2 Sep'2011: Azhagarkoil is located 21 Kms from Madurai - A Vishnu Temple at the foot of a range of hills called Alagarmalai. Here Vishnu is known as Meenakshi's brother Azhagar(the beautiful one). The Main tower entrance (Mukya Gopuram) always remains closed, with the shrine of Karupanna Swami. The very closed door itself is worshipped as Patinettam padi or 18 steps. There are various legends associated with this. Only once a year, the door is opened and Sudarshana Chakra(Or ChakrathAlvar as the temple devotees mention), the famous Vishnu's wheel, passes over through the open door. This is a centuries old practice. The style of the architectuer denotes, 3rd or early 4th Century construction.
The main deity is called Paramaswamy and the utsavar is known as Azhagar & also Sundararajar. There are also shrines for Kalyana Sundaravalli, Chakrathalwar & Andal.
On top of this hill is Pazhamudirsolai subrahmanyar temple, one of the 6 Murugan shrines known as Arupadai Veedu. This is a contemporary temple built about 50 years ago. A small spring known as Noopura Gangai runs near this temple. The waters of this mountain spring are considered sacred and devotees normally have a bath here.
Here are some pics taken during the trip: 1.The main Gopuram at Azhagarkoil from outside
2.The main gopuram as seen from inside
3.The Vimananam and main mandapam in front of the sanctum
4. Enroute to Chakrathalwar Mandapam
5.Monkeys atop a jeep 6.The Temple Chariot used during festival time - when the presiding deity is taken the temple town pulled by thick ropes.