Why Madurai is called as thoonga nagaram ?
Madurai, the town bestowed upon with a name as sweet as nectar, has more to it than temple architecture and fragrant jasmine buds. This famous South-Indian temple town is a cultural hotspot with much to offer to traditionalists and modernists alike! With a rich heritage that has laid the foundation for the city to a progressive mindset of the inhabitants, there’s little to criticise and even less time to see it all!
Comparing the humble beginnings of Madurai to other sleepless metropolitan cities might seem heavily contrasting at first glance. However, peel away at the layers of judgement, and you’ll see a city not so different from the metros scattered about the country!
Let’s get into one of the most asked questions about this town! Why Madurai is called as thoonga nagaram ?
Why Madurai Is called As Thoonga Nagaram ? Is It The Magnificent Temple Architecture
Madurai is not referred to as the “Temple Town” just so. It has earned the title thanks to the numerous immaculately built structures that dot its land. From the ever divine Meenakshi Amman Temple in the centre of the town to the Azhagar Kovil Temple, there’s an abundance of deities and devotees that share a sacred bond.
Let us also reminisce about the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, a view we are blessed to be subject to each time we head towards our studio!
Each of these sacred buildings boasts stunning architecture, wrapped in tales of the past and ever cherished as we pray that they outlive the near future.
The temple streets always promise the hustle and bustle of sorts, with families from around the country pacing as they look for the nearest temple entrance. Divine photos, figurines, and books are plentiful and meet the eye until late at night.
Bountiful Brass and Bronze Line Every Street
South India is well known for numerous things, brass and bronze vessels being amongst the popular ones. However, despite having brass and bronze heirlooms, people throng the markets in the late afternoon, selecting the most radiant of pieces, asking question after question to ensure they leave with the best.
Admittedly, millennials’ newfound love for these metals is an excellent contributing factor to the crowds in front of the tiny shops. Not to forget their hope of passing it down to the generations to come.
Another interesting observation is the number of people that share a love for vintage and antique artefacts! With studios open for in-person sales and customers reaching out to shop owners seeking out the old and cherished, the vintage decor business is seeing a boom in growth!
Why Madurai Is called As Thoonga Nagaram ? Could It Be Tourists And Their Two-Night Stays
As a town that welcomes all, Madurai has its lights on for the wonderful folks who arrive exhausted at odd hours! From small stalls that sell piping hot food and snacks to late-night carts that offer a strong cup of coffee for tired crowds, it’s “lights on, and show goes on” at night!
Local cabs and taxis operate late into the night, keeping the city streets and strays wide awake.
Jasmine’s Fragrance Meets Fresh Earthy Veggies
If you’ve been to a farmer’s market or know a farmer that brings his goods to the market mela, you know the early hours they need to keep. The GI-tagged Jasmine has many admirers, and the crowds that haggle away to get the best prices are a sight for sleepy eyes!
The late-night spotlights bleed into the early hours of dawn, the sun barely visible and truck loaders making the most of their loud vocals as they stow away their produce in the back. Temple flowers, too, make their way to the respective stalls in the back of these trucks, awaiting the deft fingers of skilled women that make stunning garlands out of them.
Coconuts begin cracking away, and water droplets adorn every bud and leaf on display just before sales begin! The temple streets smell of incense as devotees avoid stepping into puddles in front of shops with their white dhotis and cotton sarees.
It is nothing short of a perfect transition, from dusk to dawn.
Satire Steeped In Truth
We know Why Madurai is called as thoonga nagaram . But what of the sleepless city, the thoonga nagaram, being sleepless in more ways than those romanticised?
At least 30% of Madurai’s inhabitants suffer from sleep disorders owing to numerous factors such as stress, night shifts and mood disorders. While many people suffer from the same, it is astonishing to see them take it with a grain of salt.
Does Madurai need a wake-up call? Would thoonga nagaram be the same without its characteristic liveliness?
Possibly. The temple town is a cultural haven that welcomes all with open arms, and it will always be remembered that way!
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