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     Madurai Pilgrimage Site in India

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Madurai Pilgrimage Site

Madurai is the third largest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It served as the capital city of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and Madurai Nayak kings in the Dravidian style of architecture. It is also one of India's prominent Hindu pilgrimage centres.
Madurai's recorded history goes back to the 3rd century BC and the city is mentioned by Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India and Kautilya, the minister of the Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. The city was the principal administrative and cultural centre of the Pandyan dynasty which ruled over the southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala till the first half of the 14th century AD. In about 1311, the Pandyan dynasty was overthrown by the Delhi Sultanate which established the province of Ma'bar which later became independent as the Ma'bar Sultanate. When the Ma'bar Sultanate began to decline in the latter years of the 14th century, Madurai was absorbed into the Vijayanagar Empire. The viceroys of the Vijayanagar Empire established the Madurai Nayak kingdom and ruled as independent kings from 1559 to 1736. After a brief period of occupation by Chanda Sahib and the Carnatic kingdom, Madurai was annexed by the British East India Company in 1801.

Places of worship

Meenakshi-Sundareswar Temple

The Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple was originally built by the early Pandya King Kulasekara. It is one of the greatest Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu. According to legend, Natarajar performed a dance raising his right leg in Madurai.[clarification needed] (Kal maari Aadiya natarajar). Shiva was very happy with the temple construction and performed a different dance. This is the temple which is believed to have survived when Kannagi burned the city.

Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara

Kazimar mosque (masjid) was the first Muslim place of worship in the city. It was constructed under the supervision of Kazi Syed Tajuddin, who came from Oman, received the piece of land from the then Pandya ruler King Ku(lasekara) Pandiyan during the 13th century and is believed to be a descendant of the prophet Muhammed. It is also the second oldest mosque in Tamil Nadu and is known as Periya Pallivasal (Big Mosque). The descendants of Kazi Syed Thajuddin, who was appointed Kazi of the sultans, are known as the Huqdars (Share holders). They have managed the mosque since his time and have lived in the locality of Kazimar Street for more than 700 years. They are known as Syeds and among them are appointed Kazis to the Government of Tamil Nadu till today. The dargah of Madurai Hazrats called as Madurai Maqbara is located inside the mosque.



The legend is that Murugan married Deivanai at Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple, which also is the first among the Six Holy Abodes of Murugan (Arupadai Veedu, literally "Six Battle Camps"). This cave temple is much older than the Meenakshi temple. On Fridays women place candles or sit around the temple floor and create kolams or rangoli patterns on the ground using coloured powders, ash and flowers as an offering to Durga..A durga is located at the top of the hill, where the grave of an Islamic saint, Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badushah Shaheed Radiyallah Ta'al anhu, who came from Jeddah along with Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badushah of Madinah during the early 13th century, is found. Irrespective of religion, people from all parts of Tamil Nadu and from Kerala visit this durgah. People who visit the Ervadi Durgah in Ramanathapuram district are supposed to visit this durgah. The Anniversary urus festival of Hazrat Sulthan Sikandar badusha Shaheed is commemorated on 17th night of the Islamic month of Rajab every Hijri year.

Goripalayam Dargah

The name Gorippalayam comes from the Persian word Gor which means Grave. This area is called as Goripalayam because the Graves of the two saints of Islam and rulers of Madurai Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badusha (Radiyallah) and Hazrat Sulthan Shamsuddin Badhusha (Radiyallah) are located here. A green coloured tomb can be seen from the A.V.Bridge madurai, which is the Gorippalayam Dargah located in the northern banks of the River Vaigai. The dome is 70 feet (21 m) in diameter and 20 feet (6.1 m) in height and is made of a single block of stone which was brought from the Azhaga Hills. The two rulers were brothers who ruled the northern part of madurai after coming from Oman during 13th century to spread Islam. Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin Radiyallah of Kazimar street was Govt. Kazi (Islamic Legal advisor and jury) to them. An ancient Tamil inscription, can be found planted on the outer campus of the Maqbara of the dargah campus which reads about a case relating to the lands of the dargah. This inscription is thought by some to prove the existence of the Dargah since 13th century. The anniversary urus festival of this dargah is held on 15th night of the Islamic month of Rabi al-awwal on every hijri year.


Theppakulam is a part of Vandiyur Mariyamman temple. There is an artificial island at the centre, made of stone. It was built sometime around 1500 AD.

Koodal Azhagar Koil

A Vishnu temple in the city center, Koodal Azhagar is unusual in having Navagraham, which normally are found only in Shivan temples. There is a Hayagriva temple close to this temple where Hayagriva is the main deity. Most of the students do their regular prayer here as Hayagriva is the one who brought the epic fallen into water back to the earth. This temple is believed to be older than the Meenakshi temple.

St. Mary’s Cathedral Church

St. Mary’s Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai. It is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in India.

gandi meusium

Visit Madurai Gallary

Tirumalai_Nayak_Palace Gorippalayam Tiruparankundram_dargah
Maqbara Madurei_350

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