Madurai’s temples and palaces can be bewildering, so a private tour with a personal guide to show you around is a good move. This private full-day tour showcases the city’s highlights while providing in-depth background. Among other sights, take in must-sees such as the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Gandhi Museum, and out-of-town Tiruparamkundram Temple, one of Hinduism’s holiest sites. Hotel pickup and drop-off, and entrance fees all included.
After pickup from your Madurai hotel, set off by air-conditioned vehicle with your guide. On route, hear about Madurai, one of the world’s oldest cities, famous for its connections to Mahatma Gandhi, and export of jasmine flowers.
Stop first to see Madura’s showpiece: the 17th-century Meenakshi Amman Temple, overlooking the River Vaigai. Marvel at the sprawling temple, dedicated to Parvati and Shiva, and view its spectacular gateway towers (gopurams), covered in brightly painted carvings of Hindu gods.
Learn about the temple’s religious significance as you explore, and then continue to the Gandhi Museum, dedicated to India’s great independence leader, set inside a 17th-century royal palace.
Chart Gandhi’s connections with Madurai against the backdrop of India’s struggle against British rule, culminating in its independence in 1947, and see the prize exhibit: a piece of the blood-stained garment Gandhi was wearing on his assassination in 1948.
Following lunch (own expense), visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, a 17th-century palace of Madurai’s Nayak kings. After admiring its Dravidian-Islamic architecture, travel to the Tiruparamkundram Temple, known as one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan.
View the temple’s 7-tier tower and 8th-century rock-cut shrine, and then conclude your tour with a hotel drop-off.