Madurai is the district capital of Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. Situated on the banks of the Vaigai river, Madurai is the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu and is known as the city of Temples. The Meenakshi Amman Temple is the major tourist attraction at Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi which Fish-eyed Goddess in Tamil). The temple complex is huge and has four large Gopurams. People of any religion can enter the temple except at the Sanctum, where only Hindus are allowed to enter. The temple complex is a massive display of rock sculpture and paintings. The Aayiram Kaal Mandapam (1000 pillar hall) contains excellently carved 985 pillars. There is a sacred Lotus pond inside the temple complex called Potramarai Kulam. It is believed that Tamil Poets of Sangam conclave judged their works in this pond. The poets are believed to have thrown their works to the pond and the ones that floated were considered good. Normally people enter the temple complex through South entrance. Apart from Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai city has a lot of temples. Prominent among them are Koodal Alagar Temple, Thiruparnkundram Murugan Temple etc. The Naickar Mahal and Gandhi Museum at Madurai are also prominent tourist attractions. Naickar Mahal is the remains of the palace of the 17th century ruler Thirumalai Naickar who contributed extensively to the Meenakshi Amman Temple. At Naickar Mahal there is a sound and light show which decipts the story of the Tamil masterpiece Silapathikaram. The Gandhi Museum houses the bloodstained dhothi of Mahatma Gandhi.
Best time to visit Madurai is during the winter months of October to March. During summers temperatures are quite high.
Route 1: Bangalore - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmapuri - Salem - Nammakkal - Karur - Dindigul - Pallapatti - Madurai.
SETC, KSRTC and Indian Railways runs direct services from Bangalore to Madurai. A couple of airways provides direct Bangalore - Madurai flights. The tourist attractions are inside the Madurai city itself. TNSTC buses and private cabs are available to traverse inside the city.