Madurai, located in the south of India in the Tamil Nadu region, is city with a past. Its history dates back as far as the third century BCE and it has several monuments attesting to this. They include the striking Meenakshi Amman Hindu temple which is made up of 14 gateway towers, the tallest of which rises above the city at 170ft. It attracts around 15,000 visitors per day thanks to its colourful intricately carved exterior which has helped it become an intrinsic part of the city.
While temples and museums narrate the city's captivating story, shopping malls and an amusement park remind you of the Madurai's economic importance. It's also been nicknamed Thoonga Nagaram, which is translated to the City that Never Sleeps thanks to its lively nightlife.
You can fly to Madurai from London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Belfast. Unfortunately at present there aren't any direct flights from these cities, so the journey will include at least one stopover. Madurai flights are offered by a selection of airlines including Jet Airways and Air India. Journey time including the stopover/s can range from 16 - 33 hours.
Madurai is hot throughout the year, with temperatures often in excess of 40°C from March - June. From November - February the city cools slightly, making this a great time to visit. This is also when the city sees the most rain. But don't be put off - it's a good way of cooling down!
There are several religious festivals happening in Madurai throughout the year including Festival of the Cradle in celebration of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar and the dance festival which lasts 15 days and showcases dance genres from all over the country.