Thirukkoodal | Sri Koodal Azhagar Perumal Temple | Madurai | Divya Desams - 090
About the Temple & Locatiion:

Koodal Aḻagar Temple in Madurai, a city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Viyooga Sundarrajan, and his consort Lakshmi as Mathuravalli.

A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram, the gateway tower. The temple is originally believed to be built by the Pandyas, with later additions by the Vijayanagara empire and Madurai Nayaks kings who commissioned pillared halls and major shrines of the temple during the 16th century.

Koodal Aḻagar is believed to have appeared to slay the demon Somuka who abducted the four Vedas. The temple follows the Tenkalai tradition of worship. Four daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the fourteen-day annual Brahmotsavam during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June) being the most prominent.

The temple is found close to Madurai main Bus stop. Plenty of bus, train facilities are available. Lots of lodging facilities are also available. The travel to this Divya Desam is very easy since lots of transportation facility is available.


The inscriptions in the temple refer the presiding deity as Koodal Alagiya 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. The temple was expanded during the rule of Madurai Nayaks in the 16th century. The Dvajasthambam mandapam (flag staff) and mandap before the Hema Pushkarini were constructed by the Nayaks. The Mathura Valli Thayar Shrine (Thayar) was constructed, and the temple was renovated by Muthu K.R.V. Alagappan Chettiar of Devakottai in 1923.


Koodal Alagar temple covers an area of about 2 acres (0.81 hectares) and has a five-tiered gopuram (gateway tower) raising to a height of 125 ft (38 m). The temple is enclosed in a rectangular enclosure with huge granite walls. The central shrine has an elevated structure and houses the images of the presiding deity, Koodal Alagar, in three forms, namely sitting, standing and reclining postures. The image made of granite is sported in sitting posture and 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. The images of Sridevi and Bhudevi are present in either side of Koodal Alagar. The festival deity is named Vyuga Sundararajar and the image is 4 ft (1.2 m) tall made of Pancha Loha. 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 outer parts of the vimana have stucco images of sages, Dashavataram, Bhudevi and Varaha, Lakshmi Narasimha, Lakshmi Narayana, and Narayana Moorthy. The vimana is believed to be the work of Vishvakarma, the divine architect. The shadow of the vimana does not fall on the ground. The Ashtanga Vimana is found in Mannar Koil, Ambasamudram, Uthiramerur, Thirukoshtiyur and Cheranmadevi temples. The inner wall of the sanctum has paintings of the Ashtadikpalakas.

The shrine of the consort of Koodal Alagar, Mathura Valli, is located to the south of the main shrine. There are smaller shrines of Lakshmi Narasimha, Rama, Lakshmi Narayana, and Krishna located close to the sanctum. The shrines of Andal, Narasimha, and Manavala Mamunigal are found in separate shrines around the first precinct. The shrine of Andal has painting depicting puranic stories and inscriptions detailing devotional literature. The shrines of Garuda, Anjaneya, Ramanuja, Vedanta Desika and Alvars are found in the second precinct. The pillars in the halls leading to the sanctum have small sculptures, in the second precinct. The second floor has a shrine dedicated to Suryanarayana standing along with goddesses. The Teppakulam, the temple tank, is located outside the temple premises. It has a center hall made of granite.

Sthlapuranam :

This sthalam is situated in Madurai, which is famous for all the temples found here. And, Madurai is famous for the Meenakshi Amman temple. All the Devas of the Lokam and Munivar came all together for the Meenakshi Amman to Sivaperumaan in this sthalam and because of this, the sthalam is called as “Koodal“. Koodal means all of the persons (or) group of people coming (or) joining together. Sivaperumaanwho is the entire structure of Gnanam, and Sakthi are married to each other, and the Paramathma, Sri Emperumaan is assisting and helped them in getting married. Gnanam, sakthi, Beauty, Bhakti and wealth are joined together on the same place and they give their Kalyana seva to the entire world. When Konedu Maaran Sri Vallabha devan was ruling the city, Periyalwar on seeing the beauty of Azhagar, he sang the great, “Thiruppallanndu” in praise of Azhagar.

Sownaka Maharishi, when he was doing the Tapas, he was covered by the small mud mountain (Putru). Yayaathi’s daughter, while she was playing there, found two bright lights flashed from inside of the putru. But it was actually the eyes of Sownaka Maharishi. She took a small stick and poked his eyes. As a result of this, Sownakar got angry and gave her the sabham that all the childrens that are born to Yayaathi’s daughter will be blind. Hearing this, she felt sorry for that and asked for Sabha Vimochana. Cooled by her devotion, Sownaka Maharishi, he himself married Yayaathi’s daughter and earned 100 childrens and one among them was Janaka Maharishi.

A Pandiyan king by named Sathyavrathan, devoted this Koodal Azhagar and had a great belief towards him. One day, when he went to worship Koodal Azhagar. But before going into the temple, he washed his hands in the Kirutha maala river, where a fish was found in his hand. He thought that the fish might be the Emperumaan, Since fish was one of the Avathaars of Sri vishnu. Because of this only, the Pandiya Kings in their flags have the fish as the symbol.

Another great thing that has to be said about this temple is the great Raja Gopuram, which is very big with lots of architectural works found in it. In the first pragharam there is a separate sannadhi for Madura valli Naachiyaar. Meenakshi Amman, who is made up by Maragatham and to remember her, this sthala thaayar is named as “Maragadha Valli”. On the North side, a separate sannadhi for Aandal Naachiyaar is found.

This sthala perumal is found in 3 thalam (ie) in the bottom thalam, he is found as Koodal Azhagar in Veetriruntha kolam, in the second thalam (middle one) he is found as “Andhara Vaanathu Empiraan in Kidantha kolam and int he Upper thalam, he is found as Sooriya Narayanan in Nindra thirukkolam.

The perumal who is found in the bottom thalam is also called as “Viyooga Soundararajan” and he is the Utsava Moorthy of this sthalam.


In all the Vaishnava temple, the Navagraha Sannadhis will not be found and will be found only in Lord Shiva or in Saiva temples. But in this sthalam, a separate sannadhi for Navagrahas are found. This is to imply that both Vaishnavam and Saivam should be considered as the Single God but not as separate Gods.

In this sthalam only, Periyalwar sang his great Thiruppallandu, which is sang in praise of the Emperumaan and as a result of this, he got the Prathyaksham of Sriman Narayanan as “Koodal Azhagar”.

Moolavar and Thaayar:

The Moolvar found in this temple is Sri Koodal Azhagar. Moolavar in Veetrirundha thriukkolam facing his thriumugham in East direction. Prathyaksham for Brighu maharishi, Sownaka maharishi and Periyalwar.

Thaayar: The name of the Thaayar is “Madura valli”. She is also called as Vagulavalli, Varaguna valli and Maragadha valli. She has her own separate sannadhi.


Thirumangai Alwar – 1 Paasuram.

Andal – 1 Paasuram.
Total – 2


Hema Pushkarani
Chakkara Theertham
Kirutha Maala Nadhi
Vaigai Nadhi.

Vimanam: Ashtanga Vimaanam.