The famous ‘Alagar Kovil’ or‘Azhagar Kovil’ or ‘Sri Kallazhagar Perumal Temple’, also named as ‘Thirumaliruncholai’ is located on the outskirts of the ancient city Madurai of Tamilnadu, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples.
The temple is built on an extensive area in a very picturesque spot, surrounded by the ruins of a historic fort. The impressive main tower at the entrance, believed to have been built by the Pandyan Kings, has some beautiful sculptures depicting scenes from the epics. According to historical records, Malayadhwaja Pandyan, son of Kulasekhara Pandyan, who is said to have established the Pandyan kingdom, appears to be the earliest known monarch who patronised this temple. Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan, who reigned during the period 1251-1270 A.D., beautified the 'vimana' of the 'sanctum sanctorum' with gold plates.
Later, during the reign of the Vijayanagar king Krishnadeva Raya, the temple was endowed with revenues from two villages for conducting regular festivals.After the end of Pandya rule in Madurai, the Nayaka kings became the chief patrons of this deity. The famous Nayaka king Vishwanatha, who ruled in Madurai during 1558-1563 A.D., made magnificent donations to this temple.In Alagar hills lord "Thirumal” is located in the name of “Alagar” and so it is called Alagar hills. This Vaishnavite temple has the unique reputation of the lord’s revelation to the Pandya king Malayathuaja Pandian and Dharma Devashai. The episodes of Alvars have added to the honour of the temple. One hundred and twenty-three vaisnavite hymns describe the glory of the temple.
Even in the epic Silappathikaram of the classical epic age, the greatness of the temple is beautifully described. No less than Six Alvars, namely, Perialvar, Thirumangaiyalvar, Boothathalvar, Andal, Peyalvar, Nammalvar, have Sung the glory of the shrine. The golden canopy to the dome of the temple was done in the 13th Century A.D. by the devoted king Sundara Pandian. Many such sacred dedicatory pieces of artistic additions were added by the king Thirumalai Naickar. A holy spring known as Noopurangangai is perennially sprouting up at the top of the hillock.
Kallazhagar Perumal Temple Madurai
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