108 Divya Desam, Madurai District


Azhagar, facing east, sitting posture


Maduravalli Nachiyar, facing east. other names include Vagulavalli, Varagunavalli, Maragadavalli

Other Deities

Navagrahas, Garuda, Anjaneya, Lakshmi Narasimha, Rama, Lakshmi Narayana, Krishna, Aandal, Narasimha, Manavala Mamunigal, Ramanuja, Vedanta Desikar, Alwars

Thirukoodal has a large 5 tier Rajagopuram at the entrance. The sanctum sanctorum has two levels. The first level has Koodal Azhagar in a sitting posture with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi. The second level has Lord Sooryanarayana in standing posture with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi. The Navagrahas are rarely found in Vaishnavite Temples and here at Thirukoodal is an exception. The Theppakulam (Holy Tank) is outside the temple.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Hemapushkarini, Chakra Theertham, Kruthamala River, Vaigai River,

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

Vimaanam – Ashtaanga Vimaanam


Thirukoodal hails from the earliest Age of Sangam period. There are references to Thirukoodal in Paripadal and Silappadikaram. Thirukoodal has a five-tiered Rajagopuram, the gateway tower. The temple is originally believed to be built by the Pandyas, with later additions by the Vijayanagar and Madurai Nayak kings who commissioned pillared halls and major shrines of the temple during the 16th century. The inscriptions in Thirukoodal refer the presiding deity as Koodal Azhagiya Perumal. There are inscriptions in the temple indicating generous gifts and endowments in the form of land, houses and gold to maintain and administer the temple. An inscription from the 8th century indicates the donation of granite stones for the construction of Ardha Mandapa. Thirukoodal was expanded during the rule of Madurai Nayaks in the 16th century. The Dwajasthambam (flag staff) and Mantap before the Hema Pushkarani were constructed by the Nayaks. In modern times, Thirukoodal was renovated by Alagappa Chettiar in 1920.


When a huge deluge and floods were threatening Madurai, the lord of Thirukoodal is believed to have commanded clouds in all four directions to ward off the threatening rain clouds. Since the clouds gathered in all four directions the temple was called Naan (four) Maadakoodal and as Thirukoodal.

The opening verses of Naalayira Divya Prabandham, starting with ‘Pallandu Pallandu’ by Periyazhwar was first rendered here at Thirukoodal.


Thirukoodal is near the Railway Station and the Periyar Bus Stand in the heart of Madurai.

Stay and Food

Madurai is well known for its excellent food and the list of restaurants can fill a book. The city has lodging starting from the budget ones to 5 star hotels.

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