Alagar Kovil - Madurai
Alagar Kovil is dedicated to Lord Vishnu which is located at a distance of 20 Kms from Madurai city. It is one among the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu. Here the lord is worshipped as Kalazhagar and his consort Goddess Lakshmi as Thirumamagal.
Kallazhagar appeared here to redeem sage Suthapa off his curse from Rishi Muni Durvasar. Six daily rituals and many yearly festivals are held in this temple, out of which the float festival during February–March, Navarathri during September–October and Vaikunda Ekadesi during December–January are very famous. The temple is maintained and managed by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
When Sage Suthapa (also known as Manduka Maharishi) was taking bath in the holy well Nupura Ganga at Azhagar Hills, Rishi Muni Durvasar passed by. But Suthapa didn’t notice him and failed to show his respect to him. Hence the enraged Durvasa rcursed Suthapa that he would turn into a frog until he is redeemed off his curse by Lord Sundara raja Perumal, who is also known as Kallazhagar. Suthapa Maharishi, in the form of a frog performed penance on the banks of Vaigai river which is otherwise known as Vegavathi river at Thenur. Then Kallazhagar descended from his abode in Azhagar Hills to redeem Manduka Maharishi off his curse. Until now, people believe that Kallazhagar comes to Thenur via Malaipatti, Alanganallur and Vayalur and in Thenur Mandap, he redeems the sage off his curse and leaves for his abode. But during Thirumalai Nayak’s period (from 1623 to 1659 AD), in 1653 the Manduka Maharishi’s relieving ritual was shifted to Vandiyur village where the event is still performed at Thennur Mandapam which was built by Thirumalai Nayak. The presiding deity was also worshiped by Yama, the god of death. He requested lord Vishnu to stay in these hills.
The Thenkalai tradition of worship is followed in this temple. The architecture of Alagar Temple is of South Indian Style with large towers and pillared halls. The main festival of this temple is Alagar Thiruvizha during the month of April – May every year. Legend says that he visited Madurai to attend Lord Chokkanadhar – Goddess Meenakshi’s wedding ceremony. But since the ceremony was over before he reached the wedding hall, he went back to his place half way through, where on the way he redeems Maduka Muni from Durvasar’s curse.
Very near to this is the Palamudhirsolai located, the last one among the six abodes of Lord Murugan on the same hill at a distance of 5 Kms. On the way to this temple, we can also witness Rakkayi temple on top of the hill. Devotees have Spiritual bath in the holy tank before worshipping Rakkayi Amman.
- Alagar temple timings: 05:30Am to 12:00Pm and 04:00Pm to 08:30Pm (Closing time:12:00Pm to 04:00Pm)
- Palamudhirsolai timings: 06:00Am to 06:00Pm. Vehicles not allowed to mount the hill after 06:00Pm
- Free darshan queue is available for domestic clients.
Pazhamudhiricholai is free from entrance/camera charges for all clients.