak dynasty about

1670 AD this latter was made under the occupation of the Nawab of

carnatic the east India company and a few others. Finally the palace

had remained for many years as the official reesidance of the

District collector of Maudurai it was in the year 1955 that the palce

with about 13 areas of land was gifted by the Tamilnadu state

Government to the Gandh Smarak Nidhi for the purpose having

Gandhi memorial Museum The original this Museum goes about to

the Period soon after the association of Mahatma Gandhi on the

fateful evening of jan 30,1948 when the slow process of searching

for collecting and preserving.

____________________________

43.V.V.k.Subburaj,Op.cit,p.175

36
The personal receives Mansonpt;s books journals and

documents photograph and audio visual material and that could go

on to a museum on the ups Phisophy and work of gandhiji .Began in

an unostentat way in Mumbai 44.

Government Museum

Situated with in the Gandhi Museum comples itself if the

government Museum

It was established during the Fith world Tamil conference which

was held in January 1981

Open : From 10am to 1 pm and 2 to 6 pm

Holidays: Second Fridays and all Sundays

Sri sathyaguru sangeetha samajam

This is a modern (1952) temple of art and culture. It’s lakshmi

sundaranm hall is a landmark in madurai, both for its architecture as

well as it’s recitals of classic music, dance, drama and other

performance.45

_____________________________

44.Geoff Gowther,A Travel Survialkit,New Delhi,1992,p.512

45.V.V.K.Subburaj,Op.cit,p.177

37
Siddash ramam

Siddash ramam is a spiritual and cultural. It is located at 4,

mariamman teppakullam west, madurai -9. It conducts sankrit

classes and propagates the teachings of the crita and of the sages of

ancient India, it contacts mass meetings all over madurai. It takes

intreset to promote ancient and modern philosophy

This ashramam was started in 1975 the temple is different from the

others by it’s unique feature. The height of the tower is 50 ft. and it is

a replica of the ganga devi temple built by Birla near ganga river at

Haridwar.

Madurai Kamaraj university.

It is 20 kms from periyar bustand. This university has a

dynamic role in imparting higher education and promoting research

studies. This university was established in 1966 first in alagar koil road.

Then from 1973, it has been functioning in university nagar of

nagamalai hill.46

______________________________

46.S.Ravi,Op.cit,p.19

38
Agricultural college

Agricultural college and research Institute, madurai, startd in

1965-66 is located on madurai – Tiruchirappali highway, 12km from

madurai city. A constituent college of Tamilnadu agricultural

university, coimbatore, it is the second biggest teaching campus with

more than 100 members of staff and 650 students. The campus 154.14

hectors in area is famous for it’s sylvan wealth the only glades being

the playgrounds.

The modern city

Today’s the city of madurai is and industrial, commercial, and

educational center besides retaining it’s spiritual heritage. 47

_________________________________

47.S.Ravi,Op.cit,p.20

39
VI Places around Madurai

Thiruparankundram;

One of the abodels ob lord subramanya is located

8kms south of madurai. The six abodes are known as arupadaiveedu.

Out of the six, two are near madurai the other padaiveedu is

pazhamudirsolai.it is the cave temple. It is known from the sangam

times and one of the sangam poets nakkiran has sung a long poem

about this temple called thirumurugatrupadai .48 As in the case of

other temple new structures have been added later on there are a

series of mandapam so ne above the other in elevation in this temole

thereis a shrine dedicated to N akkirar the front mandapam contains

the marriage of deivayani and the sculptures of thirumalai nayak and

Mangammal. In the decent from the mandapam are caves with images

of Anna porna, Varaha Avataram, Narasimha Avatarm, Mahalakshmi

etc.

_______________________________

48. T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,Tiruparakundram Thala varalaru,Madurai,p.1

40
The sivathandavam is a masterpirece sculpture of the group and

uma I witnessing it recoiling on the bull. The Kudamugha drum is also

seen being beaten by celestial attendant. Hand while dancing a rarity

hot to be found alsewhere seprted by a wall is another group of

sculpture with nandhi standing in bull hand.49

Kallazhagar Koil

21 kms from Madurai is Important Vishnu temple at the foot

of wooded hill. “Azhagu” in Tamil beauty and true to its meaning thing

here is a thing of beauty a joy forever. The main deity is paraswami and

the integrant id Kallazhagar. It is a beautiful made of pure gold. The

other temple having la gold idol made of pure gold. The ablution water

for this idol is lbrought from Noobura gangai a perennial waterfall 3

kms up on the hill the water of which contains cooper and iron

minerals.

____________________________________

49.T.G.S.Balaram Iyer,Op.cit,p.2

41
The vimanam of this temple is called somaskanda vimanam

(tower over the sanetum) and a unique one of it kind the Kalyana

mandapam contains sculptures that rival the one at madurai the

images of Krishna rathi the images of Krishna Rathi, Manmatha

garuda vahana,Trivikrama,Lakshmi and varaha avator are really

masterpieces in stone. The british contemplated to shift the temple in

toto like the onw they wanted to shift at vellore to one of the museum

in eng –land but how the attempwas failed.

Pazhamudri solai

It is about 4Kms above on the hill Beautifully situated

amidst sylvan Surroundings the temple has to be climed through

thickly shaded woods through which the rays of sun rarely peep in.

on the way there are several perennial spring and beyond the muruga

temple is the Noobura Gangai it is one of the 6 abodes of muruga

lord Muruga stands with his “vel” (spear) in his hand. The rains of a

fort built by thirumalainayakar can also seen here. 50

_________________________________

50.V.V.K.Subburaj,Op.cit,p.182

42
Thiruvengadam

About 15 kms north west of Madurai on the left bank of the

river vaigai is the place where saivite supremacy over the jains was

established by performing punal vadam i.e. each Contestant will put

into the stream sacred plam leaves on which are written hymns and if

the palm leaves do not sink or get carried by the running stream but

sail up stream the one who set lit sail is the winner. The palm leaves

of the jains were carried; away by the stream and the palm leaves of

ganasambandar sailed upstream thus proving saivite supremacy over

the jains.

Thiruvadhavur

This place is about 9kms from melur near madurai one of the

saivaite saint Manickavassaga was born here. He was the minister to

pandya king. He built a temple for siva with the money he was

entrusted to buy horses for the king.

43
A miracle was performed by siva in which foxes were

transformed into horses and after they were taken by the king and

sent to the stables they again turned into foxes . 51The site of the house

his birth pointed out to visitors.

Mandappuram Badarakali Amirami Temple

This famous temple visited of ten by V.I.P cine stars and

I.A.S officers is at Madappuram about 20 kms from Madurai hear

thiruppu Vanam. It stands on the banks of the river vaigai on the

northern side to banks of the river vaigai on the northern side to alagar

kovil. It is amids;t a cool coconut grove. The first idols that greet the

visitor here are that of lord ayyanar and his horse. The horse with this

Protrudicing teeth and bluging eyes and lord Ayyanar with fierce looks

really make one tremble. The horse is of a height of 30ft. which

wears a garden of lemons. The devotes pray to the goodness,

_________________________________

51.K.karuppaiya,op.cit,p.75

44
The preseding deity of this temple for creative comfort’s

promotions in job and for the ruin of their enemies one curious

practice in this temple is to cut a coin and offer it to the ideity to get

relief from being bullied by the mighty. A gunny bagfull of cut coins

can be seen here. The preseding deity Badharakali Amman is armed

to the teeth and seen standing at the breast of a horse with fierce

looks admist a group of demons really awe inspiring. 52

Karuppana swammy Temple

Karuppana Swamy Temple the god of Kallars and the Finely

carved eighteen step’s are held in great reverenvce lby the devotes it is

claimed that not body will dare tell a lie at this spot the hill by the side

of the temple is about 300 meters. High and is famous for its holy

springs called silamboru and noopura ganga.According to local

tradition this spring is said to have originated from the anklets at Maha

Vishnu during it’s in carnation as Tiruvikrama the 3kms path or the

hillock do the temple of the summit where bathing facilities are

available affers some beautiful natural sceneary to the visitors .

________________________________

52.V.V.K.Subburaj,Op.cit,p.184

45
Kalyana Mandapam

The kalyana mandapam at the temple as beautiful

sculptures on it’s pillars which are fine speciment’s of nayakes art. In

addition to the life –size sculptures of the kings who ruled over this

place there are many delicately carved idols relatings to the epics.

They are magnificent in concept and yet jewel like in the deticates of

the chisel. Some of them surpass the work manship found in similarly

pillars at the famous Meenakshi temple of Maduari.54

Vaigai Dam

The dam across the rive Vaigai is 69kms from Madurai. In

order to argument water supply a dam has been constructed across per

iar pf Kerala state and thewater from there is diverted through tunnels

to flow into the river vaigai. The height of the dam is to 6ft and its

breadth is 11,657ft Its capacity is 58,000 cubicft. It Irrigates about 2/2

lakh hectares of land. There is a beautiful Garden laid out here it is a

popular picnic spot.55

_______________________________

54.Priya Balu,Religious Tourism,Madurai,200,p.45

55.Manoj.Das,India-A Tourist’s paradise,New Delhi,1992,p.125

46
Cumbum valley

The cumbum valley located in the newly formed theni

district could easily be reached from Madurai. The cumbum valley

offers beautiful scenic spots like Kandamanur Kadamali Kundu

Mayiladuparai and various streams like Varaha Nadhi Mullaiyar etc.

and various hills and estates. It is really the catchment area of river

Vaigai and a beautifulplace with frequent drizzles. There are various

barrages across the streams and picture sque sceneries greet us

everywhere.56 The chief attractions are the surul falls and Thekkady on

the verge of Kerala.

Surli falls

It is 128kms from Madurai on the way to thekkadi. It is a

sacred spot visite by pilgrims on specific days of late it is becoming a

picnic spot though of lesser height than the courtrallam falls the water

gushes with great force out of caves.

______________________________

56.Balaram Iyer,India tourist travel guide,Madurai,1995,p.120

47
It is a fine place for bathing and arrangements are made for the

safetly of the Bathers There is a rope rail from damto moonaru for

about 50kms distance for the quick transport of tea leaves from the

estates.57

Periyar wildlife sanctuary (Thekkady)

It is not on the verge of Kerala about 155kms from Madurai.

The Sanctuary is between Tamilnadu and Kerala it is formed around

periar reservoir and dam spread over 729.29 sq.km. the animal

watchers nhave to go by a motor boat along the periar lake and watch

them on the hills surrounding the lake Many animals come for

drinking water at various places.Boats can bired from which animals

could be watched in their nature Habitat baski in the sun adult

elephant helping elephant calves to climb the slopes bathing in the

waterpreying frolicking etc. Tigers,elephants, Bisons, Deers and boars

could all be seen by lucky tourist.The must Common sight is the

elephant herd with elephants of all sizes.

________________________________

57.V.Meena,The Madurai,2005,p.25

48
The route rom Madurai to Kunmishi is self a picturesql ride

through the slopes of western ghats on entering kumishi one can

breathe the fragrance of cadamon and other spices that emanates from

the estates around Kumizhi is the border line and from there Thekkady

can be reached by a short walk amidst sylvan surroundings .

Excursions

Courtallam (160 km)

Spectacular waterfalls scenic surroundings and a pleasant

braching climate have all made Kuttallam very popular with those on

holiday Koutrallam also has a number or temples and two hydro

electric projects.59

_______________________________

58.V.Meena,Op.cit,p.26

59.R.Sashthiri,Travel Aid India,New Delhi,1995,p.80

49
Kodaikannal(120 km)

A beautiful hill station that provides an escape from the

oppressive heat of the plains in summer its peace and quite unspolit as

yet by the commercalisation that has over –run other hill resorts

makes Kodai popular with city developers who simply want to get

away from it all for a while.

Palani (122 km)

Another of the six houses of Lord Subramaya the temple of the

lord is situated at the top of the hill at a height of around zoom (550 ft)

A number of Rare herls of immerse medicinal value also grave on the

slopes of the palani hills. 60

Fairs & festivals

Chithirai Festival

A chithirai festival is heldduring April-May. On this occasion

the marriage of Goddess Meenakshi to lord Sundareswarar is

celebrated.61

________________________________

60.R.Sashthiri,Op.cit,p.81

61.V.V.K.Subburaj,Op.cit,p.195

50
Legend has it that lord Vishnu as Azhagar rode on a golden

horse To Madurai to the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi

parvathi with lord Sundereswarar (lords siva).

This is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the

Tamil month of Chithirai lord Azhagar Entering River Vaigai is a

Spectacular Event. On the Occasion a decorated Cahariot carrying the

two idols of the couple is taken around the town to the tumal towers

notes of Nadaswaram ambience d4escends on Madurai. As the

Procession Passes through the streets and in the vincity the

devasthanam offerings of coconuts flowers camphor and afarbathis

are made by devotes. A spririt of devotion marked by pomp and guilty

pervades right through the day. The festival draws a mammoth croud

organized here lend festivity to the occasion.

51
Govt chithirai Exhibition

The govt Chithirai Eshibtion held From April to june every year.62

Avani Molam Festival

This takes place in August September and is the Cornation

Festival of lord Sundereswarar An intreseting event during this estival

occurs on the ninth dau when lord sunderswarr is dressed as a worker

and is taken to the banks of the river vaigai.

Float Festival this festival takes place in January -

Febraury in the Vandiyur.Marriamman Tepakulam. A

specially constructed raft decorated with flowers and lights carries the

deities around the tank. This festive a feast to the eyes.63

Vasantotsavam

This spring festival is celebrated in the pudha Mandapam in the tamil

month of vaikai (May-June) When the processional deities are placed

are on a plant form and pujas offered.

_______________________________

62. V.V.K.Subburaj, Op.cit, p.196

63...karuppaiya,Op.cit,p.82

52
Navaratri

The Meenakshi shrine is Consider. One of the three significant

Devi, temples in the country (Madurai Meenakshi,Kanchi Kamachi

and Kashi visa lakshi ) the dasara festivities are conducted in a grand

manne for 10 days.Devotes in lakhs for and hear throng the city .

Other festivals

Aaruda Darshanam and Thirupparai Thiruvembarvai festives

in the tamil Vembarvai festivals in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Dec-

jan) Mahashi Varatri.64

Athisayam wate theme park

The park situated on the outskirts of Madurai (20 km from

the city) attracts people of all age groups and from different plces in

and around Madurai several high tech enter esperiences of visitors.

The park is scientifically designed and perfect during the summer heat.

________________________________

64.Ratandeep Songh,op.cit,p.215

53
Eco Park

The park situated near city corporation building where the

lighting and foundation arrangements are imopressive and the

illuminated optic fibe trees and luster to the beauty and Rajaji

Children’s park .City hostel several radio station like radio Mirchi

Hello F.M Suryan Fm Towers tht forms a landmark in the by pass road

It also has places to shop like spenccers daily Megamart café day

Relicance super Market etc.65

Sound and Light show

A sound and light show is Presented by the Tamilnadu Tourism

Departement of the Tirumalai Naicker Palce every evening ( the first

show is in English followed by a tamil show)

Music and Dance

The sri sathguru sangeetha samajam holds regular music and dance

programmes in its auditorium. 66

____________________________________

65.S.Ravi,Op.cit,P.45

66.kannagi kalaivayendhan,Op.cit,p.208

54
Clubs

Cosmopolitan club, Chokkikulam Road union club Tamukkanm

Thallukkam.Hotel Tamil Nadu Hotel Madurai Ashoka. Hotel

Pandian,Taj Restauram mahal Restuarnt, New Arya Bhavan Taj Garden

Retreat hote, supreme , There are also a few unclassified reatuarants.

Auditorium

Lakshmi Sundaram hall Tallakulam Tamil Isai sangam Raja Sir

Mutiah Mandram opp District court Madurai -2.

Libraries

District central library simmakkal Madurai -1 university Library

Palkalai Nagar,Madurai

Gandhi Museum library,Thallakulam ,m Madurai Victoria Edward

hall Library west Velli street Madurai .67

___________________________________

67.V.Meena,Op.cit,p.30

Skating, Florists

55
Inside meenakshi Temple And at the entrance plenty of florists

available in Dindugul road Madurai Roller Skating Indoor Facility

available at vandiyur Tourist Complex run by Charka states club K.K

Nagar Madurai -20.68

_________________________________

68.V.Meena,Op.cit,p.32

Chapter-IX

56
Accommodation Facilities

Accommodation constitutes a cital Fundemental part of tourism

Prooviding adequate supply of accommodation is one of the basic

Conditions of tourism development Accommodation is a

Comprehensive termwhich includes all facilities such as hotels and

tourist lodges.69

Historically the hotel industry is one of the oldest profession in the

world the demand of recommendation is met by hotels, motels, towist

lodges, tourist , bangalous, holiday camps,Campring sites, castles

house boats and so on most of these establishement provide meals

refreshments and other services. In the promotion of tourism

accomdation sector constitutes the most important segment.

________________________________________

69.Devanesan,principles of Tourism,Marthandam,2001,p.156

57
Place to stay - Bottom end

Madurai is another town whers finding a room can

sometimes be difficultpilgrim city the size and importance of

Maduarai there are lots of cheap.71Hotels and lodges offering basic

accommodation .New college Hotelan enormous place where

you’will always be able to find a roomsingles and doubles all with

attached in the hotels.the hotels has anattached vegetarian

restaurant,book shop and general store.Ask for a room on the top

floor-excellent views of Meenakshi temple.

Another hotel which is reaborably good value is the New Raja

Rest house of Dindigul high road.Its a hige place,which caters mainly

for pilgrime.many facilities were available in the hotels.

__________________________________

71.Ratandeepsingh,tourist India Hospitality services,New Delhi,1996,p.305

Place to stay –Middle

58
There are three hotels at the top of the midxle range.The hotel

prem nivas 102 west perumal maistry st has been recommended by a

lot of travelers.It’s less than five minutes’ walk from the railway

station.the new hotel Aarathy 9 perumalkoil West mada street is similar

in standard to the prem Nivas and is just a low minutes walk from the

bus station.It has a choice of air The last of the three the hotel tamil

nadu is on west veli street,opposite the bus terminal.72

Places to stay – Top End

Madurai’s three best hotels are clustered together well out of the

centre of two across the vaigai river,along Alagarkoil Road.The two

best hotels are the Hotel madurai ashok,and the pandyan Hotel,both on

Alagar koil Road,Both are centrally air-conditioned all the rooms have

their own with hot and cold water 24 hours.both have their own

restaurant offering a variety of cuisine.Also on Alagar koil road but

cheaper than these is the second state government operated is the Hotel

Tamil nadu.

_______________________________

72.Ratandeepsingh,Op.cit,p.306

59
Having two different hotels with the same name is some what

confusing.It’s a slightly smaller hotel with a choice of air-con or non

air-con rooms were available.73

Places to Eat

There are many typical south Indian vegetarian restaurants all

around the Meenakshi temple, along Town hall Road,Dindigul Roaf

and west masi Street which serve thalis ,Masala dosa and coffee.some

of the best are the restaurants at the junction of Dindigul road and

west masi Street,the new Arya Bhavan on west masi street (air-con) and

another on Dindigul road about 200 metres from the junction with west

masi street.It only has a Tamil name ,but server the biggest masala dosa

you will get in Madurai.

For non-vegetarian food try the restaurant in the Hotel Tamil

nadu,west veli street,which has a variety of dishes including western

breakfasts (to ast and jam,omelettes,fried and scrambled eggs ,etc).

___________________________________

73.Andrew sanger,Op.cit,p.125

60
The indo-ceylon Restaurant,Town Hall Road,very close to new

college house,has vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals and excellent

card,as does the Taj restaurant,Town Hall Road.the sri Ram Mess

restaurant has excellent all you can vegetarian meals also them.The

Railway station restaurant has food and is conveniently located.

If you want really good non-vegetarian food then plan on a

noght out at the pandyan hotel where the jasmine restaurant has fairly

good food “ proper” service and décor and rather high prices.74

Transport facilities

Tourism cannot be separated from travel.during ancient

times,human beings move from place to place in search of fortunes.In

the absence of transport and communication,travel; in the ancient

period were hard and slow.Due to the lack of organized roads,people

travelled by foot or on animal backs.The traveler of the part was a

merchant,a pilgrim,a scholar in search of ancient texts or ever a

wayfarer looking forward to new and exciting experiences .

_____________________________________

74.Andrew sangar,Op.cit,p.126

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The adwent of the railways the xtriking advznces in road

transport,namely the development of motor transpotrt ,the development

of shipping technology and aeroplane technolongy made possible the

tourists to travel with comfort and speed.

The evolution of tourism is generally depended on the

development of transport.transpot is a necessary condition of

tourism.The available transports may be divided into three

categories.they are the travel on air,land and water Madurai is well-

connected by air,rail and road.

Road Transport

There are excellent roads connecting madurai to all parts of south

India,It is 140 km from Tiruchirappalli,158 km from thanjavur 232

from kanyakumari and 480 km from Chennai.

The central bus station Mattuthavani is 6 km north

of the old city.

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Local Transport

Buses are the major transport in madurai.There is a wide

network which covers all parts of the city and suburbs.77

Rail Transport

There are direct rail connections to

Bangalore,coimbatore,kollam,Chennai,rameswaram,Thanjavur,tiruchira

ppalli,tirunelveli,tirupathi,and Tuticorin. Madurai junction is the main

railway station.Some important Trains Touching Madurai Area.Vaigai

Express From Madras,Pandyan Express from Madras,nellai Express

Tirunelveli-MaduraiExpress.

Air Transport

The Airport at madurai is about 12 km from the city centre.madurai

is connected by air with Bangalore,kochi Chennai,India Airlines

connectes Madurai to madras.Madurai Airport is about 15 km from the

city centre.Taxis and autostrick shaus offer transfer facilities.

___________________________

77.K.Karuppaiya,Op.cit,p.188

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Madurai is connected to all major centres in the country by express

trains.78

Travel Agencies

Many Travel Agency’s situated in Madurai Town.

All India travel Agents-262334

Around the world travels-2342271

Ascon Travels -2350841

Sri Meenakshi Travels – 2587438

Shopping Facilities

Madurai is best-known for its handloom sarees of

excellent quality,brassware,wood carvings as well as pith and paper

mache models of the Meenakshi Temple and the Meenakshi

sundareswrar kalyanam scene.79

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78. Manoj.k, Visitors Guide book, Chennai, 2003, p.92

79. S.Ravi, Op.cit, p.48

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Shopping centere

Chittirai,avanimoola and Masi street,pudhu mandapam And

Thevangu chetty,choultry in and Round Meenakshi Temple,Town Hall

road.

Handlooms: Co optex,west Tower street,South chithi rai street

Handicrafts:

All India Handicrafs Emporium Town Hall Road.Poompukar

handicrafts,west veeli street,khadi crafts,Town Town hall Road and

khadinGramodhya bhavan,Town Hall Road.

Department stores

Pandiyan co-operative super market,palace road Pandiyan co-

operative Mini super Marke,Dhanappa Mudali street,and M/S spencer

department stores North veli street.80

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80.V.Meena,Op.cit,50

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Conclusion

Madurai is an International tourist centre many Foreign tourist

peoples visit the city.madurai is the Second largest city in Tamil nadu.It

is famous for Meenakshi Amman Temple with its towering gopuram

and rare sculptures.It is one of the India’s most ancient cities for its

history goes to 6th century B.C.They are more Entertainment

facilities,shopping.the important one chittirai festival is held during

April-May.Tourist enjoyed more during the Festivals.other important

attractions include thitumalai nayakar palace,Mariamman tank,koodal

Azhagar Temple and the Gandhi museum etc.Near by excursions

include the murugan Temple at Tirupparankundarm,Lord Azhagar

Temple at Azhagar koil and lorg subramanya temple at Sulaimalai

mandapam etc.

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