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Madurai, The city that never sleeps! - Seven Sarees

Madurai, The city that never sleeps!

Introduction

Thoonga nagaram, the city that never sleeps and is also super charged all through the day. Madurai is  renowned for some of the most stunning temples and also the best cotton textiles in the world .

The Temples of Madurai

I often joke to my customers and friends, that once they visit the temples of Madurai, they are spoiled for all the others, as every other temple in the world fades in comparison. Thes ancient , grand temples transport you to a different era. An era of kings and queens, and a period described in eloquent language in the epics when the fine arts and literature flourished and the people lived in prosperity and harmony.

Exploring the City

My day in Madurai, starts with a long walk around the newer areas of the city, closer to the famous Gandhi Museum. You can’t resist stopping for idli and vadas at a roadside shop and wonder at the taste of this nutritious breakfast.  One important thing to note is when in madurai, you never need to pack food as great quality food is available anywhere everywhere!


I would quickly hit one of the ancient temples around Madurai for some soul searching. My favorites are the Yoga Narasimha temple, Thirumohur temple, Kalalagar temple and the Ayyanar temple!


Mostly I would try to avoid crowds and that may have influenced my preferences here but if you are a first time visitor, never miss the Meenakshi amman temple! It is definitely a wonder! 

Madurai's Cotton Sarees

Post this , I will directly go to meet our weavers , each of them located 2-3 hours from each other making it a good amount of long drives along the scenic village routes.

Most of our weavers work from home ( pun intended). They are part of weaving clusters who keep the looms at their home or in stations very close to them. You can always find their children close by. So visiting them inevitably makes us a part of their family and they share stories and all updates since my last visit!

Madurai’s cotton sarees are very famous , given their quality and durability. World over they are recognised for their right thickness. But one type which definitely stays with you is the sungudi saree, designed with a resist dyeing technique on very high quality cotton cloth. This exclusive creation is traditionally produced using tie and dye (using natural dyes) method by the Saurashtrians who migrated to Madurai under the patronage of King Thirumalai Naicker in the 17th century.

Madurai's Famous Jigarthanda- Not to miss!

On the way back home, I never miss Madurai’s famous Jigarthanda, a drink made with sea weed, icecream and rabdi. I pick this up from the original shop at a place called Vilakkuthoon. A delicious treat enough to satiate your sweet tooth for a few weeks! 




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