Madurai (Tamil: மதுரை) is a major city and cultural headquarters in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and the 25th largest urban agglomeration in India. Madurai is the second largest city by area and third largest city by population in Tamil Nadu. Madurai Corporation is the second largest corporation in Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of River Vaigai, Madurai has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Temperatures during summer generally reach a maximum of 40 °C and a minimum of 26.3 °C, although temperatures up to 42 °C are not uncommon. Winter temperatures range between 29.6 °C and 18 °C. A study based on the data available with the Indian Meteorological Department on Madurai over a period of 62 years indicate rising trend in atmospheric temperature over Madurai city, attributed to urbanisation, growth of vehicles and industrial activity.The maximum temperature of 42 °C for the decade of 2001 – 2010 was recorded in 2004 and in 2010
The people of Madurai celebrate numerous festivals, including Meenakshi Tirukkalyanam, the Chittirai Festival and the Car Festival. The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, also called Chittirai festival, is celebrated during April–May every year and attracts one million visitors. Legend has it that the Hindu god Vishnu, as Alagar, rode on a golden horse to Madurai to attend the celestial wedding of Meenakshi (Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Shiva). During the Cradle festival, the festive idols of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are taken in procession to a mirror chamber and set on a rocking swing for nine days. Avanimoolam festival is celebrated during September when the 64 sacred games of Shiva, thiruvilayadal, are recited. The Thepporchavam festival, or float festival, is celebrated on the full moon day of the Tamil month Thai, which falls around January – February, to celebrate the birth anniversary of King Thirumalai Nayak. The decorated icons of Meenakshi and her consort are taken out in a procession from the Meenakshi Temple to the Mariamman Teppakulam. The icons are floated in the tank on a raft decked with flowers and flickering lamps. Jallikattu is one of the most popular historical sport in Tamil Nadu, and is a part of the Pongal festival (harvest festival) celebrated during January. The bull taming event is held in the villages surrounding Madurai, and people from the neighbouring villages throng to the open grounds to watch man and bull pitting their strength against each other. The event was banned in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 following an order by Supreme court of India. Santhanakoodu festivals in Madurai are celebrated on various days during the Islamic calendar year to commemorate Islamic saints.Madurai is consider as important hub for Indian film industry for film shootings.