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Alagar Koil

Alagar koil is a Vishnu temple located 21 kilometers to the north east of Madurai. The temple enshrines Vishnu as Lord Alagar and is situated on the Solamalai hill.

Legend is that Lord Vishnu presides as Meenakshi's brother 'Azhagar' or Alagar. And during the celebration of the celestial marriage of Meenakshi to Sundareshwarar, Azhagar comes to Madurai. One of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya is on the same hill, Palamudhirsolai, at a distance of about 4 kilometers above. A natural spring called Nuburagangai where pilgrims bathe, is located here.

The main tower at the entrance is said to have been built by the Pandya Kings, which accounts for the historic importance of this temple. As depicted in the historic records during the period A D 1251-1270, Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan beautified the 'vimana' of the 'sanctum sanctorum' with gold plates. Other than that of the main deity, another shrine is in the north, dedicated to Andal, who is said to have visited this place with Periyalwar from Srivilliputtur. Other important shrines are those of Sudarshanar and Yoga Narasimha. The Nayak period art is seen in the Kalyana Mandapa of the temple , with beautiful sculptures on its pillars. In addition to the life-size sculptures of the kings who ruled over this place, there are many delicately carved idols relating to the epics.

The place can be reached easily by local taxis or buses. There are a few rest houses also for accommodation.

Updated on 19th October, 2005
District: Madurai

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