Madurai is the second largest city, considered as the cultural capital, in Tamilnadu. It was announced as the Corporation, after Chennai, in May 1st 1971. There are 10 state assembly constituencies and 1 parliament constituency. It is here that the father of the Indian nation, Mahathma Gandhi, started wearing only a loincloth, in 1921, after seeing the people ill-nourished and ill-dressed. Madurai is famous for its Jasmine flowers. It is transported to most of the Indian cities and exported to other countries too.
Rameshwaram is an island - Lord Rama' s temple is situated at this place. It is a major pilgrim centre for the Hindus. The religious island is spread in an area of 61.8 square kilometers and happens to be in the shape of a conch. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies major area of Rameshwaram. The masterpiece of Dravidian architecture boasts of the largest temple corridor in India. Different rulers built the Ramanatha Swamy Temple over a period of time starting from the 12th century. The temple comprises of twenty-two wells where the taste of the water of each well is different from one another. The water of the wells are believed to possess medicinal properties.
Chettinad- The Land of Heritage & Devotion It is a place that enchants and enhances the soul. Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars called the Nagarathars, are a prosperous banking and business community. It is a tourist's paradise with a difference, and one which certainly cannot be missed by the discerning tourist. A stray thundershower adds to the charm of the place, churning up the red soil, and filling up the temple tanks. The palatial mansions, makes Chettinad a place of rare charm, and a must visit .
Tiruchirappalli, situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy is a fine ablend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the Fort, there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. The town and its fort, now in Trichy were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. This city has given great Tamil scholars whose contributions to the Tamil literature have been very significant.
Tiruchirappalli, situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the Fort, there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. The town and its fort, now in Trichy were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. This city has given great Tamil scholars whose contributions to the Tamil literature have been very significant.
The ancient South Indian city of Madurai is a place of great historical importance. Madurai is said to be the oldest city in South India, that stands on the banks of the river Vaigai. Madurai’s fame rests solely on the famous Meenakshi Amman temple dedicated to goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar.
Madurai being home to the Goddess Meenakshi, local Madurai women have created a walk to showcase the hidden charm of Madurai to travellers visiting their city. The walk enables you, the visitor, to hear about local life from a woman's perspective and understand women's roles in the family and community at large. The Vanakkam Madurai team invites you to explore Madurai on foot to see the real life of people. You can meet street side vendors to see how they do business in a day, visit the flower market and fruit market that are flanked by bananas and check out what their market challenges are. Visit the petty salon on the road side and meet the local hairstylis
Places to Covered :
Early in the morning, you will find people milking cows by hand in the streets you walk through which is definitely an interesting thing to watch.
Kolam is a form of painting that is drawn by using rice powder or chalk powder or white rock powder often with naturally or synthetically colored powders during festival occasions. Every morning particularly in Tamil Nadu, millions of women wake up before sunrise. And the floor of the owner’s house is cleaned with water and the muddy floor swept well to create an even surface to draw a Kolam as the design will hold better. Kolam is a kind of an exercise where people bend down and join the fingers while drawing Kolam which is good for the normal blood circulation.
In olden days, Kolam were drawn in coarse rice flour, so the ants would not have to walk too far or too long for a meal. The rice powder also invited birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one's home. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes. Folktale has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home. Volunteering to draw the Kolam at temple is sometimes done when a devotee's wishes are fulfilled.
Sandalwood paste is integral to rituals and ceremonies, to mark religious utensils, and to decorate the icons of the deities. It is also distributed to devotees, who apply it to their foreheads or the necks and chests. Preparation of the paste is a duty fit only for the pure, and is therefore entrusted in temples and during ceremonies only to priests.
The paste is prepared by grinding wood by hand upon granite slabs (popularly known as ammi kallu in Tamil) shaped for the purpose. With the slow addition of water, a thick paste results and then it is mixed with saffron or other such pigments to make chandan. Chandan, further mixed with herbs, perfumes, pigments and some other compounds, results in javadhu. Kalabham, chandan. and javadhu are dried and used as kalabham powder, chandan powder and javadhu powder, respectively. Chandan powder is very popular in North India and is also used in Nepal. In Thirupathi after religious tonsure, sandalwood paste is applied to protect the skin. In Hinduism and Ayurveda, sandalwood is thought to bring one closer to the divine. Thus, it is one of the most used holy elements in Hindu and Vedic societies.
Having food in a banana leaf is a tradition. It is good for health as it has its own advantages. It prevents grey hair at the early ages. If we parcel with this leaf then the food will be preserved and gives good odour while eating.
You can see a lot of small shops in the streets. You can see how interesting it is to be there and observe things around you.
Sale of Rice batter:
You will be amazed to see house wives and elderly people doing some or the other odd jobs to earn their livelihood.
A small petty tea shop proves Madurai as a sleepless city. Get to know interesting facts while you sip your tea.
Watch the busy vendors selling fruits on wholesale basis. Observe the skillful display of fruits in different colours which gives a stunning look.
Beautifully decorated and professionally tied garlands are being used for both happiest occasions and funeral ceremonies. You will be amazed to see their skills in tying garlands. Don’t miss it!
Temple Car Festival (Ther Thiruvizha):
Temple cars are chariots used to carry Hindu deities during festivals. While you walk, you will know more about this chariot and you can witness the huge structure of chariot too.
Ten pillars street & Superstitions:
The entrance of the magnificent Tirumalai Nayakkar Palace has been turned as 10 Pillar Street. You will be amazed to see how pious Madurai people are, when you look at one of the Pillars.
Sugar cane juice vendors:
This is another interesting sight to watch how trading takes place between vendors.
Small petty salon:
It will be interesting for you to see how a small petty salon earns money in the locality through this salon.
Small Open Library:
It will be interesting for you to visit a small open library. It would be really nice to see the high civic sense of people.