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Madurai's history dates back to the 3rd century BC. The city in Tamil Nadu is a land of ancient temples like the Meenakshi Temple and has always been a hub of learning and architecture. The city's prosperity in ancient times has been well documented in the accounts of Megasthenes, Ibn Batuta and Marco Polo. Legend has it that the name 'Madurai' is derived from the madhura (sweetness) of the nectar showered on the city by Lord Shiva from his long flowing hair when he came to bless the city.

The most ancient cities in India

On the 380th birth anniversary of Chennai (Formerly Madras), we take a look at some of the oldest cities in India.