Madurai is among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Indian subcontinent. It is an ancient and prestigious city in the state of Tamil Nadu, situated on the banks of River Vaigai in the Madurai district. With a population of over 1 million people (2011), the city is spread over 109 km2 and  has a population density of 8,522 inhabitants per km2. Madurai's economy depends on automobile, rubber, textile, granite, electronics industries and, in recent years, IT has become more important as well. 

The city has an average elevation of 101 metres above mean sea level. The climate is dry and hot, with Northeast monsoon rains between October and December. Temperatures during summer reach a maximum of 40°C and a minimum of 26.3°C, though temperatures over 43°C are not uncommon. Winter temperatures range between 29.6°C and 18°C. The average annual rainfall is about 85 cm.

Madurai's temple gates towering over the city
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