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City : Madurai
Madurai is known as "City of Temples" and "Thoonga Nagaram" (the city that never sleeps). It is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu located on the banks of River Vaigai. The dialect of Tamil spoken here is called "Madurai Tamil". Pandian and Vaigai Express trains connect the city to Chennai. The city is an important hub for education in South India. American College, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai Medical College, Law College and Thiagarajar College of Management are well known educational institutions located here. The city is known for Jasmine flower and Idly (a South Indian breakfast dish).
Places of interest in Madurai include Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, Pazhamudir Cholai and Thiruparankundram. Out of the six abodes of Lord Muruga, two are located in Madurai. The city is known for 'Chithirai Thiruvizha' or Meenakshi Thirukalyanam held for 10 days in the month or April or May every year. More than 100,000 devotees take part in the festivities every year.
The cuisine of Madurai is known to have a unique taste. The dishes from Madurai include Fish fry, Nattu Kozhi Kulambu, Veechu Parotta, Egg dosa and Appam with stew. Jigarthanda is a famous drink from here. Paddy is the main crop cultivated here. One can find several chemical and automobile industries in Madurai. IT SEZs have started to function in the city.
As per a Tamil epic called "Silapathikaram", it is said that Kannagi burnt the whole city owing to an incorrect judgement given by the King of Madurai in a case relating to her husband Kovalan. Several leading film personalities are from Madurai, including Ilayaraja (musician), Bharathiraja (Film director), Vairamuthu (lyricist), Vadivelu (actor), Vijaykanth (politician) and M.S. Subbulakshmi (Carnatic Singer and Bharat Ratna awardee).
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