Kazhugusalamoorthy Kazhugumalai

Kazhugusalamoorthy, Kazhugumalai

Other Temples - Thoothukudi


Kazhugusalamoorthy (Muruga), facing west


Valli, facing south. Devayanai, facing north

Other Deities

Suryan, Vinayaka, 63 Nayanmar, Narasimhar, Indran, Jambulingeswarar, Akhilandeswari, Muruga, Arumuga, Navagraham. Sanctum niche of Shiva sanctum – Dakshinamurthy, Brahma, Chandikeswara

Kazhugusalamoorthy Kazhugumalai is a cave temple below a hillock called Kazhugumalai. This hillock has ancient Jain beds and an unfinished Shiva Temple called Vettuvankovil. There is a large lake below this hill and a Vinayaka Temple The Temple is west facing. A long entrance Mandapam leads inside the temple. A nice carving of the Zodiac Signs adorns the ceiling of this Mandapam which is called Nava Kol Mandapam. This is followed by the Rudraksha Mandapam. Lord Shiva as Jambulingeswara is in a separate shrine facing east. There is an entrance to the temple from the south side also. A large temple tank is north of the temple. Lord Muruga is a 4 feet tall idol, seen with one face and six hands holding different weapons, striding on a peacock in a seated posture. This is one of the few old temples where Muruga is seen facing west. The sanctum is in a chamber excavated in the hill as a cave. The peacock normally faces north, whereas here it is facing south. The consorts of Lord Muruga face each other from their respective shrines. Separate Palli Arai’s (retiring chambers) are present for Muruga and Shiva here. the 7 feet tall Bhairava is a special feature here as is the dwarf (Muyalagan) at the feet of Lord Nataraja. The circumambulation of the sanctum sanctorum is around the entire hill as a Girivala Padhai. Devotees undertake this walk during auspicious days.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Temple Tank (Kumara Theppam)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – No information


Kazhugusalamoorthy Kazhugumalai goes back to the early Pandya Period. The Jain beds and unfinished Shiva temple in the hill go back to the reign of Pandya King Parantaka Nedunjadaiya (765-790 CE). The Muruga temple also goes back to the Pandya Era. The Mandapams and the shiva sanctum were later built by the King of Ettayapuram about 400 years ago. It is said that the Vasantha Mandapam and the temple tank were constructed by the Cholas. Saint Arunagirinadar (15th Century CE) has sung hymns in praise of Lord Muruga here at Kazhugusalamoorthy Kazhugumalai. Poet Subramanya Bharatiyar, Saint Annamalaiyar, and poet Chidambara Kavirayar have also composed hymns on this temple.


Both the excavations of the Kazhugusalamoorthy Kazhugumalai and the Vettuvan Kovil on top were started at the same time as a competition between a father and son sculptor duo. The son who carved out the Muruga temple was successful and the father did not finish the shiva temple. It is believed that the father killed the son in anger.

Sambadhi (a vulture-faced sage), the brother of Jatayu (a vulture) slain by Ravana, was regretting his inability to have been present to perform the last rites of Jatayu. He asked Lord Rama when and how would this sin be set right. Lord Rama, who had performed the rites of Jatayu, told him to go to a hill called Gajamukha Parvatham, purify himself with a bath at the pond there, and await the answer. Lord Muruga who was on his way to Tiruchendur to kill the Asura Surapadma was resting on this hill after slaying the Asura’s brother Daragasura. Sambadhi who had accommodated Lord Muruga here and also disclosed the location of Surapadma was then provided salvation by him. The name Gajamukha Parvatham transformed gradually to Kazhugumalai (Vulture Hill).

Lord Indra is believed to be in the form of the Peacock Mount of Muruga here unlike the Asura in other temples. Sage Agastya is believed to be worshiping Lord Muruga here every day.


Kazhugusalamoorthy Kazhugumalai is 18 kms east of Sankarankovil, 18 kms west of Kovilpatti and 55 kms north of Tirunelveli.

Stay and Food

None locally except tea shops. The closest are Sankarankovil, Kovilpatti, and Tirunelveli depending on your travel plans.

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