This is a well known abode of Skanda,
located at a distance of about 25 km from Tiruchirappalli,
enroute to Madurai. It has been revered by the Tiruppugazh hymns of Arunagirinathar.
The area around this temple is said to abound in peacocks.
Legend has it that Arunagirinathar was directed to Viraalimalai
by a divine command from Subramanya at Vayalur
- and that he spent several days in residence here. Legend also has it Murugan
desired to have a temple here and that he directed one of his devotees to request a local
chieftain to build a temple here on this hillock.
This temple has been the receipient of the Nayakas and local chieftains
and the Pudukkottai kingdom. During the Carnatic wars of
the 18th and 19th centuries, Viraali malai served as a halting point for the armies.
This temple enshrines a majestic image of Shanmukhar with his consorts
Valli and Deivayanai. It is built on a hillock accessed through a flight of stairs. A
majestic rajagopuram crowns its entrance. This temple is also endowed with a number of
pillars with noteworthy carvings. The festival image of Shanmukhar in a seated posture is
also of great beauty here. There are several man made caves in the hill, the shrine to
Chokkanathar being a rock cut cave shrine.
Festivals: Three annual festivals coinciding with Skanda Sashti, Vaikaasi Visakam and Thai
Poosam are celebrated each year. Rolled tobacco is made as an offering in this temple and
this is related to local legends here. The silver peacock and horse mounts here are of