Agastheeshwarar Temple, Pozhichalur – Legends
Lord Shani (Saturn)has different phases like Kanda Sani, Janma Sani, Ezharai Sani. Sri Sani Bhagavan is said to have been relieved of his sins by performing penance to Lord Shiva. As directed by Lord Shiva he visited this village and created a holy pond called “Nallar Sani Theertham” and worshipped Lord Shiva and was cleansed of his sins. Hence, Sri Sani Bhagavan here is believed to be Mangala Saneeswarar with no Doshams or ill effects. Hence, he is seen in this temple as the prime God (only next to Thirunallar).
In the north Tamil Nadu this is the only temple dedicated to Lord Sani where devotees throng in large numbers to get relief from the impact of Sani. In this temple, when offerings of food are made, crows (that are believed to be the vehicle of Lord Shani) come in large numbers to eat the food offered. During this time, devotees gather in large numbers and feed the crows to get themselves relieved of their sins. Due to this reputation, this place is called as Vada Thirunallaru.
As per the legend, as all the celestial beings went to Himalayas to attend the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the earth lost its balance. To balance the earth, Shiva asked the sage Agastya to travel towards the southern direction. Due to greatness of this sage, he was equivalent to all the celestial beings and as soon as he moved to the southern direction, the earth was balanced back. Agastya did not want to miss the wedding. With the help of Lord Shiva, he got the divine sight and watched the divine marriage in many sites in South India. Pozhichalur is one such site where he got the darshan of divine marriage. Shiva Linga was also installed by him and hence it is called as Agastheeshwarar.
Origin of Shivalingam:
It is said that the Shivalingam was unearthed when the Mudaliars who owned these lands were ploughing their fields.
Naadi Parihara Sthalam:
This temple is mentioned in Nadi Jodhidam for Pariharams and hence it is popularly known as Naadi Parihara Sthalam.