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How To Reach Madurai
Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu is situated on the fertile plains of South India, watered by the Vaigai River which flows through the northwest and southeast of the city. Madurai lies on the south of Tamil Nadu, bound by Dindugal and Thiruchirapalli in the North, Theni in the West, Virudhunagar in the south and Sivagangai on the East.
Madurai is one of the major and well developed transport hubs of Tamil Nadu, connecting the southern districts of the state with the northern ones. The city is well connected to neighbouring districts and cities by road, rail and by air. The easiest means to reach Madurai would be by flight, since Madurai airport links a number of cities and towns in the South with other parts of the country by flight.
Madurai has domestic and international airports south of the city that serve the city as well as the Southern districts like Rameshwaram and Virudhunagar. There are domestic flights to Hyderabad,Coimbatore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru and international flights from countries like Dubai, Singapore and Colombo. The Airport is about 12 km from the city centre. There are a number of state buses that can be boarded at the airport to reach Mofussil bus stations like Aarapalayam and M.G.R Bus Stand. There are cabs also that can be hired.
The Madurai Junction is one of the primary rail heads of Tamil Nadu. The city serves as the nerve centre of the Madurai division of the Southern Railways. Trains from most cities including Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Bopal, Kolkata and New Delhi arrive at Madurai. There are auto rickshaws and cabs outside the Rail station that can be hired to drop you off at your destination.
Madurai is well connected to neighbouring cities and states by National Highways and State Highways. Madurai has two Mofussil Bus Terminus called M.G.R Bus Stand and Aarapalayam Bus Terminus that cater to bus services from many cities and towns in Tamil Nadu and to Tirupathi, Puducherry and Bengaluru.
Apart from these state run buses, there are private buses, regular, A/C seaters, and sleeper buses to Madurai from cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chittoor or Mumbai. You could also plan a trip by car to Madurai from metros like Chennai (462 km) or Bengaluru (435 km). There are fine four lane roads, with good highway restaurants so driving over to the temple city on a weekend, would be a breeze.
There are local government buses to get around the city. Buses might be crowded during peak hours and there is the possibility that you are often caught up in traffic snarls, especially near market areas. The other options would be cabs that can be hired for sightseeing over longer distances, share autos or the auto rickshaws that are available near railway stations, bus stands or near shopping centres that can be used for getting around to places close by. You could also hail a passing auto rickshaw. There are quite a good number of bus stands in Madurai and all of them have information centres on bus routes that you might find useful for getting around. There are bikes on hire, otherwise you could use the traditional horse drawn tongas or cycle rickshaws that are usually run near the Meenakshi Temple.