Mahendrapalli Thirumeni Azhagar Temple – The Temple
The presiding deity is called as Thirumeni Azhagar, Somasundareswarar and the Ambal is called as Vadivambigai. Sri Chandikeswara graces with his consort in the prakara. There is a separate shrine for Lord Sri Vinayaka with Ragu and Ketu on both sides. Lord Muruga graces from his shrine with his consorts Valli and Deivanai. There are shrines of Sri Kasiviswanathar – Mother Visalakshi, Meenakshi Sundareswarar, Bhairavar and Saneeswarar-Saturn, Sun and Moon. There is no shrine for Navagrahas - 9 planets in the temple.
Handsome Shiva is praised as Thirumeni Azhagar and Mother as Vadivambigai for their beauty. Saint Tirugnanasambandar addresses the Lord as Azhagar. Lord Vishnu in Madurai is also called Azhagar in Tamil and Sundararajan in Sanskrit. Lord Shiva is Azhagar in this temple. During the month of Panguni (March-April) the rays of Sun fall on the Lord. On the side wall of Shiva Shrine, Lord Dakshinamurthy graces.
The temple is east facing has an entrance crowned with a three tiered Raja Gopuram. The innermost prakaram enshrines Shiva, Ambal and Nataraja. The outer prakaram has shrines dedicated to Ganesha, Vishnu, Bhairava, Surya and Chandra. The prime deity is a small shiny lingam (Meni Azhagar) – an apt name. The Ambal Vadivambigai is also equal in beauty. This temple is also famous for its “Soorya Pooja” in the month of Panguni.
The holy tree is the Kandamaram, Vilvam, Thazhai and holy spring is Mayendra theertham. The Temple is located in Kollidam river bank. Near this temple is an ancient settlement by the name Teevukkottai; the Nataraja image enshrined at Mahendrapalli was apparently unearthed here. In the month of March, sunlight directly on the Shiva linga daily (lasts for a week).