Madurai is the quintessence of India, a city with ancient temples and extraordinary traditions that sit side by side with a booming economy. It’s the second largest city in India’s traditional state of Tamil Nadu, and although it looks like any other Indian city at first glance, when you get to the centre you’ll find something completely unique; Sri Meenakshi Temple. This candy-coloured complex is one of the finest examples of dravidian temple architecture, a style that arguably influenced both Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Prambanan in Indonesia. The city date back some 2500 years, and the 17-acre compound of Sri Meenakshi is among the holiest in South India, making a stop here a significant part of many itineraries through South India. Madurai is easily combined with Munnar and Periyar in Kerala as well as Tanjore, Trichy and Dindigal in Tamil Nadu. We highly recommend stopping here for a night or two.