Sri Agneeswarar Temple / Sri Agnieeswarar Temple / Pongu Saneeswarar Temple / அக்னீஸ்வரர் கோவில் / பொங்கு சனீஸ்வரர் திருக்கோவில், Thirukollikadu / திருக்கொள்ளிக்காடு / Thiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu
This is the 232th Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 115th Sthalam on the south side of river Kaveri in Chozha Nadu. This place was called as ThiruKollikadu during Thevaram period and the same name is retained even now.
In periyapuranam Sekkizhar records thatThirugnanasambandar came to this temple after worshiping Lord Shiva of Thiruthangur.
நம்பர்மகிழ் திருஆரூர் வணங்கிப் போந்து
நலம்கொள் திருக்காறாயில் நண்ணி ஏத்திப்
பைம்புனல்மென் பணைத்தேவூர் அணைந்து போற்றிப்
பரமர் திருநெல்லிக்காப் பணிந்து பாடி
உம்பர்பிரான் கைச்சினமும் பரவித் தெங்கூர்
ஓங்கு புகழ்த் திருக்கொள்ளிக் காடும் போற்றிச்
செம்பொன்மதில் கோட்டூரும் வணங்கி ஏத்தித்
திருமலி வெண்துறை தொழுவான் சென்று சேர்ந்தார்
Thirugnanasambandar and Vallalar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
நிணம்படு சுடலையி னீறு பூசிநின்று
இணங்குவர் பேய்களோடு இடுவர் மாடம்
உணங்கல வெண்டலைதனில் உண்பர் ஆயினும்
குணம்பெரி துடையர்நம் கொள்ளிக்காடரே
வீட்டிலன் பரானந்த மேவச் செயுங்கொள்ளிக்
காட்டிலமர்ந்த என்கண் காட்சியே
....... திரு அருட்பா
Moolavar: Sri Agneeswarar
Consort: Sri Miruthu Paatha Nayagi, Sri Panjin Melladiammai.
Some of the salient features of this temple are.....
The temple is facing west with an entrance arch. The temple tank with Lotus flowers is on the left side of the temple. The Arch has the stucco image of Shiva Linga on the top. Dwajasthambam, balipeedam and Rishabam are in the newly built Mandapam. Moolavar is of short and slight red in colour. In koshtam Brahma, Lingothbavar ( Brahma and Vishnu are on both sides ), Dakshinamurthy, Vinayagar and Durgai.
In prakaram Vinayagar, Valli Devasena Villenthiya Velavar /Subramaniar ( Urchavar is not in this temple ), Mahalakshmi, Shaniswararan, Bhairavar, Nalvar, Navagrahas ( They are installed in U shape ), Vinayagar, Kasi Viswanathar and Chandikeswarar. Shainswaran is in a separate sannadhi. There is a bas relief of Thiripura Chakravarthy worshiping Lord Shiva is on the Sanctum wall ( It was told that, it is Agasthiya Maharishi ).
Urchavars are Natarajar, Sivakami, Shaniswarar with his vahana and Vinayagar. Ambal is in a separate sannadhi facing south, in standing posture.
The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, antarala and artha mandapam. An ekathala vesara Vimana is on the sanctum.
HISTORY AND INSCRIPTIONS
Since Thirugnanasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple, the original temple might have existed before7th Century and the same was reconstructed as a stone temple during Chozha’s period and latter extended by Vijayanagaras and maintained by Nattukottai Nagarathars.
Rajaraja Chozha-I’s 21st reign year inscription starts with his meikeerthi records the endowment, a land measuring “onre oruma mukkani” was gifted to this temple for Naivedyam and wages to the two persons working in the temple. Initially the tax on the land was paid by the sabha and latter the same was exempted for the tax by converting it in to Irayili. For 3 kala pooja 4 Nazhi kuruni Paddy / (rice..?) was given for each kalam ( times ) and for the two persons, one pathakku paddy was given.
Rajaraja Chozha-I’s 25th reign year inscription starts with his meikeerthi, records the endowment of Naivedyam of 6 nazhi paddy and Kariyamuthu to images of “Amara Sundara Perumal”, “Nampirattiyar” and “Pillaiyar Ganapathy”, for the same a land measuring “Araiye nanmaavarai araikani” by the villagers of Thirukollikadu. If it is defaulted either by the sabha or any individual, a penalty of 25 kalanju gold will be levied by the Village mandram.
Rajaraja-I’s 27th reign year inscription starts with his meikeerthi records the endowment ofplaying conch / sangu, kaalam and Sekandikai at this temple for which a land measuring “Onre araikkal” and a housing plot was gifted by “Achchan Kundran” and his brother “Achchan Adigal”. In addition to that, the same persons also donated “araiye maakani” land for the 3 persons who are playing the above.
Rajendra Chozha-I’s 3rd reign year inscription records the endowment of worship at this temple, for the same 1 veli land situated at Arumulaicheri alias Maraya mangalam and 200 kasu by “Kollikadudayan Anukkampuththan” alias “Arvalanattu Moovendhavelan”. The land was converted as a Irayili, by Maraya Mangalam mahasabha.
Rajendra Chozha-I’s inscription records that Annadhana Yogis and Maheswaras of this temple of Thirukollikadu, was enjoying Temple’s land since Uthama Chozha’s 3rd reign year to Rajendra Chozha-I’s 23rd reign year by paying only 200 kasus. This was complained to Rajendra Chozha-I, by Thiruvendurai Annadhana Yogis and maheswaras ( temple incharges ). So the King ordered Rajendra Chozha Moovendha Velan an official to enquire the same. When he found it was true, ordered to pay double the amount as 400 kasus. Since they couldn't pay and surrendered the land to temple itself as Irayili.
Maha Kumbabishekam was conducted in the year 2013 after maintenance. This was done under Sri Kamakoti Peetadhipathi Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal’s pon vizha scheme.
About 120 acres of Nanjai land is under the control of the temple gifted by the Chozha King.
In this Shaniswaran temple, special poojas are performed on Saturdays and Shani peyarchi days. Shaniswararn of this temple is also called as Pongu Shani ( last part of 7.5 nattu Shani ), who will do good to those with Shani dosha. The temple will be kept opened through out the day on special occasions.
As per the legend Shaniswaran did a penance on Lord Shiva to get rid of the sin accrued. Satisfied with the penance Lord Shiva appeared and gave darshan. Shaniswaran requested Lord Shiva the boon of staying in this temple and bless his devotees and to give them all the wealth. Hence Shaniswaran is called as "Pongu Saneeswarar".
In another legend, Shaniswaran is holding a plough in his right upper hand. It is believed by the local people, that before starting the cultivation after rain, pray to Pongu Shaniswaran will get a good yielding.
When a Chozha King has Shani dosha, he came to this temple and worshiped Lord Shiva. With the grace of Lord Shiva he has got relieved from Shani dosha.
In Thevaram hymns it was mentioned about Gaja Samhara of Lord Shiva. Hence it is believed that once this temple might have been called as “Kariyuritha Thevar Temple”.
POOJAS AND CELEBRATIONS
Apart from regular poojas, special poojas are conducted onSaturdays, Shari Peyarchi days, Vinayagar Chathurthi in the month Avani ( Aug – Sept ), Navaratri in the month Purattasi ( Sept – Oct ), Skanda Sashti and Annabhishekam in the month Aippasi ( Oct – Nov ), Thirukarthigai in the month Karthigai ( Nov – Dec ),Thaipoosam in the month Thai ( Jan – Feb ), Maha Shivaratri in the month Masi ( Feb – March ) and monthly pradoshams.
The temple will be kept opened between 07.30 hrs to 12.30 hrs and 16.00 hrs to 19.00 hrs.
The land line number +91 4369 237 454, may be contacted for further details.
HOW TO REACH
On the bus route Thiruvarur to Thiruthuraipoondi take diversion to Thirunellikaval, Thengur - Keeralathur and Kallikkadu.
A12 Town bus from Thiruvarur to Thirukollikadu is also available.
The temple is 18 KM from Thiruthuraipoondi, 20 KM from Mannargudi, 23 Km from Thiruvarur, 57 KM from Kumbakonam, 58 KM from Thanjavur and 318 KM from Chennai.