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Pazhamuthircholai (Pazhamudhir Cholai) Murugan Temple


Pazhamuthircholai (Pazhamudhir Cholai) Murugan Temple

Subrahmanya Swamy temple, Pazhamuthir cholai is located in the outskirts of Madurai city. This is one of the Lord Murugans six sacred abodes. This beautiful Pazhamuthircholai temple is situated about 19 kilometres from Madurai and 4 Kms above the Azhagar temple. It is an incredible site to visit. It is situated on a place which is covered by dense forests.

 We visited this temple on Thaipoosam Day. Thaipusam/Thaipoosam is a ceremony of celebrating the victory of Lord Muruga over the vicious Soorapadman. The name itself is an amalgamation of two words Thai signifies the Tamil month of celebration which falls between mid of January and February and Poosam denotes the brightest star of the month. The legend has it that this is the very day when Goddess Parvati endow Lord Muruga with the incredible Spear (Vel) to conquer the Soorapadman’s tyranny.  Be it any legend, Thaipoosam is a day for Lord Muruga and the right day to see his arduous devotees from across the globe. This year Thaipoosam is celebrated on 5th February 2023, with great pomp in all the shrines of Lord Muruga.

This temple was praised in sangam literatures Silapathikaram, Pathupattu and Ettuthogai. The 15th Century Saint Arunagirinathar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Muruga of this temple. Since Arunagirinathar praised both Nupura Gangai /Silambaru and Solai malai, this is considered as the 6th padai veedu of 6 padai veedu / Six abodes of Sri Murugan. Basically, Padai veedu is that one related to war, where the Soldiers used to stay and weapons will be kept.


This temple, on the solaimalai hill also known by the names Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri, is one among the six abodes of Lord Murugan. Here Murugan is worshiped along with his companions Valli as Iccha Shakti and Devayani as Kriya Shakti and he himself is worshiped as Jnana Shakti. The idol of the lord in the standing posture with a single face and four hands is kept between the statues of his consorts. The Vel of the lord made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with a great veneration by devotees.

The Silambar River that flows near by the temple gives an atmosphere of calmness and privacy. The Jumbu fruit tree by which Avvayar had an encounter with Lord Murugan is still found near the temple. In the temple premise, there is a rose apple tree (sthala vriksha) and the fruits of the tree will ripe only during Skanda Sashti festival.

Puranic Significance:

According to the legends, Lord Muruga tested the great Tamil poet and saint Avvaiyar here. One day while travelling Avvaiyar became tired, so she decided to rest under a fruit tree. A boy who was sitting on the tree asked Avvaiyar whether she want fruits. When Avvaiyar told that she wanted fruit, the boy asked whether she wanted roasted or unroasted fruit. Avvaiyar decided that the boy didn't have any knowledge about fruits. 


Due to her tiredness, she didn't want to argue with the boy. Avvaiyar asked the boy to give her unroasted fruit. Several fruits fell out of the tree and Avvaiyar picked them up,blowing on them to remove the sand. Smiling, the boy asked Avvaiyar if she was blowing on his "roasted fruits" to cool them down.Avvaiyar was astonished as to how a small village cowboy could have played such an intelligent drama. Blowing on the fruit to remove the sand was indeed poetically comparable to an attempt to cool "roasted fruits". Avvaiyar begged the boy to reveal his true identity, unable to reconcile herself with the fact that a simple cowherd could have such profound thoughts. The boy then disappeared and in his place, Lord Muruga appeared. Avvaiyar, stunned to find herself in Divine Company, prayed to Lord Muruga to bless her and continue bestowing his Infinite Grace on her to aid her virtually endless quest for knowledge.

Some of the important features of this temple:

The 3 tier Rajagopuram is at front and the same was constructed during recent years. There are three sanctums, they are  Vinayagar, Sri Valli Devasena Subramaniar  ( In Arupadai Veedu temples this is the only temple where Lord Muruga is with Sri Valli and Devasena ) and Gnanavel ( This Vel / spear is made of stone and worshiped from ancient times, considered as moolavar ). The idol of Lord Murugan in a standing posture has a single face with Goddesses Valli and Deivanai on his both sides. The Legend has it that, this is the place where Lord Muruga entered into the wedlock with Lord Indran’s daughter Deivanai as a gratitude for the historic victory of Lord Muruga over the demon King Surapadman. This shrine is praised by great saints like Arunagirinathar and Nakeerar. Lord Shiva here is known by the name of Parangirinathar.



The temple consists of Sanctum Sanctorum, antarala, ardha mandapam and maha mandapam. In the mandapam Gold plated Dwajasthambam, Balipeedam and Palliyarai. Vahana mandapam and rest halls are in the outer prakaram. The architecture of this temple is truly noteworthy, as it’s a rock-cut shrine with intricately carved pillars and beautifully painted ceilings.

The Sthala Vruksham Naaval tree will yield fruit in the month Aippasi, against the seasonal months of Aadi or Avani.


Apart from regular poojas special poojas are conducted on important days like Panguni Uthiram in March, Kanda Sashti, Aadi Krithigai, Vaikasi Visakam, Tamil New year day, Avani Pooram, Thirukarthigai,  Fridays with special naivedyam etc,.

Temple Timings : 6 am to 7 pm.

Temple Festivals : Tamil New year; Vaikasi Vishakha; Aadi Krithikai; Aavani Pooram + annual Pradosham; Skanda Sashi; Mondays in the month of Karthikai; Day of Karthikai month when the krithika star occurs (thrukkarthikai); Painkuni Uthram.

Nearest Town :  Madurai

Address : Sri Subrahmanya Swami Thirukovil, Cholai Malai (Pazhamuthircholai), Azhakar kovil- 625301. Madurai District.

Telephone No : 0452-247 0228


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கலையாத கல்வியும் குறையாத வயதுமோர் கபடு வாராத நட்பும்
கன்றாத வளமையுங் குன்றாத ­ளமையும் கழுபிணியிலாத உடலும்
சலியாத மனமும் அன்பு அகலாத மனைவியும் தவறாத சந்தானமும்
தாழாத கீர்த்தியும் மாறாத வார்த்தையும் தடைகள் வாராத கொடையும்
தொலையாத நிதியமும் கோணாத கோலும் ஒரு துன்பமில்லாத வாழ்வும்
துய்ய நின் பாதத்தில் அன்பும் உதவி பெரிய தொண்டரொடு கூட்டு கண்டாய்
அலையாழி அறிதுயிலு மாயனது தங்கையே! ஆதிகட வூரின் வாழ்வே!
அமுதீசர் ஒருபாகம் அகலாத சுகபாணி! அருள்வாமி! அபிராமியே
- அபிராமி பட்டர்
“Learning that goes not awry, a life span that is not shortened, and friendship that knows no guile,
Prosperity that never diminishes, youth that does not whither, and a body that sees no disease,
A mind that is never vexed, a wife whose love wavers not, and children who never know disobedience,
Fame that never decreases, a word that I go back on not, and charity that has no hurdles,
Wealth that is not thieved, a government that is never Adhaarmic, and a life that knows no despair,
At your esteemed feet, you gave me love and support,
and made me one amongst the great people who serve you,
The sister of he who lies in sleep on the milk ocean, the one who lives in the town of Kadavoor,
Oh thee, who separates not from one side of the body of Amutheeswarar,
Oh Goddess with the hands that bestows boons, bless us with these, Oh Abhiraami”
- Abhiraami Bhattar

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