Viralimalai is on the bus route between Madurai and Tiruchy. It is 25 kilometers from Tiruchy and 40 kilometers northwest of Pudukottai. From Azhankudi Viralimalai is 371/2 Kilometers. A railway station is very close to the town. Viralimalai temple is on top of a big rock and can be seen from a great distance.
Viralimalai temple is situated in the heart of the town of Viralimalai. Hence the town takes the name of the hill. Buses, which ply from Tiruchy to Madurai and from Pudukottai to Illupur go via Viralimalai. Devotees can reach Tiruchy by road, rail or air and hence proceed to Viralimalai. In Tiruchy and Viralimalai there are many private boarding and lodging houses and food facilities are also available.
The hill is small and rocky. From the foot of the hill a beautiful flight of steps take us to the top. These footsteps are engraved on the rock and are 207 in number. In between there are beautiful mandapams for devotees to rest. There are thick woody orchards on the hill and peacocks abound in these orchards. Great saints and yogis are said to have lived in the form of Kura trees and worshipped Lord Muruga and hence the name Viralimalai derived from the Tamil word Viravi.
This temple is specially known for the peacocks that are found in plenty. Cigar is a unique offering similar to the sandal paste offered to Lord Dandayudhapani during Arthajama puja in Palani. During the reign of Ramachandra Thondaiman of Pudukottai the Lord is believed to have appeared in his dream and requested the offering of cigars for the Kalasandhi and Sayaratchai puja. The king is said to have been cured of his diseases after the offer of cigars to the Lord according to history. We also find a number of caves in which saints and yogis have performed penance. This is a place where the Lord blesses devotees with the power to control the indriyas or senses. Rishis Narada and Kashyapa offered prayer to Lord Subrahmanya for getting their sins propitiated. The mute Sivachariyar obtained the power of speech after worshipping Lord Murugan here. These and many more are the marvels of this temple
We find the statue of Kashyapa Muni and Narada Muni in the hill temple along with sculptures of Arundhati and Vashishta. We also find the sculpture of Arumugan and Arunagirinathar on the pillars found on the way to the temple. The temple is located on top of the hill and can be seen from a great distance. A beautiful flight of steps along with mandapams for devotees to rest, take us to the top of the hill. At the foot of the hills the water tank called Saravana Poigai is located on southern side. On the eastern side there is a Srine for the goddess Maikannudaiyal. It is customary to worship this goddess before climbing up the hill.
On the way to the hill top we find the Idumban Sannidhi a small cave Srine for Meenakshi Sundareshwar and a mandapam called Sandana Kottam at the end of the flight of steps. Adjacent to the Sandana Kottam Mandapam we find the Navaratri and Shanmuga Moorty Mandapam.
Next to the Navaratri Mandapam we find the south-facing Raja Gopuram. In the Shanmuga Moorthy Mandapam of this temple with a single prahara the utsavamoorthy gives darshan together with devas. In the western part of the prahara we find the Srines of Vinayagar, Dakshina Moorthy, Agasthiyar and Arunagirinathar and in the northern side we find the Srine of Chandikeshwarar and Bhairavar.
The Srine for Navagraha is located on the way to the Maha Mandapam in front of the sanctum sanctorum. In the Maha Mandapam Natarajar, Sivakami, Manika Vinayagar and Srinivasa Perumal with consort await to bless the devotees. On the outer walls of the garbhagraha we find inscriptions. Inside the sanctum sanctorum Lord Muruga showers blessings upon the devotees.
On the southern part of the foothill Saravana Poigai, the Sthala Theertham is located. It is also called Naga Theertham. The Sthala Vriksham in this temple is Kasi Vilvam.
The vision of the Lord inside the Garbhagraha is soul-stirring. The Lord is in the form of Arumugan, six-faced and with twelve hands seated elegantly on the peacock facing east. The divine consorts Valli and Deivannai stand on either side. As the Sivachariyar offers camphor the devotees can see the three faces at the back in the mirror which the other three can be viewed directly.
Sri Shanmuganathan Devasthanam
Tiruchirapalli – 621 316 India