Top things to do

Top Choice Hindu Temple in Madurai

Meenakshi Amman Temple

The colourful abode of the triple-breasted warrior goddess Meenakshi (‘fish-eyed’ – an epithet for perfect eyes in classical Tamil poetry) is generally considered to be the peak of South Indian temple architecture, …
Top Choice South Indian in Madurai

Murugan Idli Shop

Though it now has multiple Chennai branches, Murugan is Madurai born and bred. Here you can put the fluffy signature idlis and chutneys to the test, and feast on South Indian favourites like dosas, vadas and uttapam…
Museum in Madurai

Gandhi Memorial Museum

Housed in a 17th-century Nayak queen's palace, this impressive museum contains a moving, comprehensive account of Gandhi's life and India’s struggle for independence from 1757 to 1947; the English-language displays …
Palace in Madurai

Tirumalai Nayak Palace

What Madurai's Meenakshi Amman Temple is to Nayak religious architecture, Tirumalai Nayak's crumbling palace is to the secular. It’s said to be only a quarter of its original size, but its massive scale and hybrid D…
Religious in Madurai

Teppam (Float) Festival

A popular 12-day event held on the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai, when Meenakshi Amman Temple deities are paraded around town in elaborate procession and floated in a brightly lit 'minitemple' on the huge Mar…
Notable Building in Madurai

Pudhu Mandapa

This 16th-century pillared hall stands outside the Meenakshi Amman Temple, opposite the eastern gopuram. It's crammed with colourful textile and crafts stalls and tailors at sewing machines, partly hiding some of th…
Museum in Madurai

Temple Art Museum

Inside the Meenakshi Amman Temple's eastern gopuram, you'll find the Nayak-period Thousand Pillar Hall (with 985 columns) on your right. Now the Art Museum, it contains a Shiva shrine with a large bronze Nataraja at…
Multicusine in Madurai

Garden All Day

If you're splashing out, the Gateway Hotel's panoramic all-day restaurant (6km southwest of central Madurai) works up an astounding array of delicious global dishes ranging from Chettinadu curries to fancy salads, p…
Religious in Madurai

Chithirai Festival

The highlight of Madurai’s action-packed festival calendar is this two-week celebration of the marriage of Meenakshi to Sundareswarar (Shiva). The deities are wheeled around the Meenakshi Amman Temple in massive cha…
Indian in Madurai

Banyan Restaurant

Set in the green-clad Kerala-inspired grounds of the top-end Heritage Madurai hotel, this elegant eatery does beautifully spiced pan-Indian dishes, along with popular lunchtime buffets. It's 4km northwest of central…