The divine distractions to be found in Madurai - The National
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- Shamianas will be in place to provide shade for devotees and tourists
- Shopkeepers say they are willing to follow fire safety regulations
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While most visitors to the city come on account of the Meenakshi temple, Madurai has some lesser known attractions that are usually overlooked; rather, they are not given much importance. But as a Madurai-ite by birth and by living, I would like to highlight those.
A few tips for the first time visitor to Madurai The typical hustle and bustle associated with a place of pilgrimage is ever-present.
Yes, it can be a harsh sensory overload if you are a first-time visitor. Finding time and space to yourself in Madurai, immediately, can be tough indeed. For starters, the roads leading to the Meenakshi Amman temple are beautifully designed such that, if you are dropped anywhere in the heart of the town, you can choose to walk in a random path as it will ultimately lead to the temple. From there, you can trace your way to your destination easily.
Choose to enter the Meenakshi temple through the north gate entrance especially in the mornings. It is the least crowded one. The east and south will be packed because they are considered auspicious.
Plea to shift Meenakshi Bazaar - TAMIL NADU - The Hindu
There is much more to Madurai than just temples. It is relatively safe on this account.
Madurai is a politically active area for many parties, so it is not unusual to face traffic diversions and market shut-downs on occasion. The city gets hot and dusty during peak summer.
Madurai – Travel guide at Wikivoyage
Petty thefts and pick-pocketing occurs in crowded locations — as with most busy pilgrimage destinations, be cautious! Beware of guides, many of whom are or claim to be tailors who offer a visit to the textile shops to have the best view of the temple. It is possible that this could be a way to get you to look at and force you to buy goods in that shop.
What rocks the most in Madurai is the food. You can visit the city just to eat.
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It is in fact quite hard to decide where to begin describing food in Madurai. You start a typical day with steaming-hot feather-soft idlis and crisp brown dosas from any of the thousands of roadside eateries. Be it utensils, clothes, fancy items or books, pudumandapam was the go-to place.
Following an unfortunate fire accident last month at the East gate of the Temple, the odd shops inside the mandapam have been closed for over 60 days now and with it a peculiar charm of pudumandapam has gone missing.BEST TEMPLES & BANANA'S MARKET I MADURAI
The vibrant sights and sounds of the place is now a thing of the past. Devoid of the usual buzz around it, Pudumandapam looks frozen in time. Eager shoppers who peep through the iron gates to check if activity has resumed while anxious shopkeepers frantically pace up and down the periphery of the mandapam in the hope of a favourable order from the High Court where a case is pending on the proposed translocation of the shops.
Silently witnessing the play of emotions are the exquisite sculptures on the pillars, some of Gods and Goddesses sporting a serene smile and others of Kings and queens with folded hands. Pudumandapam has always been the cynosure of the Chithirai festival.
It's around this landmark that the major events take place. The Pudumandapam is also attributed with many other specialities, says C Santhalingam, retired archaeologist. Unfortunately, the inscription got hidden behind a cement pillar that was constructed a few years ago. The purpose was to make it the venue for the spring festival, otherwise known as Vasantha Vizha.
The deities of Meenakshi Sundareswarar were kept at the Pudumandapam for over 10 days during the season. Most of us run shops here for generations and so far, we have taken due care.
Sathish Kumar, who owns a book shop in the mandapam, rues that he's unable to clear stock of old books. Since, the syllabus is changing for school students, I also have to return old books to publishers before the end of this academic year.