Madurai

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Madurai

(mədo͝orī`), city (1991 pop. 1,085,914), Tamil Nadu state, S India, on the Vaigai River. It is known as the "city of festivals and temples" and is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. The Meenakshi temple (rebuilt 16th–17th cent.), which has 1,000 carved pillars, is especially famous. Madurai is also an educational and cultural center and a market for tea, coffee, and cardamom. Important industries are the weaving and dyeing of silk and muslin cloth. As Mathurai, the city was the capital of the Pandya kingdom (5th cent. B.C.–11th cent. A.D.). In the 14th cent. it was captured by Muslim invaders, who held it until 1378, when it became part of the Hindu Vijayanagar kingdom. From c.1550 until 1736 the city was the capital of the Nayak kingdom. The Carnatic Nawabs then gained control and in 1801 ceded it to the British (see IndiaIndia,
officially Republic of India, republic (2015 est. pop. 1,309,054,000), 1,261,810 sq mi (3,268,090 sq km), S Asia. The second most populous country in the world, it is also sometimes called Bharat, its ancient name. India's land frontier (c.
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). The Nayak palace (17th cent.) is a notable building in Madurai.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Madurai

 

a city in southern India, on the Vaigai River, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Population, 548,300 (1971). Railroad junction. It is an important commercial center and one of India’s most important centers for the production of textiles (cotton and silk). Cottage industries include the manufacture of fabrics, brass working, and wood carving (artistic furnishings).

Madurai was mentioned in the second century as the capital of the Pandyan Kingdom. Between 1334 and 1371 it was the capital of the Pandyan Sultanate. Madurai subsequently became an administrative center of the Vijayanagar empire. From 1565 to 1737 it was the capital of the Vijayanagar state.

Madurai is the site of the large temple complex of Siva (12th-17th centuries), with the hall of a thousand pillars (Mandapam, c. 1560), fortress walls with exquisitely carved gopurams (tower gates), a sacred pool (Tank of Golden Lotus) surrounded by a colonnade and gallery with murals, the Meenakshi Temple, and other structures. The palace of Tirumala Nayak (17th century; portico, 1866) is located 1 km outside of Madurai.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Madurai

a city in S India, in S Tamil Nadu: centre of Dravidian culture for over 2000 years; cotton industry. Pop.: 922 913 (2001)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
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