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 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.
Several religious literary works offer valuable information on this temple. The Hill was once a safe refuge for the Jain monks in I.B.C. Paranjothi, the saivaite poet describes the event when a Jain monk sent a magical cow which was over-powered by Siva’s “Nanthi”. The cow which lost its power fell down and turned into a hillock and Siva’s ‘Nandhi’ also turned into a small mountain on the left side of this cow-like hillock. The presence of ‘Brahmin” script carved on stones inside some of the caves in these hills prove the presence of Jains in this area.
In this temple, Lord Mahavishnu is worshiped in the form of Azhagar, also known as Kallazhagar and Sundararajar. As per Puranams, this temple was built by God Dharmadevan. Later it was renovated by the Pandian King named Malayathdwajan. It is also said that Malayathdwajan prayed Shri Azhagar in this temple and got Goddess Meenakshi as her daughter.
Arulmigu Kallalagar Temple,
Alagar Kovil, Melur Taluk,
Madurai District - 625301.
Phone : 0452 - 2470228