Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is considered as one among the 108 holy abodes of Vishnu who is worshipped as Koodal Azhagar. The shrine is enclosed by a granite wall. A five tiered Rajagopuram marks the gateway. A visit to this temple is considered as an indispensable item on the itinerary during the Madurai visit. In addition to the main deity, there is also the shrine of Goddess Madhuravalli, the consort of Koodal Azhagar. Small shrines of deities like Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Goddess Lekshmi and Lord Narayana can also be found here. The history of the temple dates back to the reign of Pandyas. The rulers of Vijayanagar dynasty and Madurai Nayak Kings later made significant contributions to the temple structure.The temple finds mention in Paripadal and Silappadikaram.
The temple has brilliant inscriptions which denote the lavish gifts the temple had received during the construction stage. Literary works likeMadurai Kanchi by Mangudi Marudan, Kaliththokai, Paripāṭal and Silappatikaram also mention the temple. The temple is abound in legends. One legend goes like this. Vishnuchitha, one among the twelve Alwars; the mystical saints would quote from vedic texts and was known for his arguments on the sovereignty of Lord Narayana. Once he hailed the the greatness of lord through his convincing arguments in the court of Pandya king. A miracle happened then and it was followed by a victory procession led by the King himself. It is believed that Sri Koodal Alagar appeared and blessed Vishnuchitha, who then sung Thirupallandu in the Lord’s praise and offered Mangalasasanam.