Tiruaparan Kundram, situated 8 km from Madurai, is first of the six abodes of Lord Muruga. This temple was built during the sixth century and it is evident from seeing the architecture of the temple that it was built using the rock-cut technique. Legend says that Lord Muruga married the daughter of Indira ‘Deivayani’ in this temple. The bottom of the temple comprises of the idols of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Durgai, Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu.The most interesting part is that the idols of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu are situated facing each other which is not common in Hindu temples as Hindus were separated into two groups – Shaivites (those who worship Lord Siva) and Vaishnavites (those who worship Lord Vishnu).
During the seventh century, Pandiya Nedumaran transformed to Jainism and demolished a part of the temple knows as Thenpuran Kundram; the demolished part holds the idols of Nataraja, Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga and one can witness the demolished part even now.
The Raja Gopuram, which stands at a height of 150 feet (46m), originated because of Thiru Nyaanasambandhar, preacher of Shaivam, influenced Pandiya Nedumaaran to convert to Hinduism again which also resulted in the extension of the temple.
Later, Rani Mangammal, the Queen of Madurai, also extended the temple and the statues of her grandson ‘Vijaya Ranga Chokkanadhar’ and herself are seen in this temple.
Totally there are five Theerthams (divine water sources) in and around the temple which are:
1. Saravana Poigai
2. Lakshmi Theertham
3. Saniyasi Kinaru
4. Kasi Sunai
5. Sathiya Koopam
Apart from divinity, one can also witness the presence of white peacocks along with the other birds, and what really people miss and mourn is for ‘Avvai’. Avvai, the elephant, was blessed with the gift of playing Mouth Organ and make people go mesmerizing.
Altogether, this place is not old and ancient but also divine and holy.