Posts Tagged ‘agneeswarar koil’

Thirukollikadu – Pongu Saneeswaran Temple

Posted: February 28, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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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.

 

Saneeswara Gayathri:

Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath

Location:

Click here for Map

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.

Nearby Temples:

Thirunellika

Thirukuvalai

Thiruthengoore

Kaichinam

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Agneeswarar Alayam

Thirukollikadu

Thiruthangur Thirunellikaval (P.O) Tiruvarur (Dist) – 610 205

Ph: 04369 237454

I still remember the first time I visited this temple about twenty years ago.  I stumbled on this temple while I was on my way to Suryanar temple from Kuthalam, when I just took this right turn by mistake.  Almost immediately I realized that this was not Suryanar temple.  Just as I was about to turn back I saw the temple gopuram and decided to visit the temple.  It was around 11.30 in the morning and the temple was closed.  After enquiry at the only shop there I went to the temple priest’s house and requested him to open the temple.  He obliged and told me that this was Sukra sthalam.  What a change from then and now!!!

Kanjanur is the sthalam for Sukran.  At this Shiva temple Agneeswarar is the presiding deity and his consort is Karpagambal.  Agni is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence the name Agneeswarar.  There are quite a few Shivalingams in the praharam, including one supposedly installed by Kamsa.

Agneeswarar Temple. Kanjanur

Agneeswarar Temple. Kanjanur

There are quite a few stories associated with this temple as follows;

When Lord Vishnu asked Bali for 3 steps of land in Vamana Avataram, Sukracharya tried to dissuade Bali from granting the boon.  He took the form of a bee and blocked the mouth of the Kamandalam (a type of Jar, usually carried by rishis) from which Bali would pour water to signify the grant of the boon.  Vishnu used a dharba to clear the blockage in the Kamandalam and in the process blinded Sukracharya in one eye.  Vamana then took the Vishwaroopam and covered the whole universe in two steps.  The 3rd step was placed on Bali.  An angry Sukracharya, cursed Vishnu.  After severe penance to Shiva here, Vishnu was relieved of his curse.

An interesting connection between Valleeswarar Koil in Mylapore and this story is as follows.  Sukran after being blinded in one eye undertook a pilgrimage of Shivalayams to get back his sight.  It was at Valleeswarar temple in Mylapore that he got back his sight.  Offer prayers to Shiva at Valleeswarar Koil in Mylapore to get rid of eye ailments and to be blessed with good eyesight.

There is another story of how Vishnu incurred Sukracharya’s wrath. Sukracharya was the son of Brigu Maharishi.  Once during a war between the devas and asuras, Brigu Maharishi’s wife, was accidentally beheaded by Vishnu’s chakram (discus).  An angry Sukracharya cursed Vishnu.  As a result of the curse, He was born as Sudarsanar to Vasudeva, a Vaishnava Brahmin.  Sudarsanar was a staunch Shiva devotee and was popularly known as Haradatta Shivacharyar.  There are stories of the ordeals undergone by Haradatta to prove his devotion for Shiva. Images pertaining to these are seen in this temple and also in the Vishnu temple in the village. Haradatta used to spend much of his time meditating before the Dakshinamurthy.

Dakshinamurthy is always seen with a demon being crushed under his feet. The demon signifies ignorance.  It means that Dakshinamurthy leads us from ignorance to the knowledge of self.  Instead; you can find the image of Haradatta worshipping Dakshinamurthy, which is a unique feature of this temple.

Image of Haradatta worshipping Dakshinamurthy, Agneeswarar Temple. Kanjanur

Image of Haradatta worshipping Dakshinamurthy, Agneeswarar Temple. Kanjanur

There is an interesting story associated with the Nandi here.  A poor Brahmin was afflicted by pasu dosham because a calf had expired when he threw a bundle of grass at it. The Brahmin as advised by Haradatta offered a clump of grass to the stone Nandi. To everybody’s astonishment, the stone Nandi is supposed to have consumed the grass.  It is said that since this Nandi is eating the grass the tongue is not seen hanging outside.

Sukracharyar was imparted the knowledge of Amirtha Sanjeevini Mantra by Lord Shiva.  This Mantra can bring the dead back to life.  Sukracharya used this mantra in one of the deva-asura wars and revived the slain asuras. One being approached by devas for help, Lord Shiva is said to have swallowed Sukracharya in a fit of rage. Sukracharyar meditated on Shiva inside His stomach.  Karpagambal prevailed on Shiva to let Sukracharyar out. Hence Sukran is very devoted to the Ambal and is Her favourite. Shiva also conferred on Sukracharya the status of a celestial planet here.  There is no idol for Sukran here. Shiva blesses those who come with their prayers to Sukran.

Brahma is said to have been blessed with the vision of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati.

Pooja:

He is the second most beneficial planet after Guru.  If Sukran is favourably placed in a person’s horoscope, the inmate will be blessed with prosperity, beautiful wife, own house, vehicle, fame & marriage.  The person will also be very influential.  An unfavourably positioned Sukran in ones horoscope causes eye ailments, indigestion, and impotency, loss of appetite and skin problems. Lord Sukran is offered white Lotus, white cloth, mochai kottai (common bean) and aththi (fig) to alleviate problems caused by Sukra dosham.  Friday is the day of Sukran and worship on Fridays is considered very special.  Sukran is also Ambal’s favourite and the special day for Ambal is Friday as well.

Recite the following Mantras facing South-East

Sukra Moola Mantra: Aum dram drim draum sah shukraya namah

Shukra gayatri: om rajathapaya vidmahae Bhrigu suthaya dheemahi tanno shukra: prachodayaath

Other Sukra Sthalam:

Velleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai.

Velleeswarar Temple at Mangadu, Chennai

Other Temples nearby:

Suryanar Koil – Sun Temple

Sri Sarabeswarar Temple at Thiruvhuvanam,

Sri Mahalinga Swami Temple at Thiruvidaimaruthur,

Sri Kalyanasundara Swamy Temple at Thirumanancheri

Location:

Click here for Map

Kanjanur is 18 Kms from Kumbakonam and 26 Kms from Mayiladudurai. It is just 3 Kms from Suryanar Kovil and 5 Kms from Adudurai.  There are bus services to this place from Mayavaram, Aduthurai, Thiruvidaimarudhur etc.

Boarding & Lodging:

This is a very small village and do not expect any facility here.  It is best to stay at Mayavaram or Kumbakonam.  If hungry, as usual, the temple prasadam is a good option.

Temple timings: 6 A.M. to 12.00 P.M. and 4 P.M. to 9 P.M.

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Agneeswarar Alayam
Kanjanur
Kanjanur Post
Via Thugali
Tiruvidaimarudur Taluk
Thanjavur District
PIN 609804

Phone Number: 04435 247 3737