Chennai may be the capital of Tamil Nadu, but Madurai claims its soul. Madurai is Tamil-born and Tamil-rooted, one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamed of.
Tourists, Indian and foreign, come here for the celebrated Meenakshi Amman Temple, a dazzling mazelike structure ranking among India's greatest temples. Otherwise, Madurai, perhaps appropriately given its age, captures many of India’s glaring dichotomies: a centre dominated by a medieval temple and an economy increasingly driven by IT, all overlaid with the hustle, energy and excitement of a big Indian city and slotted into a much more manageable package than Chennai’s sprawl.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Madurai.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Madurai.