Koodal Azhagar is credited with the origination of Thiru Pallandu which constitutes the first 12 verses of the Divya Prabhandham
A thrilled PeriAzhvaar sang ‘Pallandu’ on seeing Koodal Azhagar
The Koodal Azhagar Divya Desam is situated in the heart of Madurai, a km South East of Madurai Junction and half a km South West of Meenakshi Amman Temple.
Three Tier Temple Structure-Lord in all three postures
Lord is seen in all three postures at this Divya Desam. At the base Tier is Koodal Azhagar in a grand sitting posture under the Serpent Lord Aadhiseshan. Climbing about 20 steps on to Tier 1, one sees the Lord in a Sleeping Posture. And another 10 steps above, in Tier 2, is Lord Surya Narayanan in a standing posture.
Temple Tower depicting the Great Epics
In the temple tower at the entrance, one sees the story of the Ramayana and Mahabaratha depicted through sculpture in different tiers of the tower. These sculptures can be closely seen from Tier 1 of the temple and are not to be missed.
Pandya king Pururavan contributed a lot for the Koodal Lord. His grandson conquered the North and came back prompting PeriAzhvaar to sing:
“பருபதுக்கு கயல் பொறித்த பாண்ட்யர் குலபதிபோல்
திரு பொழிந்த சேவடி
என் சென்னியின் மேல் பொறித்தாய் மறு போசிதாய்
உரு பொழிந்த நாவிநேனை உணகுரிதாகினையே ”
Later, another Pandya king Vallabadevan wanted to know the Lord with the power to show the way to Paramapatham, the heavenly abode. The King hung a Golden Parrot with the announcement that the parrot would automatically fall, once someone informs him of the right Lord to Paramapatham. Several came and went back without success.
It is believed that the Koodal Lord appeared in the dreams of Vallabadevan’s priest Selvanambi and suggested the name of PeriAzhvaar of Srivilliputhur. Accordingly, PeriAzhvaar was brought to the court of the Pandya King in Madurai. With several examples from vedic scriptures as well as historical references, PeriAzhvaar showcased to the Pandya King that Lord Vishnu was the Lord who could take one to the heavenly abode. And to every one’s surprise the parrot fell down.
The Azhvaar taken on a Street procession in Koodal
A delighted Pandya king praised PeriAzhvaar and took him on an elephant procession through the streets of Madurai. Legend has it that Koodal Azhagar himself came to see this sight on his Garuda Vaahanam.
“பாண்ட்யன் கொண்டாட பட்டர் பிரான் வந்தான் என்று …….”
PeriAzhvaar’s Thiru Pallaandu
Delighted at the sight of the Koodal Lord, PeriAzhvaar showered praises with his Pallaandu. Hence, Koodal Azhagar is credited with origination of ThiruPallaandu, which now has come to be sung as the first 12 songs of the Divya Prabhandham. Being the place where PeriAzhvaar sang the now famous Pallaandu, this place is considered equivalent to Paramapatham.
The Pandya Symbol
Pandya king Sathya Varadan undertook penance before the Koodal Lord, who gave him darshan inside a sacred tumbler, as a fish. This is stated to be the reason for the Pandyas to have ‘Fish’ as their symbol in their flags.
Vaigai River in Madurai
At Sathya Logam, Brahmma washed the legs of Lord Vishnu, after his Trivikrama Avataaram, the sacred water drops of which fell on Madurai. These sacred drops spread as two rivers, Vaigai and Krithumala. Koodal Azhagar temple is on the banks of Kruthumala river.
The drawings of all the 108 divya desams can be seen on the walls of the prakaram.
This is the only divya desam with a Navagraha Sannidhi
Moolavar : Koodal Azhagar Sitting Posture East Facing
Goddess : Madhura Valli Thaayar
Paasurams : Thirumangai Azhvaar(1), ThiruMazhisaiAzhvaar (1)
Temple time : 6am –12noon and 4pm-9pm
Priest : Ramakrishnan Bhattar @ 97890 20344 / Raja Bhattar @ 94420 28447
Place to Stay :
College House(Rs. 300-500), Hotel Supreme/Madurai Residency(Rs. 1000+)
Madurai Junction Retiring Room is the recommended place to stay( Rs. 250-Rs.600)