“Athens of the East” is a sobriquet given to Madurai a religious city located in Tamil Nadu. This city is apparently the third largest city by area and by population in the state. It is located on the banks of the River Vaigai. It is also said to be one among the oldest inhabited cities recorded in human history. Important travel information about this “ancient” city is as follows.
Read More: CHAR DHAM, AND THE FOUR PILGRIMAGE SITES
a. Best time to visit Madurai:
The ideal time to visit this city is in between October to March when the climate is very pleasant with, the temperature ranging from a maximum temperature of 29 degrees Celsius to a minimum of 20 degrees Celsius.
b. How to reach Madurai?
1. By train:
This city has its own railway station. The Madurai Railway Station is well connected to major cities across the country.
2. By road:
There are a number of bus services that are available from Madurai to major cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hyderabad etc
3. By air:
This city has its own airport. The Madurai Airport is well connected to major cities in the country such as Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Agra etc.
c. Religious significance:
It is the presence of the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple devoted to Meenakshi i.e. Parvati the wife of Shiva that adds to the religious significance of this city. This temple is said to have been established by Indra while he was on a pilgrimage to seek redemption for sins committed by him. According to popular folklore it was in this city that the marriage of Lord Shiva and Tadaatagai, an incarnation of Parvati occurred. This marriage was apparently supposed to have been the biggest event on earth. After the marriage the couple (i.e. Shiva and Tadaatagai) took divine forms of Sundareswarar and Meenakshi to rule this city by becoming the main deities of worship.