Madurai is Tamil Nadu’s second largest city and one of the best tourist destinations. It has a glorious past combined with the great variety of temples and great architectural treats. Madurai always delivers the best travelling experience to its visitors and tourists with its rich heritage and culture. Due to the architectural style in which most of the famous Madurai’s monuments are built, this place is also popularly known as ‘Athens of the East.’ Madurai is located on the banks of River Vaigai and is also called ‘city that never sleeps’. This means that the place can be visited irrespective of the time chosen. Here are the top 20 places to visit in Madurai.
20 Top-Notch Places to Visit in Madurai
1. Meenakshi Temple
This temple is a must visit place in Madurai. When in Madurai you cannot miss visiting this temple else you will miss a chance to witness one of the greatest temples of the south. This temple is dedicated to God Shiva and is extended to a large area.
The architecture of the temple will surely leave you mesmerized. Other than the amazing views and architecture, the other major attraction that this temple has is Thousand Pillar Hall. People from around the world visit the place to have a look at this temple.
- Location: Madurai Main, Madurai
- Attractions: Hall of thousand pillars, morning and evening prayers, architecture and style, a sacred tank of the temple, etc.
2. Puthu Mandapam
This is yet another popular place which attracts the attention of the visitors. As it is just located opposite to the Meenakshi temple, people don’t have to put any such efforts to locate the place. It is a great place where people can find large varieties of fabrics, jewellery, handicrafts, scarves, accessories, etc.
You can totally rely on the quality of clothes and accessories bought from this place. The friendly environment and pleasant atmosphere of the place will help you to feel comfortable at the place.
- Location: Madurai Main, Madurai
- Attractions: Wide variety of handicrafts, clothes, accessories, etc.
3. Banana Market
Wondering how a banana market can be a popular place to visit? Well, with 16 varieties of banana to experience, you will never get this kind of thoughts again. Yes, you heard it right. You can find 16 different varieties of bananas in the marketplace of Madurai.
Observing the various activities that are done in the marketplace right from loading and unloading of bananas, visiting this place can be a totally different and fascinating experience in itself. There are a lot of things to observe at the place about the different varieties of bananas.
- Location: Rukmanipalayam, Madurai
- Attractions: Finding 16 different varieties of bananas and the nearby vegetable market.
4. Gandhi Memorial Museum
As the name suggests, this popular museum of Madurai is dedicated to Gandhi Ji. It contains many memories of the legend including the shawl, dhoti, spectacles, etc. The place is open for the visitors to have a look at the various items that belonged to that legend during his lifetime.
Madurai museum is also famous amongst the tourist and visitors as the place contains Gandhi’s bloodstained dhoti of the Delhi’s assassination activity. As a matter of fact, Gandhi started wearing a dhoti in Madurai to support the national activities. Visiting this place, one can get all the needed information.
- Location: Gandhi Nagar, Madurai
- Attractions: To witness the various belongings of Gandhi Ji.
5. Murugan Idli Shop
Visiting any place is not completed if you don’t taste its special dishes. Isn’t it? Talking about Madurai, one of its favourite dishes is none other than Idli and to taste the best Idli in Madurai, one has to visit Murugan Idli Shop. This place has a south Indian ambience which makes a major attraction to the visitors.
The interiors of the place are kept simple so as to make the people feel comfortable. You will surely love the amazing food items of this place as all the dishes served here are delicious and mouth-watering.
- Location: Madurai Main, Madurai
- Attractions: Mouth-watering delicious food, admiring South Indian ambience.
6. Saint Mary’s Cathedral
It is one of the oldest churches located in Madurai which was originally built in the year 1840. The architecture of the church is one of the major attractions of the place along with the peaceful surroundings which can relax your body and mind. To enhance the beauty of the church, it was reconstructed in the year 1916.
You will find the perfect blend of European and Continental culture and style. The two large bell towers in the church also catch the attention of the visitors. It is one of the most-visited places in Madurai.
- Location: Balarengapuram, Madurai
- Attractions: Architecture of the church, peaceful surroundings, bell towers, mix of European and Continental culture.
7. Thirumalai Nayak Palace
This is yet another attraction that makes Madurai famous and popular amongst the tourists and visitors. This palace which was built in the year 1636 is an amazing place to visit when in Madurai. This palace was the residence of the king Thirumalai and represented some amazing architecture and interiors.
The great entry hall, more than 200 pillars, dance hall, courtyard and the audience hall, all attracted the people with their charm. Although most of the original architecture of the place is not same, the remaining structure still reflects the true beauty of the palace.
- Location: Near Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
- Attractions: Admiring the rich interiors and architecture of the palace, witnessing the beauty of the place.
8. Keelakuyilkudi and Samanar Hills
If you are a fan of varieties of sculptures and are looking for a place where you can find some amazing quality of sculptures, then this is the right place to visit. Highlighting one of the attractions of this place is the mud horses which are painted in bright colours which instantly catch the attention of the people.
Apart from the attractive mud horse, you can find some amazing Jain Sculptures and a number of village temples. The village festival that happens every year is another popular highlight that makes this place popular amongst the tourists.
- Location: Sholavandan NH, Madurai
- Attractions: Jain sculptures, mud horses, village festivals, village temples, Jain Caves, etc.
This place attracts most of the tourists and visitors to the famous and beautifully constructed temple of Lord Murugan. As the Hindu God Murugan is Tamil’s favourite God, the temple is constructed with amazing quality and detail. The architecture of the temple is something that you should not miss noticing.
If you move a little further, you will find the grave of Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badhusha – the famous Islamic saint. The peaceful surroundings near the grave and the temple are sufficient to give you a break from your daily stress.
- Location: Madurai Junction, Madurai
- Attractions: The architecture of the temple, the statue of Lord Murugan, the nearby market, etc.
10. Vilachery Pottery Village
This place reflects the true beauty of even the small places in Madurai. The village of Vilachery hosts a small display or various idols of different God and goddess, especially Lord Ganesh. These idols are so beautifully made that you can stare at the varieties for hours and still not get bored.
You can walk through the village and admire all the different collections that the people of this small village have to offer to their visitors. This place is a bit crowded at the time of different festivals like Christmas.
- Location: Vilacheri, Madurai
- Attractions: Small yet attractive colourful idols of different Gods and Goddess.
11. Pazhamudhir Solai
This is another popular temple dedicated to Lord Murugan and thus is one of the most visited and popular tourist destinations in Madurai. The temple is located on top of the hill and thus has an amazing view to offer to all its visitors. The idol of Lord Murugan is extremely attractive in this temple and this becomes one another attraction of the temple.
You can reach the entry of the temple by following the giant steps present in front of the temple. These steps can make the climb a bit difficult but the climb is worthy enough.
- Location: Near Alagar Koil Temple, Madurai
- Attractions: Marble and wood carved sculptures, a statue of Lord Murugan, temple’s architecture, etc.
12. Koodal Azhagar Temple
It is one of the ancient temples of Madurai and is also one of the great attractions of the place. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is truly a reflection of beauty, pious ambience and a great relaxation. You can witness the great contribution of Madurai in the fields of art, language and culture by visiting this temple.
Without a doubt, this place is one of the true examples of architectural excellence that makes Madurai one of the favourable choices of the tourists. Make sure to visit this temple for knowing the beauty of Madurai in a better way.
- Location: Periyar, Madurai
- Attractions: The amazing and beautiful architecture of the temple, cultural, art, and language connection of the place.
13. Alagar Kovil
It is a village located in the Madurai region. The simple living of the people of this place will surely attract you and you will love the calmness in their life along with the freshness of the air of this village. The local people of this village are welcoming and have a pleasing nature towards the tourists.
The other attraction which makes this place famous amongst the tourists is the Alagar Koil temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most visited places in Madurai.
- Location: Madurai district
- Attractions: The simple and peaceful living of the villagers, the very beautiful Alagar Koil temple.
14. Vandiyur Mariamman Temple
This temple is one of the major attractions of Madurai. With great and excellent architecture, it has been an attraction which catches the attention of the visitors within an instant of time. The ambience of this temple is pure and sacred and one simply falls in love with the pious and fresh surroundings of this temple.
This temple is dedicated to the Goddess of rain, Mariamman and has a very beautiful and mesmerizing statue of the Goddess. Many devotees from the nearby places visit this temple for seeking the blessings of the Goddess.
- Location: Teppakulam, Madurai
- Attractions: The peaceful ambience of the temple, attractive statue of the Goddess, the unique architecture of the temple.
Popularly known as the Gram Panchayat, this village in the Madurai region is another attraction for the tourists. The tourists can expect to witness and experience all the traditions and rituals of the village. You can also see the simple living of the people of the village along with many basic activities of the villagers.
The place is also an attraction due to the calmness and relaxation that people, tourists, and visitors feel at this place. The freshness and pure air can be the best way to relax from the daily stress and routine.
- Location: Madurai North, Madurai
- Attractions: The simple and fresh living of the people, relaxation, admiring natural beauty.
16. Vaigai Dam
This dam built on the Vaigai River is another popular attraction for the tourist. Despite the simple and clean design and architecture of this dam, it still manages to catch the attention of the tourists. The main reason for the attraction is the use of this dam for the agricultural use in the nearby village.
The dam is large in size and again attracts people due to its size and strength. Most of the nearby villagers use this dam for all their agricultural needs. One can see many people in this picturesque location of the dam.
- Location: Periyakulam, Madurai
- Attractions: Picturesque location nearby the dam, use of the dam for agricultural use.
17. Aayiram Kaal Mandapam
It is believed that if you have visited Madurai and not visited this place then your Madurai trip is not completed. People and tourists from all around the world visit this amazing and beautiful place to have a worth remembering experience of their life. It is one of the major attractions of Madurai.
To make this place amazing, the architecture of the place plays an important role. The structure of 1000 pillars reflects the excellence of architectural beauty and accuracy in this Mandapam. The details of the architecture of this place are worth noticing.
- Location: Inside Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
- Attractions: The architecture of 1000 pillars, the detailing of the carving of every little details, peaceful ambience and surroundings.
18. Narasingam Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple
This temple is one of the attractions of the Madurai city as it has a unique structure. The temple attracts its visitors and tourists with the rock carved statue of Narasimha inside a cave. The design of the statue is so fascinating and realistic that most of the people love the statue and its appearance.
Other than the brilliant work in the architecture, the temple also offers peaceful surroundings and relaxation to the people. You can visit the temple on Sundays for seeking the blessings of the Lord and also have a splendid time with your family.
- Location: Othakadai, Madurai
- Attractions: Rock carved statue of Lord Narasimha and the peaceful ambience.
19. Goripalayam Dargah
This is one of the largest Dargah or mosque present in Madurai which has been attracting the people ever since its construction. It is built on the Vaigai River and can be seen evidently from the A.V. Bridge. Throughout the year the place is visited by many tourists and visitors for seeking the blessings of the Almighty.
The mosque which was built in the 13th century has a great and rich architecture which never leaves a gap in impressing its visitors. People find pure and total relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of the Dargah.
- Location: Vaigai River Bank, Madurai
- Attractions: The peaceful and beautiful ambience of Madurai, memorizing architecture of the mosque.
20. Albert Victor Bridge or AV Bridge
This very popular bridge in Madurai is a part of its rich heritage and culture. The bridge has been marking its presence in the region of Madurai for 126 years now and has been a major attraction pulling the tourists towards it.
The great architecture of the bridge along with the strength and picturesque location is one of the most visited places in Madurai. People from around the world visit this bridge for cherishing the rich cultural beauty of the place. This bridge is one of the few oldest bridges in Madurai which is making the place famous with every passing day.
- Location: Madurai
- Attractions: Mesmerizing view of nature, picturesque location, great architecture.
Madurai is one beautiful place to visit and these popular 12 places to visit in Madurai confirm that. These places will connect you to the variety of temples and their architectural beauty which will reflect the true side of Madurai sightseeing. Make sure that you cover all these places to have an amazing and exciting Madurai trip. Do tell us about your experience after visiting these famous tourist places in Madurai. Also, comment on the place you liked the most out of these options. We would love to hear from you.