Embark on a joyous paddle rickshaw ride, organised by Hi! Tours, through the bustling bylanes of Madurai’s local markets. As you pass through these busy lanes, you will get an opportunity to witness the hustle-bustle of onion and vegetable markets. The way local vendors of this city indulge in their business to earn livelihood will surely intrigue you. Besides, the freshness and aroma of vegetables will particularly draw your attention.
A cultural tour of the southern part of India is absolutely incomplete without visiting the revered city of Madurai. Referred to as one of the popular temple towns of South India, the sacred city is located on the banks of River Vaigai. Boating of a cultural history and heritage of more than 2500 years, the city once served as the capital under the great Pandya rule.
Hi! Tours representative will help you begin your journey from the historic edifice of Thirumalai Nayak Palace. Lying about two km away from the revered Meenakshi Amman Temple, the majestic Thirumalai Nayak Palace dates back to 1636. Build by the great ruler, Thirumalai Nayak, the architectural marvel is known for its stuccowork on its domes and arches. Reflecting Indo-Saracenic architectural style, the palace’s celestial pavilion called Sorgavilasam is constructed using brick and mortar without the support of rafter. What draws more attention towards the architectural brilliance of this structure is its huge white pillars lining the courtyard and connected by ornate arches.
En route take a close look at the colourful local markets of the city and how small vendors indulge in vegetable selling to earn their livelihood. These vibrant markets are also dotted with myriad food stalls selling regional delicacies. The aroma of these fresh preparations is surely going to make you hungry.
As you reach the revered Meenakshi Amman Temple (the place where your ride ends), explore the stalls nearby. Here you would get a variety of knick-knacks used in puja ceremonies.
Meenakshi Amman Temple is the lifeline of this temple city. Also referred to as the Meenakshi Sundareswarar twin temple, the shrine has beautiful idols of Sundareswarar (incarnation of Lord Shiva) and his fish-eyed better half, Meenakshi (incarnation of Shakti). Be it the huge gateways, thousand-pillar hall, intricate carvings on pillars or musical pillars, the architecture of this temple is worth beholding.
The hour-long ride ends at this holy shrine but the entire event duration can be extended up to two hours on prior request of guests. This would include a ride through other facets of the city like banana market, bamboo bazaar, flower market and Dhobi ghat.