The Pandyan King Kulasekarar constructed a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord Shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri.
It is situated on the banks of river Vaigai and is surrounded by several mountains. It has 3 hills as its city boundary. Yanaimalai, Nagamalai, Pasumalai named after Elephent, Snake and Cow respectively. Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.
Most prominent temple is that of Sri Minakshi - Sundareswarar Temple. Complex of this temple is literally a city - one of the largest of its kind in India and undoubtedly one of the oldest too.
Tirukalyanam festival, also called Chittirai festival, is celebrated during the month of April-May every year and believed to attract one million visitors.