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Madurai history

Madurai District is situated in the South of Tamil Nadu state. It is bounded on the North by the districts of Dindigul, Thiruchirapalli and on the East by Sivagangai and on the West by Theni and South by Virudhunagar .

Madurai is one of the important cities in South India. The seventh largest city in Tamil Nadu, it is situated in the banks of river Vaigai. Endowed with a rich cultural heritage and glorious tradition, Madurai is grouped among the antique cities of the India. The history of Madurai dates back to 6th century B.C. During that period, the city was the much-acclaimed capital of the Pandya kings. Then, it functioned as an important commercial center of South India. It held sway over many small towns in the South.

Temples, monuments and ancient cultural wonders abound in Madurai. It is even called "The Athens of the East". Madurai"s Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is one of the greatest architectural marvels of India. Built by Pandya King 'Kulasekara' and reconstructed later by Ruler Thirumalai Nayak, the temple has patronized literature, art, music and dance ever since its inception. The entire city is built around the Meenakshi Amman temple. Madurai Meenakshi temple attracts six thousand visitors a day and gets an annual revenue of rupees sixty million. It attained 26th place in the list of top nominees for the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Madurai is firmly anchored in Tamil literature and tradition. It is home to many poets and artisans and houses an abundance of literary wealth of both classical and modern Tamil. It was the seat of the Tamil Academy in the past. The city has been a centre for learning and pilgrimage for centuries. The three Tamil Sangams evolved and flourished here. The city"s ancient Tamil kings were great warriors, poets and connoisseurs of art. Tamil literature flourished because of their generosity and literary fervor.

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