Goripalayam Dargah is one of the largest and oldest Mosques of India. Quite a famous Dargah and a tourist attraction place in Madurai, this Mosque is situated at about 70kms away from Madurai at Azhagar Kovil Road.
The Dargah is popular for its Hindu architecture and stone pillars. Located on the Northern banks of Vaigai river, the Mosque houses two tombs of two great saints of the Madurai Sultanate namely: Syed Sultan Alavudeen Howlia and Syed Sultan Shamsudeen Haulia.
The dome of the Dargah is huge with a height of 20ft and 70ft Diameter wise. The Mosque was built by Thirumalai Nayak and in the 13th century, two brothers from Oman came to Madurai to spread the message of Allah who later became prominent saints.
Sundara Pandian king’s illness was cured by these brothers Syed Sultan Alavudeen Howlia and Syed Sultan Shamsudeen Haulia. Impressed by this, the King gave them the power of ruling nine villages.
Inside the Mosque, Tamil inscriptions can be seen. Now, it is believed that any prayer is answered at this Mosque.
People come here from various places to make their wish come true. The Mosque is open from 5AM to 8PM on all days of the week.
The Kazimar Big Mosque is located very close to the Periyar Bus stand, and about one kilometer from the Madurai Railway station.
It is a huge Mosque that can hold up to 2500 people at a time. Hence, it is popularly known as Periya Pallivasal.
Inside the Mosque lies the Dargha which belongs to the descendents of Prophet Mohammed. This is known as Maqbara. Mr. Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin, from Oman constructed Kazimar Mosque in the 13th century on the land given by Kulasekara Pandyan of the Pandyan Dynasty.
Open on all days including public holidays from morning 7AM to 8PM, Allah welcomes you all to listen to your prayers and also answer them.
So, now on your list of places to be visited, add this one too and see for yourself the beauty and divinity of the Mosque.
First Baptist Church of Madurai is also a famous church in Madurai, that is located at S.S Colony, Madurai.
In the year 1974, one Mr. A. Victor, an employee of Indian Railways, along with other 8 ardent devotee of the Christ, started “The First Baptist Church” in a small room.
Then in the year 1985, Mr. James Garlow, a missionary at Silchar, gave some amount with the help of which a piece of land was bought. A church was constructed to spread the message of God via proper channel Today, it has three branches.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church is quite an old church in India and is a main attraction of Madurai.
It is extremely beautiful and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madurai.
The specialty of this church is that the towers are bell shaped Roman styled ones rising as high as 140 feet. It is visible from a far distance and is a sight to watch. It is located at Balarengapuram, Madurai and was constructed in the year 1840 as directed by Father Joseph Bertrand, next to the Thirumalai nayakar street with a wall bordering the church. But, now the church is surrounded by four big streets.
As the church got popular, devotees, starting coming in big numbers. The space of the church wasn’t sufficient.
Therefore, in the year 1870, Madurai Catholic Mission renovated the church, and the two towers were also erected at that time. Then in the year 1960, the church was made even bigger and new german style was adopted to accommodate more people.
With a marvelous architecture, it is a perfect blend of different European styles of construction.
Initially, the church was dedicated to Vyakula Matha and localities called it as Vyakula Matha Kovil.
It is open on all days of the week from 6AM to 6PM.
Arulmigu Madana Gopala Swamy Temple is situated on the Melamasi street in Madurai. It is exactly located at the Periyar bus stand on the eastern side of Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar Koil.
Here, the main deity is Madana Gopala Swamy with Bama and Rukmini. A goddess shrine in the temple is in the name of Madhuravalli Thayar. Main vrishksha in the temple is Plantain tree.
History says that Lord Shiva after marrying Meenakshi, ascended to the throne of Madurai as Sundara Pandiyan. Then he went into penance deep and got engulfed in flames of fire due to his body’s temperature. Destruction of the world commenced, and devas approached Lord Vishnu. Then Vishnu tries to stop Lord Shiva, but in vain. Then Vishnu understands divine music from his flute can calm down Lord Shiva. Hence, he becomes Madana Gopalan and starts playing his flute and Lord Shiva immediately comes out of his penance.
As per the request of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu resides in Madurai taking the form of Madana Gopalan under the Ashtanga vimanam holding the flute as Vishwaroopa Kanna.
The general belief is that, one who aspires to shine as musicians, come to this temple seek blessings. It is said that Andal came here with periyazhwar, and prayed the Lord here before becoming one with the God.
The temple is open for the devotees 6.40 a.m. To 12.00 a.m. And from 5.00 p.m. To 9.00 p.m. So, now you know what to do? Isn’t it? Don’t delay. Go and meet Krishna in the form of Madanagopalan if you visit Madurai or if you are a resident of Madurai.
The Sri Veeraraghava Perumal temple is located on the Veeraraghava Perumal Street, Madurai. This temple dates back to the 16th century AD and is a pretty old temple to our knowledge built during the times of Chokkappa Naicker.
The temple is located on the South Masi Street, Madurai and the main deity here is Lord Vishnu in the name of Sri Veeraraghava Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi and his consort Goddess Lakshmi in the name of Kanakavalli.
Lord Vishnu in this temple has three forms, namely; sleeping posture – Ranganathar, standing posture – Veeraraghava Perumal, sitting posture – yoga Narasimhar.
Saturdays are special for Lord Vishnu, but this temple sees a large number of devotees on Fridays.
It is believed that, Thirumalai Nayakar found the idol of the Veeraraghava Perumal in the waters of Vaigai river at Mandiyur and slowly made it a custom to make Kallazhagar visit Veeraraghava Perumal on Chitra pournami day every year.
It is also believed that Manduka Maharishi was liberated from the curse given by Durvasa Muni by Azhagar and he attained salvation. Thirumalai Nayakar used to park his vehicle and it is believed so. Hence, Mandiyur slowly became Vandiyur.
This temple is open to all from 6:00AM to 11:00AM and 4:00PM to 8:30PM. Many beliefs have made people visit the temple often.
Prayers for marriage, childbirth, salvation, etc. have been fulfilled by the Almighty here. The Perumal has also proved to be curative here.
Muktheeswarar Temple is as old as 1000 to 2000 years and is located at Theppakulam, Meenakshi Nagar, Madurai.
The main deity of this temple is Muktheeswarar with his pair Goddess Maragathavalli. Lord Shiva is in the name of Muktheeswarar and Goddess Parvathi is in the name of Maragathavalli.
It is believed that Lord Sun worships Lord Shiva here and therefore, there is no Navagraham in the temple. It is said that sunrays fall on the deity of Muktheeswarar from 10th to 23th in the month of March and from 18th to 30th in the month of September every year and stays for about 20 minutes every day. It is believed that the prayers of the devotees are answered in this temple.
Four varieties of Vilwa tree are housed here, namely: Nelli, Kiluvai, Mavilangai and Vilwa. As the name says Muktheeswarar gives salvation to those who seek his blessings and also a satisfactory life on earth.
The temple is open from 6 AM to 11 AM and in the evenings from 4PM and 8PM. Make sure to visit the temple and get blessed in your life.
Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple is one of the oldest temples that belong to the 6th or 7th century. A famous temple that is situated 8kms away from Madurai, and is carved on a rock totally.
Built by Pandyas, the main shrine of the temple is Lord Muruga along with other deities namely: Lord Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha and Goddess Durga.
Well, Surapadman asura is said to have got a boon that he wished from Lord Shiva on account of his penance. Hence, he started ruling the 1008 lokas, built an empire under the sea and started troubling the devas too. Though married and had several sons, Surapadman, laid his eye on Indrani, wife of Lord Indra. Then Lord Indra sought help from Lord Muruga who slayed the demon and saved the devas too. Thirupparamkunram is the place where the demon was killed by Lord Muruga and also Lord Shiva was worshipped by his son Muruga in the name of Parangirinathar. The asura was cut into two halves and both the pieces became the vehicles of Lord Muruga namely: peacock and rooster.
As a token of Gratitude, Lord Indra got his daughter Devayani married to Lord Muruga here. In remembrance of the destruction of demon surapadman, kandha Shasti festival is celebrated at all Murugan temple during Aippasi month of Tamil calendar.
Daily six rituals are performed in the temple. Here Vishnu deity faces Shiva deity unlike any other temple and this is the specialty of the temple.
There is a tank outside the temple where the devotees can give the fish with Aval and salt.
Quite a renowned temple which you must not miss visiting when you are at Madurai.
Koodal Azhagar Temple is also the oldest temple of Madurai and is situated at the Periyar Bus Stand.
Granite walls surround the Temple and the temple is one among the 108 Divyadesams that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The main deity here is Lord Vishnu in the name “Koodal Azhagar” and Goddess Lakshmi in the name of “Maruthavalli”.
Koodal is another name for Madurai and Azhagar means handsome. Thus, the name ‘Koodal Azhagar’. This temple was built by Pandyas and modifications to the temple were later made by Madurai Nayak and Vijayanagar kings.
The Architecture that can be experienced here is the Dravidian style of Architecture. It is a temple with five tiered gopurams as tall as 125 ft. The temple follows Vadakalai principles and is very popular among Vaishnavites.
As per Mythology, King Vallabhadeva used to roam around in disguise during the night. One scholar told him “Work during summer and save for winter” which means the end goal of life is “Work when young and save for future”. So, to understand this deeply, the King conducted a competition.
Vishnuchitta from Srivilliputhur who later became Periazhwar explained many things from various Vedas which was convincing. Hence, he was awarded a bag of Gold by Vallabhadeva. Periazhwar is believed to be an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and the father of Andal, a form of Goddess Lakshmi.
The temple rituals are performed 6 times daily and the 14 days Brahmotsavam celebrations that happen during the Vaigasi month of Tamil calendar, attracts people from various places.
If you are resident or a visitor, of Madurai, you must make time to see Koodal Azhagar and get his divine blessings.
Meenakshi Amman Temple dates back to the 7th century and is quite an old temple in Madurai.
Located on the banks of the vaigai river, the temple has 14 Gopurams which is the specialty of the temple.
The height of the Gopuram ranges from 45 to 50metres and the tallest among them is the southern Gopuram which is 170 feet high.
The temple was reconstructed in the 16th century by Vishwanatha Nayak and was nominated one among the “New Seven Wonders of the World” out of the 30 nominees.
Being a prominent temple, it attracts people from all over the world and has 33,000 sculptures for the people to see and get amazed.
The main deity here is Goddess Meenakshi, the form of Parvathi unlike other temples and her consort is Lord Shiva in the name of Sundareswarar. Mythologically, it is believed that Indra was the one who recognized the temple and the story says that Goddess Parvathi had promised Kanchanamalai, the wife of Malayadwaja Pandya that she will be born to them.
Goddess was born with three breasts and a Godly voice said that the third breast will disappear when she sees her future husband. She was named ‘Taadagai’ and was made to learn 64 sastras. She conquered the three worlds and moved towards the Shiva Loka during her crowning ceremony, where she couldn’t fight Lord Shiva and was filled with Shyness. Then she realized she was Goddess Shakthi and the third breast disappeared at the sight of Lord Shiva. Later, on the Earth, they got married with a great pomp. The marriage is celebrated every year as Chthirai Thiruvizha.
After their tenure as Prince and Princess, they occupied the temple for the Goodness of People.
Meenakshi means ‘Fish Eyed’, Meena(Fish) and Akshi (Eye). If you visit Madurai, 14 Gopurams will never let you go without seeing Meenakshi as they are so inviting and pleasing.