Madurai in Tamil Nadu is a temple city – a town of pilgrimage if you will. For centuries it has captivated people who have visited it. Every corner of the city is full of cultural and historical significance. The temples over here are built in the Dravidian style and they are as mesmerizing as it gets, dominating the skyline of the city. Following are the locations that you should visit when you are planning a road trip to Madurai.
8 Best Places to visit in Madurai
- Meenakshi Amman Temple
- Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
- Vaigai Dam
- Alagar Koyil
- Samanar Hills
- Koodal Azhagar Temple
- Gandhi Museum
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple
The Meenakshi Amman Temple is also referred to as the Meenakshi-Sundareshwara Temple. It is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in this particular part of Tamil Nadu. It also happens to be among the oldest temples in the country. It is indeed one of the top Madurai tourist places. Since this is a temple you must dress appropriately when you visit it.
- Visiting time: 5 am to 12:30 pm and 4 pm to 10 pm
- Best months to visit: October to March
- Time to be spent: 1-2 hours
- Best time to visit: early morning or evening when the aarti happens
2. Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal is one of the most important locations among the various tourist spots here in Madurai. It is important to know the Madurai Nayakkar Mahal timings when you are visiting this palace.
- Visiting time: 9 am to 5 pm
- Entry fee: 5 rupees for children, 10 rupees for adults, and 50 rupees for foreign nationals
- Time to be spent: around 2 hours so that you can explore all the accessible areas
- Best time to visit: mid afternoon so that you can explore all the areas that you are allowed to access the palace and watch the light & sound show
3. Vaigai Dam
The Vaigai Dam is located at a distance of 70 km from the town. The dam is a beautiful one and graces the gorgeous river Vaigai. The dam has been a blessing for the people of Madurai as well as Dindigul and Theni. The dam has been there since 1959 and it has been a source of employment for so many families over there. If you are looking for places to visit in Madurai this one is surely one of the best options you have.
- Visiting time: 6 am to 6 pm
- Entry fee: none
4. Alagar Koyil
Alagar Koyil is at a distance of 21 km from Madurai. It is also referred to alternatively as Azhagar Kovil and happens to be one of the most frequently visited temples over here. The temple obviously holds religious significance but it is an architectural marvel as well. It depicts styles and forms from the early part of the Sangam Age. This is one factor that makes it one of the best tourist places near Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Visiting time: 9 am to 7 pm
- Entry fee: none
5. Samanar Hills
Samanar Hills provide you with great views of the region and this is the reason why it is so much more than merely being one of the hill stations near Madurai. It is one of the finest tourist spots over there. The hill complex is situated in a village named Keelakuilkudi. It is around 15 km from the town.
- Visiting time: sunrise to sunset
- Best time to visit: early morning so that you do not feel the heat even as you are trekking to the top
- Time to be spent over here: approximately 2 hours
6. Koodal Azhagar Temple
The Koodal Azhagar Temple is one of the best tourist spots in the city – comparable with the tourist places near Madurai within 50 kms. Since this is a place of worship it is better that you dress conservatively.
- Visiting time: 5:30 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm
- Best time to visit: early morning and evening so that you could attend the aarti
- Time to be spent in the temple: approximately 2 hours
- Best months to visit: mid February to mid March so that you could attend the various festivals
- Entry fee: 10 rupees for children and 20 rupees for adults
7. Gandhi Museum
Even if you are a history enthusiast you should visit the Gandhi Museum in Madurai. You do not have to be a Gandhian scholar or aficionado as such. It was established in 1959 and ever since it has been one of the must visit places in Madurai.
- Visiting time: 10 am to 5 pm
- Time to be spent in the museum: approximately 1-2 hours
- Entry fee: none but if you use a camera you would have to pay 50 rupees for the same
- Best months to visit: October to January since they are the birth and death months of Mahatma Gandhi respectively – special events are organized during these months
Madurai is known for its temples and religious locations. However, if you feel that this is not for you, you could always venture towards other avenues. Among them, the best option that you have is the Athisayam Water Park. It is easily one of the most entertaining spots in the city – easily one of the Madurai best places to visit. Let alone kids, even adults like spending time over here.
- Entry fee: 500 rupees for children and 800 rupees for adults
- Visiting time: 10 am to 6:30 pm every day
When you visit Madurai the experience is as pleasant as any and this is principally because the city takes you back in time. You get transported to a happy era when life used to be so much simpler. If you wish to explore the city properly you could try getting a self drive car rental from Revv. That way, you can be sure that your experience would be an immensely enjoyable one. Since we are living in the age of the Coronavirus you must get a sanitized car on rent as well.