Agastheeshwarar Temple, Ambasamudram, Thirunelveli
Agastheeshwarar Temple is a Saivite temple situated at Ambasamudram in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. It is believed to be 1000 years Old. It is a big temple having Agastya as the main deity. The mount (vahanam) of Lord Shiva, Nandi - the holy bull, is the mount for the seer in this temple. Presiding Deity is called as Agastheeshwarar and Mother is called as Lopamudra.
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Agastheeshwarar temple is located at the heart of Ambasamudram town. It is slightly a bigger temple with two entrances facing east and north directions. Both the entrances have small and simple towers. Although the eastern entrance is supposed to be the main one, the northern entrance is largely used by people today as it is located on the main road. Although the temple is supposed to be very old as per the legend, the current structure cannot be dated more than half a century. Perhaps it could have been renovated multiple times.
There are many temples named as 'Agastheeshwarar temples' in Tamilnadu. However, they all are dedicated to Lord Shiva Lingas installed by the sage Agastya. However, in Ambasamudram and Kallidaikurichi, the name Agastheeshwarar denotes to the sage Agastya himself. This temple in Ambasamudram is dedicated to him. He is the main deity who is present in the standing posture and his sanctum sanctorum faces the east direction.
The main shrine is built in the "maada kovil" architecture style (the main shrines of God and Goddess are located on a raised platform). Agasthya and his consort are worshipped as Agastheeshwarar and Lopamudra respectively. Kurumuni (Sage Agastya) is having a separate shrine and graces in a standing form with Rudraksha mala in right hand showing the Chin Mudra symbolizing the Jeevatma-Paramatma union and the palm leaves in left. There is Nandhi before his shrine.
Outside the sanctum, the shrine of the Goddess Lopamudra is located. She resembles the posture of any typical Uma/Parvati/Amman in Shiva temples; she is in the standing posture and holding a flower in her right arm. The flag staff, Bali peetha and Nandi are placed facing the Agastya shrine. It should be noted that the mount of Shiva, Nandi, is found here as the mount of the sage. The temple has only one prakara. The exterior wall of the sanctum sanctorum has the sub-shrines of Dhakshinamoorthi and Chandikeswara.
There is a big sub-shrine where the big metal idols of Nataraja and Sivakami are found. Sri Chandikeswara graces from a shrine in the prakara. Pujas are performed as to Lord Shiva. Four night pujas are performed on Shivaratri day. On the temple’s front side we can see Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati sitting on Nandi the powerful bull which belongs to Lord Shiva and Sage Agasthya is worshipping them.
There is a north facing sub-shrine where a big and beautiful mural painting of Agastya, Lopamudra and the other seers is found. Another east facing sub-shrine named as 'Anna Mandapa' is also located in this temple, where a small attractive metal idol of Agastya is placed. Every year during the 28th day of Panguni month of Tamil calendar, cooked rice is placed inside the shrine through the window located at the back side wall. People could notice the footsteps of Agastya and also the mark of Kamandalu (an oblong water pot) in that room on the very next day morning.
There is one more sub-shrine where two attractive metal (Utsava) idols of Agastya and Lopamudra are found. Beautiful Utsava idols of Ganesha, Shankaralinga and Gomati in the sitting posture, Shankara Narayana (a combination of Shiva and Vishnu) and Gomati in the standing posture, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena and Nalvar can be found in this Temple.
There are separate shrines for Saivite Saint Thirunavukkarasar, Thirugnana Sambandar, Manickavasagar, Kanni Vinayaka, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Lord Nataraja, Bhairava and Sani Bhagwan. There are shrines for Lord Nataraja; Nalvar-four celebrated Saivite Saints Thirugnana Sambandar, Thirunavukkarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar, Sani Bhagwan and Bhairava in the prakara.
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Devotees pray for the removal of obstacles in wedding matters and success in their endeavors. Abishek are performed to Lord Agastheeshwarar offering vastras.
Sri Agastheeshwarar Temple,
Ambasamudram – 627 401,
Phone: +91 – 4634 – 250 882
The temple is near the Ambasamudram bus stop. Ambasamudram is 37 Kms from Tenkasi, 12 Kms from Veeravanallur, 47 Kms from Thirunelveli, 206 Kms from Madurai and 143 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Ambasamudram. Nearest Airport is located Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.