Famous Personalities from Madurai

While Madurai is well-known as a temple city, there is much more to the city than its temples. This historically significant city has thrown up many luminaries in the fields of arts, sciences and politics. Here is a brief list of some of these famous personalities originating from Madurai:


A Tamil film director par excellence’, he has delivered one box office hit after another in his young career. Likewise the actors in his films have also shot up to fame.

Bharathi Raja

Another famous film director, he uses his creative films as a platform for increasing social awareness. He has received three national awards and has directed films in Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu as well.


This famous music director had humble beginnings but rose up to national and international fame. He has composed excellent music for over 840 Indian films in various languages and has received National Film Awards multiple times. He has even composed a symphony for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Indira Soundarajan

He is a famous Tamil writer well-known for his short stories, novels and screenplays and dialogues for TV serials.

M.S. Subbulakshmi

A renowned Carnatic singer, she was born into a musical family. She has sung for films in various languages and received the Bharat Ratna, the highest Indian civilian award.

Madurai Mani Iyer

Popularly known as Music Palghat, he is a renowned and great Carnatic singer and a Mridangam Vidwan. His passion for music took him all over India and several other countries too. He has also received the President’s Award.

Jana Krishnamurthy

He quit his flourishing law practice to join politics and eventually climbed up the ladder to become the first Tamil president of the BJP party.

M.M.R. Subbaraman

He was popularly known as ‘Madurai Gandhi’ and his passions led him to participate in all the Satyagraha Movements and was even jailed for five years. He continuously worked for uplifting lives of the Harijans (Untouchables) and participated in establishing the first Gandhi Museum in India, in Madurai.

Rukmini Devi Arudale

She was an excellent Bharatnatyam dancer and later became the cultural ambassador and educationist, visiting several countries. She was also called the visionary architect of Indian culture.

Augustus De Morgan

Born in Madurai, but grew up in Britain, he grew up as a brilliant mathematician and logician. He also formulated the De Morgan’s laws used the world over and discovered relational algebra. The Mathematics department of University College of London still honors his memory.

There are many more equally-talented luminaries originating from Madurai….too many to mention here!