There are so many incredible things to do in Madurai that you will be left spoilt for choice! If Chennai is the only place you’ve visited in Tamil Nadu, then you’ve missed out on a lot! Madurai is one of the oldest cities in India and not just Tamil Nadu. While exploring the gorgeous and incredibly famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple is a must, there are several other awesome things to do in Madurai. There is so much more than just Madurai temples to see here. In fact, if your visit is long enough, you can check out picnic spots near Madurai as well. Have a look at some of the best things to do in Madurai we’ve listed below. Enjoy as many of them as you can on your Madurai trip!
Best Things to do in Madurai:
Madurai is home to attractions that suit the needs of all types of travelers. For instance, couples will find many romantic places in Madurai to explore. Those making a spontaneous trip on last minute flights will find some exceptional things to do in Madurai on a short vacay. Also, if you’re taking a road trip to the city, there are plenty of on-the-way Chennai to Madurai tourist places to explore. Check out some of the very best things to do in Madurai on your trip!
1. Enjoy breakfast at Murugan Idli
This is among the first things to do in Madurai to kick off your day on an exciting note! Murugan Idli shop is among the most famous ones in Madurai and serves a plethora of mouthwatering dishes. Think crispy dosas, idlis, and a horde of delectable chutneys. Have a plateful of delicious, hot breakfast and gear up for a fun day ahead! The specialty ‘jigarthanda’ drink is an absolute must-try.
2. Explore Madurai Meenakshi Temple
We cannot stress enough how famous the Madurai Meenakshi Temple is. Also known as Sundareswarar Temple, this is among the most popular temples in South India. Dedicated to Hindu deities Parvati and Shiva, the temple exhibits spectacular architecture. There are as many as 14 gopurams here as well as plenty of halls with sculptures that depict different mythological scenes.
3. Visit Thirumalai Nayak Mahal for a crash-course in history
Built by the erstwhile King Thirumalai Nayakar sometime in the 1600s, this is among the most stunning places to visit in the city of Madurai. If you happen to be an architecture lover booking business class flights for a Madurai trip, this is among the top places to explore. Did you know there are over 2445 pillars at the temple? The exquisite style of the temple will leave architecture enthusiasts thrilled to the core!
4. Shop at Pudhu Mandapam
Also built by King Thirumalai Nayakar, Pudhu Mandapam is a massive hall with a pillared entrance. One of the top things to do in Madurai’s Pudhu Mandapam is to shop here. There are scores of vendors selling fabrics, imitation jewelry, handicrafts, artworks, scarves, and a lot more. This is a great place to buy awesome stuff at the lowest possible rates.
5. Be a part of Jallikattu
Celebrated every January, Jallikattu is a part of Pongal, one of the most important festivals in South India. Joining in the excited fervor of Jallikattu is among the most fun things to do in Madurai. The race involves men latching onto the hump of a furiously running bull and staying there until the animal is subdued. Sometimes, there will be small flags tied to the bull’s horns and must be retrieved to be victorious.
6. Check out cool pottery at Velachery Pottery Village
Home to approximately 150-200 families, the Velachery Pottery Village is a treat to visit. One of the best things to do in Madurai is to watch the craftsmen at work here. They make clay idols of Hindu deities and proceed to paint them in bright hues. The idols are sold to tourists as well as wholesale markets. The potters at the village also make nativity scenes during the Christmas season.
7. Enjoy sunrise and sunset views at Vaigai Dam
A man-made dam, this is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Madurai. One of the top things to do in Madurai is to visit the Vaigai Dam either early in the morning or late in the evenings. The gorgeous sunrise and sunset views make this among the most romantic places in Madurai for couples to visit. The scenic river is flanked by lush green hills and a garden here filled with gorgeous flowers that make it an ideal picnic spot.
8. Grab a bite at Amma Mess
This is among the topmost things to do in Madurai at night. Your trip to Madurai on cheap flights to India from USA or elsewhere in the world will remain incomplete without this! Amma Mess offers the most delectable local food you can gorge on. Having dinner here is the best way to wrap up an exciting day. Cheap and tasty, popular dishes to try here include Kalli Kattu Kolli Choru (chicken curry), Ayira Meen Kulambu (fish curry), and their trademark bone-marrow Omelet.