Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple,also named as ‘Solaimalai Murugan Temple’ is located near the city Madurai of Tamilnadu, dedicated to Lord Murugan and also one of the ‘Arupadai Veedu Temples’. Pazhamudhircholai temple is situated atop a hill with dense forest about 19 kilometers from the Temple City Madurai. This hill is also known as Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri. Azhagar Kovil, one among the 108 Divya Desam temples is located very close to the Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple.
From the former times, the ‘Vel’ (Weapon of Lord Murugan) has been worshipped as the presiding deity in this temple. Lord Murugan,chief deity of this temple, who is popularly known as Kurinji Nilakkizhavan in this temple, stands majestically, has four hands with Goddess Valli and Goddess Deivayani on both sides. The idol of Lord Ganesh is also present here in a separate shrine. Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple is the sixth holy shrine of Lord Murugan among the six abodes dedicated to Lord Murugan, which are named as Arupadai Veedu Temples. The Arupadai Veedu Temples of Lord Murugan are:
- Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
- Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
- Palani Murugan Temple
- Swamimalai Murugan Temple
- Thiruthani Murugan Temple
- Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple
This is the only temple among the six abodes of Lord Murugan, where He blesses His devotees with His consorts Goddess Valli and Goddess Deivayani. There is an idol of Goddess Rakkayi Amman, who is considered as the Guardian deity. The Sthala Theertham (temple tank) of this temple is Noopura Ganga, where the devotees take bath and worship the Guardian deity Goddess Rakkayi Amman. A blackberry tree is considered as a Sthala Vriksha (temple tree) of this temple and the fruit become ripe during the Skanda Sashti festival (October to November).
This temple is situated in a dense forest area which is filled with fruits, vegetables and flowers. Thousands of bats hanging from the trees close to the temple premises. Here, ’Avvaiyar’ the famous female Tamil poet and a great devotee of Lord Murugan, was said to be examined by Lord Murugan from His playful drama. The drama of Lord Murugan concerning Avvaiyar was to acquire an answer from her raising the question, “Which fruit is she needed, whether cooked or uncooked”, which is popularly mentioned in Tamil language as “Sutta Pazham or Sudadha Pazham”.
Avvaiyar started thinking, “Is there any cooked fruit in the World”, and thought that the boy was even unaware about this simple thing. However, being hungry she did not wanted to argue about this with that boy and asked Him for uncooked fruit. The boy trembled the tree and fruits on the tree started falling down on the mud. Avvaiyar took the fruits and blew the fruits to remove the mud. After this act of Avvaiyar, the boy asked her whether the fruits were warm. Avvaiyar was surprised by the intelligence of the boy, realizing puffing on the fruit to remove mud is likely blowing air to reduce the heat on the cooked fruit.
Avvaiyar was astounded by this great comparison and asked the boy surprisingly, “Who are you actually?” And the boy was suddenly disappeared and appeared in the form of Lord Murugan. Avvaiyar bowed before Lord Murugan with pleasure and she requested Lord Murugan to confer her with bountiful knowledge.
Azhagar kovil is 23 km from Madurai Central Bus Stand. Sholaimalai Murugan temple is 3 km from this place. Temple administration operates bus service to and fro from the temple.
Madurai Railway Station is the nearest station.
Madurai Airport is the nearest airport.
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