Sunday, January 22, 2017

Agneeswarar Temple, Nalladai, Tharangampadi, Nagapattinam

Agneeswarar Temple, Nalladai, Tharangampadi, Nagapattinam
Agneeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located in Nalladai Village in Tharangampadi Taluk of Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu. The temple sprawls across an area of two acres. There are three entrances with majestic Gopurams (Towers). It is believed to be built in 1147. The sanctum sanctorum has Lord Siva surrounded by water in order to cool down the heat from the idol.

It is unusual to see the lord facing west. Presiding Deity is called as Agneeswarar or Baraninathar and Mother is called as Suntharanayagi. This temple is famous for dislodging obstacles in wedding, child boon and planetary effects. This is one among 27 Nakshatra temples. This is the special temple for people born in “Barani” Star.
Legends
Sage Mruganda Maharshi’s Yagna on Lord Shiva:
Sage Mruganda Maharshi organized a great Yagna for the Lord of Nalladai. He also announced that the materials required for the Yagna may be contributed by the public. They wove three silk clothes with gold and offered one to the Lord, one to the Rishi and the third to their king. At the end of the yagna, the rishi put two clothes given to him and the Lord in the Yaga Gunda-the fire pit. The public raised the question “would the clothes placed in the Yaga Gunda reach the Lord.”  The sage asked them to go and see it for themselves in the sanctum sanctorum. It was a pleasant surprise for the devotees to see their product covering the Lord in all freshness. The sage explained that of the various types of Agni and Bharani Rudragni was one and that power took things they gave to the Lord.  Hence, the Nalladai temple is attributed to Bharani star. 
Shiva appeared before Sivanesa Nayanar:
One day, the Chola King of the day and Sivanesa Nayanar came here to worship the Lord. A tiger chased Nayanar who climbed on the tree nearby. After a while, when he came to the Kundangulam tank, the animal still followed but was killed by the Nayanar. Lord appeared before Nayanar and blessed him.
History
The sanctum sanctorum of the temple was built with stones during the rule of Rajaraja Chola II covering the years 1146 – 1163.  Other parts of the temple were built by his representative Somanthozhar.  The epigraphic details of this are recorded on the eastern wall of the sanctum.  It also mentions that the place presently known as Nalladai was “Nalladai Mangala Kulothunga Cholapuram in Kurumbur of Jayamkonda Cholanadu.” Inscriptions indicate that the temple was administered by a committee headed by Kasiban Koothan Mummudi Cholapattan and that land was donated by the king for maintenance of the temple to offer nivedhanas to the Lord and lighting lamps.
The Temple
Presiding deity Lord Agneeswarar was known earlier as Tiruvanneeswaram Udayar, during the Puranic Age.  Lord Agneeswarar graces facing west against the traditional direction of east. There is slope like formation around the Shivalinga filled with water to calm down the Agni feature (heat) of the Lord. This is a significant feature in the temple. The temple covers an area of two acres. There are entrances on three sides of the temple with towers.

Mother Sundaranayaki graces facing south.  There are shrines for Dwara Vinayaka, Balamuruga, Selva Vinayaka, Lord Mahavishnu, Somaskandar, Mahalakshmi, Sani Bhagwan (Saturn), Kailasanathar, Kalyani, Bhuvaneswari, Chandikeswara, Veerabadra, Lord Dakshinamurthy, Sun, Bhairava and Mother Durga in the corridor-prakara.  As Lord Shiva himself is heading the 9 planets-Navagrahas, there is no separate shrine for them in the temple. 

Theertham of this Temple is Kaduvaiyaru River. Vanni & Vilwa are the Sthala Vrikshams of this Temple. This is the place that wove clothes to Lord himself, it is named Neithaladai – weaving fine clothes. In the days following, it shrunk as Nalladai. It is noteworthy that famous Shiva temples of Sembanarkoil, Keelaparasalur, Thirukadaiyur, and Thirunallaru are very near to this temple.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Festivals
Aipasi Annabishekam in October-November, Karthikai Somawar-Mondays of Karthikai in November-December, Margazhi Danur pujas and Arudra Darshan also called Tiruvadhirai in December-January, Thai Fridays and Thai Poosam in January-February, Maha Shivrathri in February-March, Panguni Uthiram in March-April, Panchamoorthis processions on Karthikai Sundays in November-December, Chithirai festival in April-May, Visaka festival in May-June and Margazhi festival in December-January are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Prayers
People belonging to Bharani star pray in this temple in particular for relief from adverse planetary effects. People also pray for happy wedding, child boon and other benefits. Devotees perform Homas and Archanas in favour of Lord and Mother. Bharani starrers are advised to visit this temple as often as they could and worship Lord Agneeswarar. The proverb goes that Bharani people would rule Dharani-world meaning that they will be very popular.
They are advised to perform homas to the Lord who is Agni-Fire personified. The benefits would be double if they do so on the Bharani star day in Karthikai-November-December. As the temple is facing west, it is said that praying in such temples would bring great benefits to the devotee as the Lord would be furious in nature here.  
Contact
Sri Agneeswarar Temple,
Nalladai – 609 306,
Tharangampadi Taluk,
Nagapattinam District
Phone: +91 4364 285 341
Mobile: +91 97159 60413 / 94866 31196
Connectivity
The temple is located on the Mayiladuthurai – Karaikal road via Nedungadu on State Highway 149. It is around 15 kms from Mayiladuthurai. Nearest Railway Station is located at Mayiladuthurai and Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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