Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pozhichalur Sri Agatheeswarar

Pozhichalur is about 3 kms from Pallaavaram Railway station off the road towards Kunrathur.

It has an ancient Shiva temple belonging to Chozha period.

The main deity here is Sri Agatheeswarar and Goddess Sri Aanandhavalli.

This beautiful temple is one among the Navagraha temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam) dedicated to Lord Sri Saneeswara Bhagavan.

According to legend, Lord Shiva directed Sri Agasthiyar to go towards south to balance the earth during His wedding at Mount Kailash. As per the God’s direction, Sage Agasthiyar came down to the southern part to balance the weight of the earth. While he was on his way to Podhigai hills, he stayed here for many years and worshipped Lord Shiva, a Swayambhu (self evolved) Lingam at this place.

Sage Agasthiyar had a boon that wherever he worships Lord Shiva, he will get the dharshan of the Lord’s marriage with Goddess Parvathi. Sage Agasthiyar is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and got His dharshan in this place.

Sri Saneeswara Bhagavan is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. As Sri Saneeswara had been giving ill effects to people, he had gained Dhosham out of it. Sri Saneeswara Bhagavan, wanting to be relieved of his dhoshams, prayed Lord Shiva for help.

Lord Shiva asked Sri Sani Bhagavan to come to this place and worship Him. As directed, Sri Sani Bhagavan came to this place, created a pond called ‘Sani Theertham’ and worshipped Lord Shiva and got relieved of his problems.

Hence, Sri Sani Bhagavan here is believed to be Mangala Saneeswarar with no dhoshams or ill effects. People having problems because of Sani (Saturn), worship here to reduce the ill effects. This place is also called ‘Vada Thirunallaaru’.

The main deity, Sri Agatheeswarar is seen facing the east and Goddess Sri Aanandhavalli facing south. The temple is facing north and does not have Rajagopuram.

Sri Sani Bhagavan is facing west towards the main deity in the sanctum. This temple is also a Parihaara Sthalam for Raahu and Kethu.

This temple had been renovated during Chozha period. The sanctum is built in Gajabrishta shape (also called Thoongaanai Maadam) shape.

Lord Ganesha (Vinaayagar) is seen under a peepul tree at the south west corner of the temple. At southeast of the sanctum, Lord Anjaneyar (Sri Hanuman) has a separate shrine.

The Sthala Viruksham for this temple 'Maa Maram' (Mango tree) is at the north western side of the temple.

There is a beautiful Shiva Lingam under the Mango tree along with Sri Nandhi.

The Theertham of this temple is called ‘Sani Theertham’ which is located a little away from the temple. This pond is in a very poor state with encroachments all around.

Raahu Kaalam, Pradhosham, Aarudhra Dharsanam, Sivarathri, Sani Peyarchi and Karthigai Deepam are few of the special days in this temple.

Temple Address : Sri Agastheeswara Swami Temple, Pozhichalur, Chennai - 600 074. Tel : 044 - 32564022, 9382305974, agaskoil@yahoo.com (Contact : Mr. Shanmugavel Kumarasamy, Trustee). Website : www.pozhichalursaneeswarartemple.org