Madurai is a large city in the state of Tamil Nadu in the south of India. It is the administrative centre of the district of Madurai. Madurai is the second largest corporate city per region and the third largest city per population in Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of the Vaigai River, Madurai has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously populated towns in the world. Madurai is closely associated with the Tamil language, as all three primary congregations of Tamil scholars, the Third Tamil Sangams, were held in the city between 1780 BCE and the 3rd century CE. 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.
The city has a number of historic landmarks, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple and the Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most important. Madurai is an important industrial and education center in the south of Tamil Nadu. The city is home to various automotive, rubber, chemical, hand-textile and granite manufacturing industries. It has grown to be a second tier city for information technology (IT), and some software companies have opened offices in Madurai. Tamil Nadu government planned satellite town for Madurai near Thoppur. Madurai has significant government educational institutes such as Madurai Medical College, Homeopathic Medical College, Madurai Law College, Agricultural College and Research Institute. The Town of Madurai is governed by a municipal corporation established in 1971 under the Municipal Corporations Act. The city is also the seat of a bench of the High Court of Madras, one of the rare courts outside the capitals of the State of India.