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Best of 2016: The Ancient Koodal Azhagar Temple in Madurai

By Siji Ram

Madurai is among the cities that are closely connected to the rich art and culture of Tamil Nadu. Koodal Azhagar Temple here is a specimen of the wonderful art and tradition that prevailed in the place dating back to the Sangam period. Let us know more about this amazing temple in Madurai which is one of the 108 divyadeshams (shrines of Lord Vishnu mentioned in works of Tamil saints).

The temple is spread across an area of around two acres. Legend has it that it was in this temple that all the deities came to attend the wedding of Sree Meenakshi Amman and Sri Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva).

koodal azhagar temple

PC: Ssriram mt

This majestic temple has a five-tiered Gopuram (gateway tower) and is erected within huge walls of granite on all four sides. The central shrine is elevated and holds the image of the presiding deity, Koodal Azhagar (Lord Vishnu). Each of the sanctum sanctorums is placed one above the other, which is a peculiarity of the temple.

Historical and Cultural Relevance of the Temple

Several works of Tamil literature like Paripadal and Silapathikaram have mentions of the temple in them. Brahmanda Purana has a detailed description of the temple in seven of its chapters. Poets and scholars have praised the deity and the temple, making it one of the important pilgrim centres among Tamilians.

koodal azhagar

PC: Ssriram mt

Other Facts About Koodal Azhagar Temple

The temple is one of the best examples of the architectural expertise of the artisans that belonged to the glorious past of Madurai. The temple was renovated in 2006 and the paints used for the temple were made of herbs and other medicinal plants from Kerala. It is said that the paint will last for thousands of years.

The ornamental windows of the temple is another unique feature of the temple. The beautifully done wooden panels are rich with intricate carvings that portray scenes from Hindu mythology. The temple tower has the story of Ramayana depicted on sculptures placed on each floor of the tower. Each of these masterpieces is worth marvelling.

koodal azhagar

PC: Ssriram mt

Location of The Temple

The temple is located quite close to the central bus stand and railway station at Madurai. To know how to reach Madurai, click here.

Take a trip to this architectural wonder which plays a significant role in the art and culture of the holy city of Madurai.

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