Sri Agastheeswarar Temple / Agasthiyar Temple / அகஸ்தியர் கோயில், Agasthiyan Palli / Agathiyampalli / அகஸ்தியம்பள்ளி. Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu.
This is the 243rd Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 126th stham on the south side of river Kaveri in Chozha Nadu. Now this place is called as “Agathiyar Koil” or “Agasthiya palli”. In Periyapuranam, Sekkizhar records that Thirugnanasambandar came to this temple after worshiping Lord Shiva of Thirumaraikadu.
தெண்திரைசூழ் கடல்கானல் திரு அகத்தியான் பள்ளி
அண்டர்பிரான் கழல்வணங்கி அருந்தமிழ் மாமறை பாடிக்
கொண்டல் பயில் மணல்கோடு சூழ்கோடிக் குழகர்தமைத்
தொண்டருடன் தொழுது அணைந்தார் தோணிபுரத் தோன்றலார்
Thirugnanasambandar and Vallalar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
வாடிய வெண்டலை மாலைசூடி மயங்கிருள்
நீடுயர் கொள்ளி விளக்குமாக நிவந்தெரி
ஆடிய எம்பெருமான் அகத்தியான் பள்ளியை
பாடிய சிந்தையினார்கட்கு இல்லையாம் பாவமே
நின் அகத்தியான்பள்ளி நேர்ந்தேன் என்று ஆட்கொண்ட
தென் அகத்தியான் பள்ளிச் செம்பொன்னே
....... திரு அருட்பா
Moolavar: Sri Agastheeswarar.
Consort: Sri Mangai Nayagi Sri Bagampiriyal.
Some of the salient features of this temple are…
The temple is facing east with 3 tier Rajagopuram with an arch on the road side. Balipeedam and Rishabam are after the Rajagopuram. Moolavar is little taller and swayambhu. In Koshtam Dakshinamurthy.
In prakaram Agasthiyar, Siddhi Vinayagar, Valli DevaSena Subramaniar, Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Saneeswarar, Moovar, Ayyanar, Suriyan and Rudhra Ganapathy. There is a separate temple for Agasthiyar. Many Nagars are under sthala Vruksham Vanni tree.
HISTORY AND INSCRIPTIONS
Since Thirugnanasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple, the original temple might have been existed before 7th Century and the same was reconstructed as a stone temple by Chozhas and further extended by Pandyas and Vijayanagara Nayakas.
The inscriptions recorded from this temple belongs to Chozha Kings Rajaraja-I, Rajendra-I, Kulothunga Chozha-I, III and Pandya King Kulasekara Pandya, Vikrama Pandya, Maravarman Veera Pandya. As per the inscriptions, this place was mentioned as Tharani Muzhuthudaya Valanattu Kundrur nattu Udyar Thiragathiyan Palli and Lord shiva was called as Thiruagathiyan Palliudayar,
Kulasekara Pandya’s 31st reign year inscription records the endowment of celebration of Thiruvizha / Brahmotsavam in the month Vaikasi and special poojas are conducted on the Hastham nakshatra day ie the last day of thiruvizha for the wellbeing of their King Kulasekara Pandyan. A Tax free land of 5 veli was gifted by the Kundrur nattu people / sabha. The same king’s 5th reign year inscription records that donation of gold of 150 kasu to a madam called “Agasthiyar Madam”, towards Maheswara Poojas and annadhanam from the interest, by Gauthaman Andan Kundram Erinthar. This was done since the Land already gifted was converted as Irayili and the Maheswara Poojas was stopped.
Maravarman Veera Pandya’s 15th reign year Inscription records the an endowment, for which a 2000 kuli land after reclaimed after which was lying fallow, was gifted to Umbala Nadu alias Tharani Muzhuthudaya Valanattu Kundrur nattu Udyar Thiragathiyan Palliudayar, by Arayan Poyan Vilupparayan Ezhumoor Kizhavan Vilupparayan ( Ezhumoor – present Egmore a part of Chennai ).
Rajaraja-III, 2nd reign year inscription records the endowment of burning perpetual lamp for which 1500 anradu narkasu, by Rajendra Chozha Valanattu KotramangalathuVirada Kula rayar. The above gift was received by Muppathu vattathu Siva Brahmins.
Swetha Muni’s son Brahman, Siddhars, Naradhar, Indra and Kuzhaka Munivar worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple. Since “Kuzhakamunivar” worshiped, Lord Shiva is praised as “Kuzhakeswarar”.
As per the sthala purana, at the time of celestial wedding of Lord Shiva with ma Parvati, all the Devas, Sages, Munis assemble at Mount Kailash. Due to this the north side of this earth was lowered and south side was raised. So Lord Shiva asked Agasthiyar to go to South to balance this earth. Disappointed sage Agasthiyar, Lord Shiva to give his “Kalyana Kola” darshan, whenever he wants, for the same Lord Shiva accepted.
On the way to South Agasthiyar installed Shiva Lingas, Worshiped Lord Shiva and hadLord Shiva’s Kalyana Kola Darshan.This is one of the place, where Agasthiyar stayed some time, installed a Shiva Linga and worshiped. Hence Lord Shiva of this temple is praised as “Agastheeswarar”. This was mentioned by Thirugnanasambandar.
‘‘நீரின் மாமுனிவன் நெடுங்கைகொடு நீர்தனைப்
பூரித்து ஆட்டி அர்ச்சிக்க இருந்த புராணனே’’
Sundarar mentions, that Agasthiyar was worshiped Lord Shiva in his Thirunindriyur hymns.
‘‘சந்தி மூன்றிலும் தாபரம் நிறுத்திச்
சகளி செய்து இறைஞ்சும் அகத்தியர் தமக்குச்
சிந்து மாமணி அணித் திருப்பொதியிற்
சேர்வு நல்கிய செல்வம் கண்டு அடைந்தேன்’’
POOJAS AND CELEBRATIONS
Apart from regular poojas, special poojas are conducted on Vaikasi Visakam in the month Vaikasi ( May – June ), Vinayagar Chathurthi in the month Avani ( Aug – Sept ), Skanda Sashti in the month Aippasi ( Oct – Nov ), Thirukarthigai in the month Karthigai ( Nov – Dec ), Thaipoosam in the month Thai ( Jan – Feb ) and Maha Shivaratri in the month Masi ( Feb – March ).
The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 10 hrs and 17.00 hrs to 18.00 hrs.
The Land Line number +91 4369 250 012 may be contacted for further details.
HOW TO REACH
3 KM from Vedaranyam to Kodikkarai. Buses are available from Vedaranyam.
The temple at Agasthiyampalli is 3 KM from Vedaranyam, 50 KM from Nagapattinam, 64 KM from Mannargudi, 72 KM from Thiruvarur and 348 KM from Chennai
Nearest Railway station is Vedaranyam / Agasthiyan Palli and Junction is Nagapattinam.