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The ancient temple and trading town whose settlement dates back to 300 BCE, Madurai (current pop. 1.6 million) is the cultural capital of one of India's southernmost states, Tamil Nadu. This eclectic settlement attracted rulers, travelers, and traders, not only within India but also from around the world. From the Romans and Greeks in 302 BC to the Arabs and Sufi saints in 900 AD, followed by the Ceylonese merchants and the local Chettiar hings, the city of Madurai had myriad influences over the centuries.
A flourishing market, a center of power and a cornerstone of divinity, Madurai is a journey that is worth exploring. The stories in towns and cities as old as Madurai are always discovered in the lanes and bylanes, in the daily routine of urban life and in the local watering holes. That is why you should explore Madurai like a local.