Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple is one of the six of the holiest of Murugan shrines referred to as the Aarupadai Veedu. It is also known by the name Solamalai Murugan Temple. This is a holy shrine venerated by the Skanda puranam and by Nakkeerar’s Thirumurugatrupadai of the Sangam period. Arunagirinathar’s Thirupugazh also reveres this shrine.This shrine is located on the solaimalai hill also known as Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri, adjacent to the Kallazhagar Temple on the outskirts of Madurai at about 19 kilometers from Madurai and 4 Kms above Azhagar temple.
There is a famous legend associated with the temple – it is said that Avvaiyar, a famous tamil poet and a Muruga Bakthai (Murugan Devotee), came here when her knowledge was put to test by Lord Murugan, taking the form of a small boy. It is firmly believed that this episode took place at a tree near the temple and the tree is worshipped even today.
Here Murugan is worshiped along with his consorts Valli as Iccha Shakti and Devayani as Kriya Shakti and himself as Jnana Shakti. The idol of the lord in standing posture with a single face and four hands is kept between the idols of his consorts. The Vel (spear) of the lord made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with a great veneration by devotees.
A natural spring called Noopura Ganga with a temple dedicated to Raakkayi Amman is located at the top of the hill. Pilgrims to the temple take a dip in this small, sacred spring which is said to have originated from the anklet of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the devotees who worship at this shrine are blessed with wealth and health. The Silambar river flows near the temple.
Azhagar kovil is 23 km from Madurai Central Bus Stand. Solaimalai 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.
Panguni Uthiram – It is celebrated in the month of March.
Vaikasi Visakam – Celebrated in the month of Vaigaasi.Visakam is Lord Muruga’s birthday star.
Kandha Sashti – Kanta Shasti Vratam is observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi’ (October–November) starting from the ‘piratamai’ the 1st phase of the brightening moon.
Aadi Krithigai – This is celebrated in the month of May/June.
Cheaman Perumal, a ruler of Kerala, built the main temple perhaps in the 7th Century AD. The Nayaks built the Navaranga Mandapam which is a fascinating stone structure incorporated by four pillars and endowed with nine bays. The other portions of the temple have been built by the Pandiya kings, besides a number of local heads, religious groups and individual devotees.
Naaval tree usually yields fruits only during Aadi and Aavani months from July-September. Strangely, the tree in the place yields fruits in the Aipasi month (October-November) a month when Lord Muruga’s Sashti festival occurs.
There are six poojas every day :
- At 5 am the Lord gives Visvarupa Darshana.
- The first puja is Vizhapuja at 7:15 am followed by
- Kala Sandhi at 8am,
- Uchikalam at 12 noon,
- Sayaraksha at 6 pm and
- Rakkalam at 8 pm.