Madurai is a major city and cultural headquarters in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and the 31st largest urban agglomeration in India. Madurai is the third largest city by population in Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of River Vaigai, Madurai has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Madurai is closely associated with the Tamil language, and the third Tamil Sangam, a major congregation of Tamil scholars said to have been held in the city. The recorded history of the city goes back to the 3rd century BCE, being mentioned by Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India, and Kautilya, a minister of the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya. Signs of human settlements and Roman trade links dating back to 300BC are evident from excavations by Archeological Survey of India in Manalur. 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. The city has a number of historical monuments, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent. Madurai is an important industrial and educational hub in South Tamil Nadu. The city is home to various automobile, rubber, chemical and granite manufacturing industries. It has developed as a second-tier city for information technology (IT), and some software companies have opened offices in Madurai. The Tamil Nadu government has planned a satellite town for Madurai near Thoppur. Madurai has important government educational institutes like the Madurai Medical College, Homeopathic Medical College, Madurai Law College, Agricultural College and Research Institute. Madurai city is administered by a municipal corporation established in 1971 as per the Municipal Corporation Act. Madurai is the second corporation in Tamil Nadu next to Chennai corporation. The city covers an area of 242.97 km2 and had a population of 1,017,865 in 2011. The city is also the seat of a bench of the Madras High Court.



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