One of the oldest cities in India, Madurai, Tamil Nadu offers intriguing examples of past seamlessly blending into the present as you negotiate a turn around a buzzing street market dealing in incense and jasmine flowers. A towering gate, called Gopuram in Dravidian architectural terminology, suddenly appears on the horizon with its intimidating beauty. Bedecked with gods, goddesses, animals and mythical creatures, the temple is replete with stone carved colorful images that will leave you mesmerized when you travel to Madurai.
Pilgrimage destinations you ought to see on your travel to Madurai :
Sri Meenakshi Temple -
Synonymous with travel to Madurai, the Sri Meenakshi Temple, with its unique 1000-pillared hall, is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in South India, India.
Designed by Vishwanatha Nayak during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak (of the Tirumalai Nayak Palace) in 1560, it is one of the significant relics of the Dravidian school of architecture. Set on six hectares of historical land that has seen the glorious days when Madurai was a Pandyan capital; Sri Meenakshi Temple is now an example of a progressive city where architectural heritage blends into the mainstream city life.
The Puthu Mandapam hall leads to the eastern gateway or gopuram. Here, a buzzing and colorful market exploded into trade from the wee hours of the morning; their shops nudged into the crevices created by columns and pillars. You can experience the city's unique lifestyle on your pilgrimage travel to Madurai.
The corridors are as long as the Puthu Mandapam hall that crawl through the temple complex and unite at the gold-toped sanctums where deities rest. The pilgrims move on these beautifully carved corridors to offer their heartfelt prayers to the numerous deities.
The Temple Art Museum is also a must see for devotees on their travel to Madurai for it is home to some of the most spectacular and unseen images of a plethora of Hindu deities. A travel to Madurai's pilgrimage destinations during the festivals such as Pongal, Navratri, Teppam or Avanimoolam is a joyous occasion that you should experience on your pilgrimage travel to Madurai.
The Vishnu Temple -
Located northwest of Madurai, it is believed that the Vishnu Temple is the residing place of 'Azghar'. 'Azghar', according to folklore and mythology, is said to be another form of Lord Vishnu, who in this birth is the brother of Goddess Meenakshi. Attend the Chitrai festival a procession from Azhagar Kovil to Madurai on your travel to Madurai.
A dwelling place of Lord Subramanya,
one of the six places on earth, is also located on the same hill as the
Vishnu Temple, next to a natural spring Nuburagangai.