I was in Virumandi‘s Country for the last few days on a personal job. Madurai, I meant. Madurai is a fabulous city with tons of historical happenings. When I had been to madurai, few years back it was still a mediocre town trying desperately to elevate to the status of a city that it is today.
Today, Madurai displays lots of growth in terms of infra-structure and population (!!). It is wonderfully lit at the night and looks dazzling. We were staying in the third floor of a 2-and-a-half-star (?) hotel, and it had plenty of dis-advantages except for the single good thing, pure water. For someone like me who has seen the dirty brownish chennai water for the most of my life in India, the deep south of tamilnadu attracts me just for its purity of water. And madurai was none less than the siruvani water in coimbatore. Though Vaigai river looks very good and dry as a barren isolated land, the water in madurai seems amazingly good. If allowed, I would have done nothing but to be immersed in that water for all of my stay.
I wanted desperately to see the Madurai Nayakkar Mahal, famously known as the Aayirankaal Mandapam (Place of Thousand Pillars). It is called as a testimony to the excellence of Dravidian architecture. I missed it because busukku neramachu. It is more famously known for the shot where Arvind Swamy pushes himself in one of pillars and does the famous jump in Kannalaney song in the film Bombay. Yeah, Kannalane song was shot in Madurai Nayakkar Mahal. And if you are one of the handful few who watched Mani Ratnam‘s Iruvar, most of the important scenes where shot there. The amazing scene when Mohanlal comes running into the mahal to see Prakashraj, who is sitting on the top of the roof and thinking of his political moves followed by near-natural conversation these two great icons of tamilnadu.
Striking a conversation with a old man who was in his late seventies, gave me lots of insight into this great city. It has been known as the Dravidian Cradle and the birth place of many political happenings. More importantly Madurai has been the most important town in MGRs life, both filmy and political. I could still see many huge banners for Rajinikanth and predictions of his political life in the heart of the city. Posters all around the place to celebrate the coming of Virumandi Music. These maduraites have a reason to celebrate that. Though shot in the sets of Campa Cola in chennai, Virumandi story is based in the villages like Thenni, Periyakulam which are in and around madurai.
You get some real good Malli poo (Malligai in tamizh or Jasmine). Thats the not the information. Malli Idli is very tasty here and it hails from madurai. Though not very hygenic, the malli idli sold in the street corners are the hot selling after the TASMAC wine shops. Most corners of the streets have a lady sitting with two baskets full of Malli Idlis and good smelling sambar. When asked her, she said, her everyday sales touched closed to a thousand. Want some Malli Idlis? . Take a trip to madurai.
Some madurai pics in my photoblog.