Located on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai is one of the most significant places in the state of Tamil Nadu and is known as the Athens of the East. Hence, it is also one of the most visited places in South India on account of the presence of several historic buildings and major industries.
However, it is popular amongst tourists for its beautiful temple, Meenakshi Amman Temple, which is one of the most visited temples in India and Tirumalai Nayak Palace, which is a 17th-century palace built by the Nayaka dynasty of Madurai.
There are also several places around Madurai which definitely deserve a visit from every traveller due to their exotic beauty and worldwide fame. These places are perfect weekend getaways from Madurai and hence, can be visited this season.
Distance from Madurai - 190 km
Dhanushkodi is located on the Pamban Island in the state of Tamil Nadu and is an abandoned town since its destruction during the 1964 cyclone. Today, you can only see the ruined structures of its buildings and houses.
The major reason why everyone should catch a glimpse of Dhanushkodi lies behind its serene and calm atmosphere. Being situated on the Pamban Island, it offers its visitors with spectacular views of the sea and nearby places.
Distance from Madurai - 116 km
Kodaikanal is one of the few hill stations in India which remain less crowded even during the summer season. Therefore, it becomes a must-visit place this season to escape the heat of the city and get lost in the cool surroundings of its pristine nature.
Located in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is also known as the princess of hill stations and is a perfect summer retreat for every traveller. From enjoying the panoramic views of the mountain ranges to savouring the beauty of its dazzling lakes and beautiful waterfalls, one can do everything in its unexplored environment filled with the essence of tranquillity.
The major places to visit in Kodaikanal include Coaker's Walk, Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, Dolphin's Nose and Pillar Rocks.
Distance from Madurai - 171 km
Located on Pamban Island near the abandoned town of Dhanushkodi, Rameswaram is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus and is popular for its age-old temples. This beautiful holy place is named after Lord Rama as it believed that after defeating demon king Ravana at Sri Lanka, Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva here to get rid of all the sins that he might have committed during the war.
Apart from temples and religious places, one can also explore its natural surroundings. The major places to visit in Rameswaram include Ramanathaswamy Temple, Pamban Lighthouse, Ariyaman Beach and Five-faced Hanuman Temple.
Distance from Madurai - 150 km
Tuticorin is an important port city in Tamil Nadu which is home to several major industries of the state. It is also known as the Pearl City due to its involvement in pearl fishing. Unknown to many, Tuticorin is also home to several beautiful beaches and ancient monuments.
The history of this commercial seaport dates back to the period of the early Pandyas in the 6th century. Hence, you can find several ancient temples and churches within its boundaries. The major places to visit in Tuticorin include Tuticorin Beach, Our Lady of Snows Basilica, Tuticorin Port and Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.
Distance from Madurai - 305 km
Who would not love to spend their weekends in the exotic surroundings and surreal places of Ooty? If you have never been to Ooty, then you must consider visiting this marvellous place this season. Also known as Udagamandalam, Ooty is one of the most popular and most visited hill stations in India. It is located on the thriving Nilgiri Hills and hence, is known as the Queen of Hill Stations.
From pine forests to botanical gardens and scintillating lakes to soothing waterfalls, everything is present within the boundaries of Ooty which in turn allure the tourists from all over the country. The major places to visit include Mukurthi National Park, Pine Forest, Lake Emerald and Pykara.
Distance From Madurai - 190 km
Thanjavur is famous amongst tourists for its ancient temples and historical monuments, such as the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Thanjavur is an idyllic weekend getaway if you are looking to learn a little bit about the history of India along with roaming around its paddy fields and farmlands.