Agneeswarar temple at Thirukkollikadu or Kallikadu is more commonly known as Pongu Saneeswaran Temple. The Presiding deity of this temple Agneeswarar is also known as Thirukollikadar or Theevanna Nathar. Thee means fire and vanna means colour in Tamil. True to the name, the Lingam here is slightly reddish in colour. The Lingam here is one of the 64 Swayambhu (self-manifested) Lingams. His consort is Mirudupaadanayagi or Menthiruvadiamman or Panjinmelladiaal. All the names of the Goddess here mean – the one with soft feet. This is a padal petra sthalam and Thirugnana Sambandar has sung in praise of Thirukollikadar. The sthala vruksham at this temple is Vanni.
Agni was under the grip of ezharai sani when he had lost some of his power due to the following reasons. Agni had taken part in the yaga conducted by Dakshan (Lord Shiva’s father-in-law), whose primary intention of conducting the yaga was to insult Shiva. Agni had also been afflicted with dosha when the wax palace was burnt with the intent to kill the Pandavas. Agni prayed to Lord Shiva here to get back his power. Lord Shiva obliged him here and is hence known as Agnesswarar.
There is a story behind how this temple is so important for Saneeswaran worship. Saneeswaran is actually a just planet that has effects on the person according to his karmas (deeds). However, people misunderstood and dreaded the very mention of the name. Ezharai Sani or the seven and a half years period when the planet casts its malefic effect on the native of the horoscope is a dreaded period. Similarly ashtama Sani is also feared. Saneeswaran did not like this and he appealed to the Lord that he should not be blamed or held responsible for doing his assigned task. Lord Shiva was pleased with Saneeswaran and conferred him the title Saneeswaran here. No other planet has the tag Easwaran attached. He directed Saneeswaran to stay back at this temple as Pongu Sani and bless the devotees.
After he was relieved of the Sani dosham at Thirunallar, Nalan came here and sought the blessing of the Lord. He was reunited with his family and got back his royal status after worshipping here. King Harichandra also was a beneficiary of the Divine grace of Pongu Saneeswarar.
Saneeswaran is present here seated on his vehicle – the crow, as anugraha murthy (one showering his blessings) with his lower right hand showing abhaya hastham. He holds a plough in his upper right hand. He is holding a flag with crow embossed on it, in his left hand. Opposite to Pongu Saneeswarar is Bhairavar, who is Saneeswaran’s guru. There is a shrine for Lakshmi next to Pongu Saneeswarar. Murugan is present here with his consorts Valli and Deivayanai. He holds a bow in his hands instead of the Vel (spear). The Navagrahas are usually seen as Vakramurthys, ie they face different directions. The Navagrahas here are uniquely placed. They form a shape └┘here.
Worshipping in this temple will improve one’s social status. The devotees will earn through legal and righteous means and will also regain any property or wealth that was earlier lost due to deceit.
There are inscriptions in this temple which suggest that this ancient temple which was once built out of bricks, got its present granite structure during the medieval period of Chola reign, about 1500 years ago.
Saneeswara Moola Mantra:
Aum pram prim praum sah shanaisharaya namah.
Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath
This temple is located about 25 kms from Tiruvarur. On Tiruvarur Thirutharaipoondi road take a right turn at Kachanam. This temple is about 8 kms from Kachanam.
Boarding & Lodging:
The nearest towns are Tiruvarur and Mannargudi, where there are quite a few options available to suit various budgets. This is a very small village and no facility is available here.
Arulmigu Agneeswarar Alayam
Thiruthangur Thirunellikaval (P.O) Tiruvarur (Dist) – 610 205
Ph: 04369 237454
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