If you can then you must. One of the nicest place on this planet. The architecture is beyond explaination. Language hmmmm…. thats one big trouble, but if you have god on your side then you will surely enjoy.
The best way to reach this place is road, strictly road. Why??
Because to know a place better two vehicels are enough and are best. Cycle and Bus, use them if time permits. We took bus from Madras/Chennai directly to Madurai. Its very easy place to roam, just near the bus stand is a bath shop, pay some money (6 Rs) take good bath. But if you are a big family you can take hotel room, but will be of no serious use.
We missed a place, but could have taken up easily.
Main temple that is world famous Minakshi Temple is open from 4:30 to 12:30, then 16:30 to 21:30. Morning time is best.
There is a different darshan system in nearly every Tamil Nadu temple. Give money and have shorter path, take special coupons for that, take it for every thing related to Meenakshi temple as it have larger croud. Why I am saying so is that, you will then get more time to roam in temple, as every corner of temple is finely crafted, and if you have any knowledge of Indian symbology or graphlogy then you are really going to enjoy that place. There it self is Hall of Thousand pillars, it was not clear to me, for what was it made, but it again was a treat to amateur indian symbologist’s eyes. Take guide if you wish to do every thing fast, you will get one for 75 Rs, please make it clear that you want to see The Hall also. If you do not plan to take a guide with you and want to use your brain and enjoy the place at its best then do take a set of binoculars as those long Goupurams will then unfold themselves to you.
From Meenakshi temple you can go palace by 15 Rs auto riksha ride. Palace is in shambels but still can be enjoyed, as you will once again love the architecture. It will only consume your 30 minutes.
Now take a route bus Number 14 to go Kartik Swami Temple/ Murgan Temple. Its on walking distance from bus stop. You will like it and it will surprise you because its of same period that of Meenakshi temple but it very different from it. Every statue that is being worshipped there is carved on hill’s rocks. Its very different, take my word for it.
I am once again telling you that if you are from north india then there is language problem, if possible then take a tamil friend with you or use english key words most of the time or try to talk in key words.
From there you can return to main bus stop of Madurai and then go to vishnu temple.
That is one rocking place, yes, i am not just using this word to bring your attention but it really is. Once again you will get many coupons at coupon counter buy as per your need. Do buy the one which will allow you to go upstairs, there are 2 very beautiful vishnu statues, and also take your camera with you as you will be very close to the Gopuram of the templeand that will make areally beautiful photograph.
Then again go to bus stop to for your way back to chennai.
I am missin one place which we didnt visit but was said to be a nice place, i will soon try to bring usefull information regarding that place.
Wait for more in “There and Back again” series.
This is from inside of Meenakshi Temple, in backgroud it is Eastern Goupuram.