The best time to visit Madurai
Madurai city is situated on the banks of the Vaigai river and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. The climate is predominantly hot around the year with the exception of few months. The hot climate reflects in their culture; in their choice of clothing as well as the diet, as keeping away heat was always an important objective woven into the very lifestyle of the city. The hottest months are from March to July and the climate gets moderate from August to October. The coolest months would be from November to January and this makes it the most comfortable time of the year to visit the city in terms of weather conditions. As Madurai is equidistant from the ocean and the mountains, both North East monsoon and South East monsoon are experienced which would mean rain in the months from October to December.
Experiencing comfortable weather while you are in Madurai would make a world of difference to your activity plans. This would mean that you would get to comfortably explore the narrow inner streets near the Meenakshi temple at leisure, soaking in all the culture, or go window shopping in streets that have been named after Tamil months and sample wonderful street-food, or just do building gazing, all without the heat getting on to you. The streets of Madurai can get searing hot in the warmer months and even plain walking on the street is very hard without the aid of proper headgear or an umbrella. A temperature of 40 degrees is not unusual at all. There are ancient families living around the temple here and their ancestral homes are all quite a sight that is not to be missed. One could also experience the Pongal festival, Madurai style in the month of January.
In case you are the more pressing kind of traveller and wouldn’t mind the humbling heat, there are quite many festivals to be witnessed in the city in the warmer months. The Chithirai festival happens between April and May and the sights and sounds around the city then have an especially beautiful old worldly feeling; almost like a trip to the past! The festival lasts more than ten days. Many other festivals also happen in the city around the year.