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Madurai is one among the ancient cities of South India with a glorious history. Madurai is a most important city in India located on state of Tamil Nadu. It is the most popular Hindu pilgrimage centre and administrative headquarters of Madurai District.
Outer Shell of Madurai City
The city of Madurai has been constructed in the structure of a lotus and is built around the world famous acclaimed Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. The city has located on the banks of the river Vaigai with outstanding rich cultural heritage and architectural magnificence, the city is often referred to as the 'Athens of the East'. The origin of Madurai dates back to the Sangam period, the golden period of Tamil Literature.
Pandyan Kingdom & Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarer Temple
The three early kingdoms of ancient South India were those of the Cholas, the Cheras, and the Pandyas. Madurai a prosperous city by the 1st millennium BC and made as the capital of the Pandyas Kingdom. In earlier period Madurai was a forest called Kadambavanam. On one occasion a merchant crossed the forest saw Indran, the King of Gods worshipping a Swayambhulingam under a Kadam tree. This splendid was reported to King Kulsekarer Pandayan. He cleared the forest and built a temple, known as the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarer Temple, and later built a beautiful lotus-shaped city surrounding the temple.
Lord Siva’s “Thiruvilaiyadal”
Madurai is the most blessed city in south India because Lord Siva himself performed sixty-four wonders, called "Thiruvilaiyadals", only in Madurai. The great Indian epic like Ramayana, Kautilyas and Arthasastra this holy Madurai city has been referred.
The Great Tamil Epic
"Silapathikaram" the Master-Piece were created during Pandyan Kingdom. It is based on the story of Kannagi, who burnt entire Madurai in lieu of injustice caused to her husband Kovalan.
In 1311, Malik Kafur, the general of Alauddin Khilji, ruler of Delhi, robbed Madurai for precious stones, jewels, and other rare treasures and followed by later raids by other Muslim Sultans. At last in 1323, the Pandya kingdom came under the Delhi Empire ruled by the Tughlaks. After Tughlaks Madurai has came under the control of the Vijayanagar dynasty of Hampi.
Kings of this dynasty left the captured land to Nayaks. After the death of Krishna Deva Raya in 1530 AD, the Nayaks became independent and started ruling the territories separately.
Among Nayaks, Thirumalai Nayak (1623-1659) was the most popular one. For his huge involvement on developing the city he is remembered by the people of Madurai even today. He formed many outstanding structures in and around Madurai like The Thirumalai Nayakar's Palace, The Raja Gopuram of the Meenakshi Amman Temple, the Pudu Mandapam and are live examples of his passion for art tell now.
Then Madurai tripped into the hands of the British's East India Company. George Procter appointed to take care of entire city and he is the first collector of Madurai City.
After the Great struggle India got Independent Madurai became one of the foremost commercial districts in the state of Tamil Nadu and turn into chief exporter of Jasmine flowers. Based on historical background, Madurai attracts more than thousands of visitors from India and all over the world.
There are some 10 amazing facts about Madurai city which makes you to fall in love with this ancient and holy Madurai City.