Places to visit near Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

17 Things To Know Before Travelling to Madurai, Pin Code: 625001

1. Destination Overview of Madurai:

Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is a historic city known for its rich culture, temples, and bustling markets. It is often referred to as the “Athens of the East” and is famous for its iconic Meenakshi Amman Temple.

2. What are the Fun things to do in Madurai?

– Visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a must-see attraction in Madurai
– Explore the colorful markets and street food stalls in the city
– Take a walk along the Vaigai River and enjoy the scenic views
– Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum to learn about the life of Mahatma Gandhi
– Attend the Chithirai Festival, a 10-day long celebration held in April-May
– Take a day trip to the nearby hill station of Kodaikanal

3. Best Places To Stay in Madurai:

– Luxury Places: The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, Heritage Madurai, and Fortune Pandiyan Hotel
– Mid Range: Regency Madurai by GRT Hotels, The SPK Hotel, and Hotel Sangam
– Budget Friendly: Hotel Duke, Hotel Boopathi, and Madurai Residency

4. How to Travel to Madurai?

The nearest airport to Madurai is the Madurai International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in India. The city also has a railway station with trains from major cities. Local transportation options include buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws.

5. Must Try Local Food and Drink in Madurai:

– Paniyaram (rice and lentil fritters)
– Jigarthanda (a cold milk-based drink)
– Paruthi Paal (cotton seed milk)
– Kothu Parotta (shredded parotta with vegetables and meat)
– Mutton Chukka (spicy dry mutton dish)
– Pongal (a sweet rice dish)
– Banana Bonda (deep-fried banana fritters)
– Jalebi (a popular sweet dish)
– Filter Coffee (a must-try beverage in Tamil Nadu)
– Karupatti Mittai (palm jaggery candy)

6. Best Places to Eat in Madurai:

– Non Vegetarian (Non Veg) restaurant in Madurai: Amma Mess, Kumar Mess, and Ahaaram Restaurant
– Pure Vegetarian (Pure Veg) restaurant in Madurai: Murugan Idli Shop, Annapoorna Restaurant, and A2B – Adyar Ananda Bhavan
– Non Vegetarian (Jain) restaurant in Madurai: Jain Bhojanalaya, Jain Food Plaza, and Swamy Cafe

7. Weather and Climate:

Madurai experiences a hot and humid climate throughout the year, with the monsoon season from June to September. The best time to visit is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant. It is advisable to avoid visiting during the summer months (April to June) due to high temperatures.

8. Local Customs and Etiquette in Madurai:

– Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or religious sites
– Remove footwear before entering temples or homes
– It is customary to remove headgear when entering temples
– Tipping is not expected, but you can round off the bill or leave a small amount for good service
– Avoid public displays of affection
– Ask for permission before taking photographs of people

9. Popular Scams in Madurai:

– Fake tour guides who offer to take you to temples and charge exorbitant fees
– Rickshaw/taxi drivers overcharging for rides
– Pickpockets in crowded areas and markets
– Fake jewelry and handicrafts sold at inflated prices
– Be cautious when exchanging currency and always use authorized currency exchange centers.

10. Suggested Trip Duration:

A minimum of 2-3 days is recommended to explore the city of Madurai. However, if you plan to visit nearby places like Kodaikanal, then 5-6 days would be ideal.

11. Total Estimated Budget Per Person:

– Stay: Budget accommodations start from INR 500 per night, mid-range options range from INR 1000-3000 per night, and luxury hotels can cost anywhere between INR 5000-10000 per night.
– Food: A budget of INR 500-1000 per day for meals is sufficient.
– Activities: Entry fees for popular attractions range from INR 50-100 per person.
– Tickets: A round trip flight from Delhi to Madurai can cost around INR 6000-8000.
– Other: Tipping is not mandatory, but you can leave a small amount for good service.

12. NearBy Cities:

– Kodaikanal (120 km)
– Rameshwaram (170 km)
– Kanyakumari (250 km)
– Pondicherry (335 km)
– Coimbatore (220 km)

13. Local Language and Communication in Madurai:

The official language spoken in Madurai is Tamil, but most people also understand and speak English. Some common phrases in Tamil are:
– Hello: Vanakkam
– Thank you: Nandri
– How much does it cost?: Evvalavu
– Where is the bathroom?: Koozha irukku enga

English guides are available at popular tourist destinations and charge around INR 500-1000 for a tour.

14. Accepted Currency and Money:

The local currency in Madurai is the Indian Rupee (INR). Currency exchange can be done at authorized exchange centers or banks. Credit/debit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants, but it is advisable to carry cash for smaller establishments. Tipping is not expected but appreciated for good service.

15. Health and Medical Information:

It is recommended to get vaccinated for common diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid before traveling to Madurai. It is also advisable to carry basic medications for common ailments. In case of a medical emergency, you can visit the Government Rajaji Hospital or Apollo Speciality Hospitals.

16. Packing Tips for Madurai:

– Comfortable and modest clothing, especially for temple visits
– Sunscreen and sunglasses
– Insect repellent
– Comfortable walking shoes
– Basic first aid kit
– Umbrella or raincoat (during monsoon season)

17. To sum up:

Madurai is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, bustling markets, and delicious food. Don’t miss out on visiting the Meenakshi Amman Temple and trying the local delicacies. Remember to dress modestly, be cautious of scams, and carry cash for smaller establishments. Happy travels!

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