Madurai is arguably the most ancient city in South India. The name came from an ancient myth that 'madhu' or divine nectar from the tangled locks of Lord Shiva fell on the city and it came to be known as Mudhurapuri. They city is mentioned in great deal by traveler Greek traveler (& diplomat) Megasthenes and later by Marcopolo and Ibn Batuta. It was ruled by Pandyan and Nayak kings since 10th century, along with a brief invasions from Muslim Kings from the North.
Present day Madurai is the 3rd largest city in Tamil Nadu, famous for temples built by the Pandyan and Nayak kings in the Dravidian style of architecture and fcoz, its exquisite cuisine. I went to Madurai with my mom, which was a long time dream of hers. Luckily for me, she had read lot about Madurai that at times she was much better than the guides we met in their heritage sites.
We started from our home town Kochi by Bus (only SETC bus ply from Kochi) Madurai has two bus stations - long distances buses will taxi at Maatuthaavani and local buses at Periyar Bus Stand, which is closer to all the major tourist attractions. (Tip:Most hotels will mention its distance from bus stand, but it is important to see if they are talking about Periyar Bus Stand, or we will have to waste taxi charges to reach city center). Madurai Railway Station is close to city center and the airport is some 10 kms away.