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Madurai Travel Guide

Madurai is called Athens of the East because of the way myth meets life here. Originally called Madhurapuram because honey (madhu) is said to have dripped off the locks of Shiva here, Madurai is now the second largest city in Tamil Nadu and a tourism destination that is popular with pilgrims. Legends of warrior princesses, the gods falling in love and divine promises abound. Always an important city politically, it is now among the most important pilgrimages for Hindus. Madurai is a renowned pilgrim destination with its chief attraction being the imposing Meenakshi temple, which was built mainly by the Nayaks.

So travel to Madurai to pay obeisance at the sacred temples of this town.

The pillars in Ayirankkal Mandapam and in North Adi Street near the Mottai Gopuram are masterpieces of stonework. Slender columns chiselled from the same material surround each granite column. When struck, the pillars resound and produce different musical notes. Priests at the Meenakshi Temple teach parrots to chant the name of the goddess. Kept in cages in the Kilikoondu Mandapam, they parrot away all day long! Photography is permitted at the temple but subject to payment of a token fee for the camera.

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