Madurai District is in South Western Tamilnadu. Refer Southwestern_Tamil_Nadu
Madurai city is the headquarters of this district. There are many places of tourist interest in this district. There are many sub-divisions or Taluks in this district. The notable among them are Melur, Usilampatti, Thirumangalam and Vadipatti. These taluks are approximately 30-50 kilometres from Madurai city. There are many places in these taluks that are worth visiting in this district.
Most travelers arrive Madurai city by train and travel by buses to the places in the district.
- 'Thiruadavur Koil' - This temple is situated 25 kilometres from Madurai city and 5 kilometres from Othakadai in Madurai district. This temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and Parvathy. This is the birth place of the great saivite saint Manickavasagar.
- 'Thirumogur Koil' - This temple is situated 20 kilometres from Madurai City and 3 kilometres from Othakadai in Madurai District. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Senbagavalli. This is a famous Vaishnavite temple in this district. The phone number of the temple office is 0452-2423227.
- 'Jallikattu festival' - The most popular sport in Tamil Nadu is part of the pongal celebrations. This game of valour is held in the villages like Alanganallur in Madurai district with great enthusiasm. People from the neighbouring villages throng the open grounds to watch man and beast pitting their strength against each other. This is held in January every year. This is like the Spanish bull fights.
- 'Vandiyur Mariamman Koil' - This temple is in the outskirts of Madurai city and is dedicated to goddess Marimamman. This is built by Thirumalai Nayakar king centuries ago. There is a famous tank nearby.
- 'Sindhupatti Thiru Venkatachalapthy Koil' - This temple is called as "Then Thiruppathi" after the famous Thirupathi temple. This is approximately an hour's journey from Madurai in Thirumangalam district.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. There are festivals all the year for Lord Venkateswara.
- 'Solai amman temple' - This is one of the six of the holiest of Murugan shrines refered to as the Aarupadai Veedugal.Unlike the other five temples, there is no grand edifice surrounding the central shrine of worship. However, this is a holy shrine venerated by the Skanda puranam and by Nakkeerar’s Thirumurugatrupadai of the Sangam period. Arunagirinathar's Thirupugazh also reveres this shrine.
- ' Pandi Koil ' - This temple is famous for outings from Madurai city. Often, the school children are taken for Picnic to this scenic spot and also pray in the temple there. This is approximately an hour's drive from Madurai City.
- ' Kodlambatti falls or Aruvi' - This falls is on the Madurai-Kodaikanal hill route and is 36 kilometres from Madurai city. This is situated 7 kilometres from Kodalambatti and the height of the falls is approximately 87 feet. During the rainy season, travelers in this area throng to see and bathe in the gushing water. There is a 500 year old Nachiamman temple here.
- 'Yanamalai' - A scenic beautiful mountain in the Melur taluk near Othakadai town. This resembles the shape of an elephant from a distance. There is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha in this place.
- 'Lord siva and Draupadi temple' - There is a famous Lord Siva and Draupadi amman temple in Melur taluk. This is approximately 30 kms from Madurai city. The temple festival is held annually. There is a famous event related to an event in Mahabharata - Biman - Keesakan fight enacted here annually. There are many other festivals that are conducted here.
- 'Thirumangalam Meenakshi amman temple' - In Thirumangalam which is 25 kilometres approximately from Madurai city, there is an ancient centuries-old temple devoted for Chokkanathar and Meenakshi Godess .It was believed that the town name “ Thirumangalam “ was derived from the word “ Thirumangalyam” which refers that the “ Thirumangalyam “ (Sacred neklace worn by married Hindu women) of Goddess Meenakhi of Madurai was designed here at Thirumangalam.
- 'Gundar tributary' - The Thirumangalam town is situated on the banks of river Gundar, a tributary of river Vaigai.
- 'Vadipatti - Kulasekaran Kottai' - This village is situated approximately 30 km away from Madurai city. This is an ancient village built by Pandya King (many centuries ago) had built the Meenakshi temple and this village. Kutlampatti falls is near this village.
- 'Thiruvedagam' - This is a famous historical place where the palm-leaf manuscript of Saivite Saint Thirunavakkarasar is believed to have washed ashore floating against the currents of vaigai river (upstream). In the Sekkilar's Periyapuranam, this event is described in detail.
The famous Vivekananda college and school are situated in this picturesque village by the vaigai riverside. This is situated in Vadipatti taluk approximately 18 km from MAdurai city and 2 kiloemetres from Sholavandan Railway station. Sholavandan is an agricultural town where you can see vast acres of green paddy fields by the vaigai river. Travelers who wish to see the country side can take a detour here to visit agricultural villages around Sholavandan.
'Usilampatti' is famous for crispy Biscuits.
Thirumangalam contains a lot of vegetarian restaurants. They are:
Arya bhavan - A/c - Madurai road
Vasantha bhavan - A/c - Madurai road
Meenakshi bhavan - A/C - Madurai road
Hotel Karpagam -
The non-veg options are
Muniyandi Vilas - Usilampatti road
Anandha hotel - Madurai road