Madurai district is a district of Tamil Nadu state with its administrative headquarters located at Madurai city. The district got its name from its headquarters city, Madurai. The place, Madurai is also popularly known by various names such as Madurai, Koodal, Malligai Maanagar, Naanmadakoodal and Thirualavai. There are many interesting theories associated with the name of the place. According to the first one, the term Madurai is taken from the word Madhura meaning sweetness which was arising out of the divine nectar showered on the city by the Hindu god Shiva from his matted hair. Another theory is that Madurai is derived from the word Marutham, which refers to the type of landscape of the Sangam age. For a long period of time, the place Madurai was ruled by two prominent kingdoms namely Pandyas and the Nayaks. Furthermore, the place was also ruled by other different kingdoms during the different periods of time. Finally, the British came to Madurai in the year 1801 and ruled over it until India got its independence in 1947. The place Madurai was emerged as a separate district in the map of Tamil Nadu state in the year 1997.
S. Venkatesan, a renowned Tamil writer was born on 16th March, 1970 at Madurai city. He was honoured with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011.
Geographically, the district lies at 9093'N latitude, 78012'E longitude and 136 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 14.96% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,710 sq. km. and it is bounded by Thiruchirapalli district on the North, Virudhunagar district on the South, Sivagangai district on the East and Theni district on the West. The climate of the district is characterised as moderate climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 987.8 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 13 talukas namely Thiruparankundram, T. Kallupatti, Tirumangalam, Kalligudi, Sedapatti, Usilampatti, Vadipatti, Melur, Madurai West, Madurai East, Kottampatti, Alanganallur and Chellampatti. Moreover, it comprises 7 sub-districts, 39 towns and 570 villages. The administrative language in the district is Tamil.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 30,38,252 out of which 15,26,475 are males and 15,11,777 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 990 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 17.84% including 17.12% were males and 18.59% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 90.86% of the total population. The population density in the district is 819 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Tamil with 92.56%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 46,065 out of which 24,181 were males and 21,884 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 30,829 out of which 18,359 were males and 12,470 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on industry since it is industrially a well developed district. Industries of textiles, tourism, agro-based, rubber, automotive, granite, software, etc are very prominent in the district. TVS Group, one of the topmost motor cycle manufacturers in India has its headquarters in the Madurai district. More than half of its population are directly or indirectly engaged in these industries in order to earn their livelihood. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 26,62,586 lakh at current price and Rs. 17,97,933 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2012-13 was Rs. 28,28,507 lakh at current price and Rs. 25,83,728 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2010-11 was Rs. 56,506 at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 83.45% out of which 89.72% are males and 77.16% are females.
Vijayaraj, a veteran Indian politician and the current Leader of the Official Opposition of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly was born on 26th August, 1952 at Madurai city. He is the founder of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, political party and a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 8th May, 2005 to 8th May, 2011 representing the Rishivandiyam constituency.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Meenakshi Sundareswarar twin temple, located at the heart of the Madurai district is one of the largest and the oldest temples in India. The contribution of each dynasty which ruled over the district is remarkable in the development of the temple. The complex of the temple covers an area of more than sixty five thousand sq m. Mariamman Teppakulam, a beautiful square shaped tank which encompasses an area of 16 acres is situated at almost 5 km. away from the Meenakshi temple. Every year in the month of January-February a colourful float festival is celebrated at the site of the tank on the birth anniversary of King Thirumalai Nayak, the founder of this tank. Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, situated at a distance of 1500 m from the Meenakshi temple was erected by the ruler Thirumalai Nayak in the year 1636. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Suruli falls, Kutladampatti falls, Vaigai Dam, Gandhi Museum, Kazimar Periya Pallivasal and many more.