Other than the famous Meeanakshi Amman Temple, there are also many other temples that are famous here and visited by many devotees. Azhagar Kovil temple is one among them, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and located about 21 km from Madurai city. Here lord Vishnu is worshipped as Alagar, Goddess Meenakshi’s brother. The temple is set in a beautiful surrounding with greenery all around.
We reached the temple at 6 pm and saw that it was built in the typical Dravidian style with gopurams and pillared mandapams. It is surrounded by the remains of an old and ruined fort. The temple is believed to have been built in the 3rd or 4th century and is a marvelous piece of architecture. It is opens for worship from 6.00 am to 8.00 pm. majority of the devotees visit the temple early in the morning and in the evening time. The gopuram is decorated with a large number of statues and other sculptures. On the southern side of the temple there is a half finished gopuram. The main gopuram remains closed and the closed door is worshipped as Patinettaam Padi Karuppan, which means the lord who sits on eighteen steps. We were told that nobody dared to tell a lie here.
The main tower at the entrance is spectacular and is believed to have been built by the Pandya Kings. The main deity here is the Pramaswamy and the Alagar or Sundararajan is the idol taken for procession. It is made of pure gold and is very beautiful. Close to the main shrine is the shrine of Sundaravalli, who is the consort of Alagar. Other shrines are dedicated to Andal, Sudarshanar and Yoga Narasimha. The Kalyana Mandapa at the temple is a large hall with beautiful sculptures on its pillars. We saw sculptures of Narasimha, Krishna, Vishnu seated on the divine bird Garuda, Tirumala Nayaka and many more.
We visited the holy springs Silamboru and Noopura Gangai near the temple. Going up the hill we also visited the temple of Subramaya. After getting out of the temple we bought some souveniers from the nearby shops and got back to the hotel.