Divya Desam #101/Koodal Azhagar

Koodal Azhagar

Location: Madurai. It is in the heart of the city. 1.5 km away from the Periyar Bus Stand.

  • Koodal Azhagar is believed to have appeared to slay the demon Somuka who abducted the four Vedas. The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of worship.
  • As per Hindu legend, a ruler named Vallabhadeva went incognito everyday to know about the lives of people under him. During one of his visits, a scholar told him that the ultimate goal in life is to “collect provisions in summer and save for winter”, which also meant that one should work during his younger days and save for his old age. Vallabadeva was not convinced and he set this as a competition among scholars to make him realize the true value of life. Vishnucitta, who would later go on to become Periazhwar, one of the twelve most revered saints of Vaishnava sect, came to Madurai from Srivilliputhur. He was believed to have been directed by the heavenly words of Vishnu and he expouned the sacred verses. He explained the concepts of Hitham and Purushartham from Vedas and proclaimed that attained the feet of Narayana could lead to salvation. Vallabhadeva was pleased with the explanation and he awarded a bag of gold to Visnucitta. It is believed that the current gopuram of Srivilliputhur Temple, was built by Periazhwar with the gold won.
  • The vimana, the shrine over the sanctum is Ashtanga in architecture, which has eight parts, namely, Adhistana (base), three Padas(struct), Prashthana (limb), Griva(leading struct), Shikara (cylindrical holder) and Stupi (top portion)
  • The vimana, the shrine over the sanctum is Ashtanga in architecture, which has eight parts, namely, Adhistana (base), three Padas(struct), Prashthana (limb), Griva(leading struct), Shikara (cylindrical holder) and Stupi (top portion). The Ashtanga Vimana is found in only three places, namely, the Uthiramerur, Thirukoshtiyur and Cheranmadevi temples.
  • The place is mentioned to be significant during four ages namely, Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. The temple has Navagrahas, the nine planetary deities, which are otherwise found only in Shiva temples. It indicates the co-existence of Shaivite and Vaishnavite cultures during the medieval period