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Madurai History, India

Madurai is 2,500 years old and is the most ancient city in Tamil Nadu. It is rich in ancient Indian culture and history. Madurai is situated on the banks of Vaigai River and it is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu state. Madurai was the capital city during the Pandya king where it became an important cultural and commercial center. 

The beautiful Meenakshi temple is located here and it depicts the fish shaped eyes of the deity of the city. Thousands of people have visited this temple throughout the year. In the 3rd  century Madurai was an important trading center which developed a beneficial trading relationship with Rome and Greece.  During the period of Pandya’s Tamil language was improved and created many master-pieces. The great Tamil epic was written based on the Kannagi story called “Silapathikaram.

Madurai was predominantly developed under the Pandya rulers until the tenth century and once again in the year 1311; Malik Kafur defeated Panday’s kingdom in 1311 and came to power. He completely destroyed the majority of the beauty of Madurai city. In the period of the Khilji dynasty, Madurai became a province of Delhi Sultanat in 1323. Nearly 50 years later the city of Madurai slowly began to fall apart under the rule of Delhi Sultanat. Madurai then became part of the Vijaynagar dynasty of Hampi in the year 1371.

Over 400 years later, in 1781, Madurai was forcefully placed under the British rule of the East India Company. After the independence of India, Madurai was the major district of the Tamil Nadu state and Madurai was divided into two districts; Madurai and Dindugul in 1984.

There are several mountains that surround Madurai.  They are the Yanaimalai, Nagamalai and Pasumalai mountains. These names are respectively the Elephant, Snake and Cow mountain ranges.  Madurai is famous for its jasmine flowers that grow all around the city. Madurai has transported the jasmine flowers throughout the Indian cities.

There are many festival celebrations that the Madurai locals celebrate. The most important festival of Madurai is for the divine marriage of Lord Sundareshwara or Shiva and the Goddess Meenakshi that is held in the month of April and May. In this festival, the people of Madurai have a lively celebration where the beat of traditional Indian drums creates a vibrant and lively ambience.

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