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Alagar (Azhagar) Koil

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Alagar temple located in a scenic surrounding at the bottom of Alagar Hills (Solamalai) is about 21 Kms North East of Madurai. Here the Lord presides as Meenakshi's brother and according to Hindu Mythology, Lord Vishnu came to this place from his heavenly abode to give away Goddess Meenakshi in marriage to Lord Sundareswarer.

Sometimes referred as southern Tirupati, this ancient temple is known for its mandapams, gopurams, 2000 year old Sudarsana-chakra and a beautiful stone carved statue of Lord Vishnu called Kallazagar. The main tower at the entrance of the temple that has some beautiful sculptures depicting scenes from the great Epics, is believed to have been built by the Pandyan Kings. The temple contains two idols of Lord Vishnu. The main idol kept inside the sanctum is called 'Paramaswamy' and the processional idol which is made of pure gold called Alagar alias Sundararajan is opened only once a year at the time of Chittirai festival.

A shrine dedicated to Kalyana Sundaravalli, consort of Alagar, is located in the southern enclosure and another shrine of Andal is in the northern side. Besides these, the temple has many other shrines including that of Vinayaka,Yoga Narasimha, Siva, Bhairava and Subrahmania. A small stream, Silambar flows through the western side of the Alagar temple. The river is said to be very sacred and could match the holiness of the Ganga.

Chittirai festival held in the month of April / May is the most important among the various festival celebrated here. During the festival the processional idol of Alagar is taken from the kovil to Vaigai river, halting at various places, on the way to participate in the celestial wedding of his sister, Goddess Meenakshi. Aadi Perukku and Panguni Uthiram are the other festivals celebrated at the temple.

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