MADURAI, TAMIL NADU
If you only visit one temple town in Tamil Nadu, we recommend visiting the Shree Meenakshi in Madurai. Considered to be the finest of its kind in Tamil Nadu, this great temple’s towering gopurams are covered in a riot of gaily painted, dancing and cavorting Gods and Goddesses. The entire temple is given over to worship but outside there are markets and stalls and it is almost reminiscent of how the ancient monasteries would have been centuries ago with people trading, plying on the pilgrims as they flock to prayer, which many still do as it is one of India’s most sacred pilgrimage centers. It was originally laid out in accordance with an ancient temple custom whereby the Great Temple dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi was placed at its center. If you can, make the time to visit these temples in both the morning and evening to experience the pujas, processions, music and singing in its numerous pillared halls. Each time of day offers a multitude of different experiences.