108 Divya Desam, Madurai District


Azhagar, facing east. Other names include Kallazhagar, Maalankarar, Maaliruncholai Nambi


Sundaravalli Thaayar, facing east

Other Deities

to be updated

Azhagarkoil features in the opening scenes and in a song in the famous Tamil film ‘Thillana Mohanambal’. Azhagarkoil is a large and grand old temple beautifully located amidst hills and forests. The huge Rajagopuram facing east is 9 tiered. There are very high and solid compound walls all around. The processional deity (Utsavar) is made of Gold. A large temple tank was discovered during excavations recently in 2013. The peace and beauty of Azhagarkoil temple is best experienced if you spend a long afternoon and evening here without the bother of modern technological gadgets.

Vimaanam – Somasundara Vimaanam

Holy Water (Theertham) – Noobura Gangai, Silambaru

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Sandana Maram (Sandalwood tree – Santalum album)


Ramanujar and Manavala Mamunigal have visited Azhagarkoil. Periyazhwar, Aandal, Thirumangaiazhwar, Boodhathazhwar and Nammazhwar (between 6th and 9th Century CE) have rendered Mangalasasanam (unique hymns in praise of this lord) here at Azhagarkoil making this a 108 Divya Desam Temple. Azhagarkoil temple could have been constructed as early as the 3rd or the 4th Century CE. During excavations here several Jain caves and inscriptions have been discovered with which there are opinions that this could originally have been a Jain temple which later became a Vishnu temple. But the Silappadikaram (written in 3rd Century CE) and several Tamil Vaishnava writings(4th- 6th century CE) mention this temple as a Vishnu Temple. The sculptures here require at least a day to be fully explored and appreciated. Several dynasties of kings have contributed to Azhagarkoil temple.


Sage Suthapas was turned into a frog by a curse from Sage Durvasa for ignoring him while bathing in the Nurupa Ganga river a few kilometers up in the Azhagarkoil hills. The lord is said to have relieved him off this curse here at Azhagarkoil.


Azhagarkoil is at the foot of Alagar Malai 21 Kilometers North East of Madurai in a separate road. From there you can drive up the hills to reach the famous Muruga Temple at Pazhamudhircholai.

Stay and Food

None locally except a few tea shops. Closest is Madurai.

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