We follow the trail leading to the ancient " tower of light " and stand there to gaze at south india's oldest police station. From here we head to the grand ruined gopuram, intricately carved and majestic, its capitol fell many hundred years ago creating a deafening roar, sending shock waves through the city.
The gopuram marks the entrance to the " Pudu mandapam " or ' new hall " The Pudu mandapam holds scultpures so alive and detailed that they seem to leap off the pillars that bear them.
In the Pudu Mandapam you will find the craftsmen of today. It is here that you can have dresses both traditional and western stitched for you in an hour. Bangles, decorative garlands and scarves are piled high, making it an exciting end to the walking trail.
Cultural Heritage Tour
A visit to madurai is not complete without a visit to the flower market. It is South India's largest fresh flower trading centre, bustling with activity and filled with seasonal flowers, it is forms a great start to day spent exploring Madurai's cultural heritage.
Next we stop at a weaver's cooperative, famous for weaving the renowned Sungudi saris. Woven by hand, it is a traditional craft that is fast loosing ground to the power loom.
Silambam, a traditional marital art form, performed using a bamboo stick, originated in the Kurinjii Hills over 5000 years ago. It utilizes stances and routines based on animal movements such as the snake, tiger, elephant and eagle forms. A performance of silambam in many ways personifies Madurai's history. resilience and energy.
Madurai is surrounded by mountains, and hills. hand crafting granite idols and pillars is another thriving industry in Madurai.
At every turn on this cultural tour we watch the people of madurai at work, seamlessly weaving together their past with their hopes for the future.
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