My Journey to Madurai started from Bangalore at 6 AM and I reached Madurai by 2 PM. It was a well planned Journey. Road from Bangalore to Madurai is great and you can drive all the way at high speed. Hosur ,Krishnagiri, Dhramapuri, Salem,Dindigul are few major cities in between Bangalore and Madhurai. Suggestion : You can have your Lunch or Breakfast in these cities but I will suggest have it either in Hosur or Salem as they are big city and you can find good restaurant in these places. Total distance between Bangalore and Madurai is 450km, so I would suggest to plan it well if you are single driver in group. About Madurai: Madurai is one of the oldest city of south India also called as temple city. It has old history which starts from 3rd century,ruled by many dynasty and empire but it only grew & grew and its culture became more strong and strong. Some say its Athens of India other say Its Mathura of South. Whatever you say Its Must see place in India particularly Minakshi Temple where after one point only Hindu’s are allowed to proceed. But still seeing it from outside only will leave you speech less. Its architecture is unique and beautiful. Madurai is built around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which acted as the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai About Meenakshi Amman Temple The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi – Sundareswarar Temple. The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. Especially impressive are the 12 gopuras. Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of dieties, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colors. Mythology Legend has it that the reigning deity Meenakshi was born out of holy fire as an answer to the prayers of King Malayadwaja and his wife Kanchanamalai. She married Lord Shiva and both ruled the city of Madurai as Lord Sundareshwar and Goddess Meenakshi. It is also believed that Lord Indra founded the temple along with a suyambu lingam. There is mention about the temple in ancient Tamil literature through It is said that Lord Vishnu, Meenakshi’s brother travelled all the way from Srivaikuntam- his abode to witness the marriage. But he couldn’t make it on time and the marriage was solemnized without his presence. Angered by this insult, he vowed never to enter Madurai and settled in nearby Azaghar Kovil. He was later convinced and to this day, his pacification is celebrated as Azhaghar Thiruvila. Modern Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple History It is said that the temple was plundered in the 14th century by the Muslim raider Malik Kafur who looted the temple for its valuables. Restoration was undertaken by the Nayak ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar around the 16th century. It was Vishwanatha Nayak who rebuilt the temple in accordance to shilpa shastra. Food and Stay Food in Madurai is very authentic south Indian food with lots of curry flavor. I liked non veg especially chettinad chicken . Stay in Madurai is affordable you can find many hotel around temple. The below link can help you to find other places to explore other than Meenakshi Amman Temple which remains center of attraction. http://www.mustseeindia.com/Madurai/attractions Points to Remember
- Plan your trip well if you are going by road.
- Have food in between at some city when you are driving from Bangalore.
- Get your vehicle checked properly
- Fuel up your tank on regular basis were ever you find Gas Store.
- Must Visit Place is Meenakshi Amman Temple.
- Try chettinad chicken.