Kallazhagar Kovil at the foothills of Alagar forests

Kallazhagar Kovil; Madurai; Tamil Nadu; uasatish; Vishnu Remple;
Kallazhagar Kovil

Kallazhagar Kovil is a Vishnu temple set amidst beautiful surroundings. The temple is in two acres of  land at the foothills of Alagar forests.

temple; uasatish; Tamil Nadu;
Entrance to Kallazhagar Temple

History of Kallazhagar Kovil

The temple is approximately 2,000 years old. Silappathikaram, the Tamil masterpiece, has a mention of the temple in Alagar hills. Malayadhwaja Pandyan, of the Pandyan dynasty, patronised the temple. After the end of Pandyan rule, Vijayanagar and Nayaka kings rebuilt and beautified the structures. They commissioned large mandapams and major shrines during the 16th century. Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu administers the temple.

Gopuram; Temple; Madurai; uasatish;
Gopuram

Architecture

The massive seven-tier tower looms over the entrance. The architecture is Dravidian. Many religious sculptures cover the gopuram. Two forts surround the temple, the outer one being Azhagapuri and the inner one Hiranyapuri. The southern gateway to the fort, Hiranyankottai Gate,  is the main entrance.

This temple is famous for its shrine of Karuppa Swamy, the guardian deity. Sculptures of Lord Kallazhagar can be found in seated, standing and reclining postures in the temple. Azhagar is popularly known as Soundararajan, meaning ‘beautiful king’.

The Tirumalai Nayakar mandapam is a princely structure while the Anna Vahana Mandapam has sculptures describing scenes from the Hindu puranas. The Kalyana mandapam contains life-size rock carvings of Narasimhar, Krishna, Garuda, Manmathan, Rathi, Trivikraman and Lakshmi Varaha. The vast mandapams include beautiful sculptures on the many pillars.

Rock-Cut Corridor; Kallazhagar Kovil; Tamil Nadu; uasatish;
Rock-Cut Corridor

Deities

The main deity Lord Vishnu or Azhagar is in a standing posture facing east. The sanctum also houses the idols of Sridevi and Bhudevi.  The visitor should note the Sudrashan Chakra in the hands of Lord Vishnu. He is fully armed and the chakra is ready to launch .There are other shrines inside the temple dedicated to Aandal, Chakarathalwar and the Mother Sundaravalli.

Ruins of Fort Wall; Kallazhagar Kovil; temple; uasatish; ruins; fort wall;
Ruins of Fort Wall

Chithirai Festival in Kallazhagar Kovil

Chithirai Thiruvizha or Chithirai festival is a celebration in the city of Madurai during the Tamil month of Chithirai (April-May). The first 15 days mark the the coronation of Goddess Meenakshi and her marriage to Lord Sundareswara. The next 15 days seal the festivities covering the journey of Lord Alagar from Kallazhagar temple to Madurai.

According to legend, Lord Kallazhagar travelled on a golden horse to the celestial wedding of his sister Meenakshi. Lamentably, he gets delayed and fails to attend the wedding. Meenakshi and Lord Shiva then rush to Vaigai River to pacify him. However, he gets into the river to hand over gifts to the newlyweds and then goes back without visiting Madurai. The epic scene of  Chithirai Festival is that moment when Lord Kallazhagar enters the Vaigai.

Kallazhagar Kovil; Tamil Nadu; uasatish; deities;
Deities

Getting There

fKallazhagar Kovil is 21.4 km (42 min) from Meenalshi Amman Kovil. Direct buses run from Madurai to the temple. Spacious parking is available for taxis and other vehicles. Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple is 3 km (8 min) up the hill from Kallazhagar Kovil.

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