Alagirinatha Swamy Temple, Salem – Greatness of Temple
This place was originally known as Sri Shailam as Mother Sri was born here. Later, it changed as Salem. Shailam means a holy place. Hanuman, who accompanied Lord Sri Rama in search of Mother Sita, had a bath in the Manimutharu River.
Seeing the alluring handsomeness of Lord Azhagirinathar, he chose the place to stay. In engagement ritual for marriages, the bridegroom side demands the bride side to give their daughter promising on Lord Azhagirinathar. The practice is still in vogue in this place.
The philosophy that every being in the world is but a female before Lord, the Parama Purusha though physically they appear different on earth and that a male backing is necessary for every female in some form or other, is explained in the sculpture of Lord having Mother in the chest.
It is said that all the sages in Ramavatara became Gopikas to follow Lord Krishna in the next avatar in support of this philosophy. This is depicted in the sculpture on the Vimana.
People pray here seeking remedy for nervous ailments as Sage Brugu was cured here. He was arrogant once that caused him this defect. He prayed to Perumal here for cure, it is said. Devotees pray to Lord Santhana Gopalakrishna under the Punnai tree in the temple for child boon.