Agneeswarar Temple, Thirukkollikkadu – Legends
If Saturn is unfavorable to any one or at certain times of his transition, it is not the fault of the planet. It should be understood that his place in the Janma patrika – horoscope-of an individual or in the case of even celestial, is decided by the wrong and good doings of those concerned leading to results accordingly. He also pours immense benefits to many and punishes many based on this rule. But everyone is afraid of his adverse aspects only and fails to praise the benefits they derive from him.
Grieved by the attitude of people, Saturn came to this Agni Vanam as advised by Sage Vashista and performed severe penance. Lord Shiva granted darshan to Sani Bhagwan in the form of Agni the Fire and made him Pongu Sani-Prosperous Sani. He also granted the boon to all that those worshipping him and Sani together will be happy. As blessed by the Lord, Sani Bhagwan has his shrine in the temple in the Kubera corner (north) granting all wealth to devotees.
Emperor Nalan worshipped Shani Bhagwan here:
During such a Saturn period, Emperor Nala lost all his wealth and kingdom. After the period was over, he came to this place and worshipped Pongu Sani-prosperous Sani and got back all that he lost earlier, according to scriptures.
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 Agneeswarar. Since Kolli (Agni) worshipped the Lord here, the place is called Kollikkadu. For the same reason, the lingam is slightly red in colour. Also for the same reason, the Lord is called Thee Vanna Nathar (the colour of fire).
Birth of Shani Bhagwan and Yama Dharma:
Agni Bhagavan is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence the name Agneeswarar and the place came to be known as Agnipuri. Agni Bhagavan advised Suriya Bhagavan and to his wife Ushadevi and Sayadevi to seek blessing of Lord Shiva at Thirukollikadu. Lord Shiva pleased with devotion absolved them from the heat of the Sun. By the grace of Lord Shiva ‘Yama Dharma’ was born to Ushadevi and Sani Bhagavan was born to Sayadevi.
Chola King got relieved of Sani Dosham:
A Chola king with heavy Sani Dosham finally got relief from his sufferings on worshipping the Sani Bhagavan at Kollikkadu.
King Harichandra relieved of his Dosham:
King Harichandra is also said to have bathed at this Sthalam and was finally relieved of his Dosham by the grace of Kollikkadu Sani Bhagavan. The river where he bathed is still named after him.