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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. Madurai is also one of India's main academic hubs. It forms a part of what is known as "Tamil Nadu's old capital region", along with three other cities around it namely Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur and Thiruvarur. The city was referred to by various classical writers such as Megasthenes (350–290 BCE), Ptolemy (150 CE) and Kautilya (320 CE). The word Madurai may be derived from Madhura arising out of merger between two words Maadu(மாடு) meaning honey bee + Ur meaning City or town . Hence Maadurey or Maturai means Honey City in reference to honey found on top floors for hives located inside temples .