Madurai is a major city of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located on the banks of river Vaigai. The city is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Pandyas,Cholas, Madurai Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Carnatic kingdom, and the British before Independence.
The city has a number of historical monuments, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent. Madurai is today an important industrial and educational hub in South Tamil Nadu, home to various automobile, rubber, chemical and granite manufacturing industries. It has also developed as a second-tier city for information technology (IT), and some software companies have opened offices in Madurai.
Madurai has important government educational institutes like the Madurai Medical College, Homeopathic Medical College, Madurai Law College, Agricultural College and Research Institute.
Madurai has been inhabited since at least the 3rd century BCE. The city is also mentioned in Kautilya's Arthashastra. Sangam literature records the importance of Madurai as a capital city of the Pandyan dynasty. Madurai is mentioned in the works of Roman historians, Greek geographers and also in ancient texts which gives an indication of how far back in History Madurai had come into existence.
After the Sangam rule, it was ruled by the Kalabhra dynasty who then got ousted by the Pandya dynasty. During the 9th century the Cholas took over from the Pandyas. In the 13th century it was taken over by the Delhi Sultanate. After several conflicts and change of rule it came under the British in the early part of the 19th century. Subsequently in Free India after independence it remained with Tamil Nadu state.