Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Agastheeshwarar Temple, Pozhichalur – The Temple

Agastheeshwarar Temple, Pozhichalur – The Temple
There is no Rajagopuram and the temple is facing east with entrance arch at north side. Presiding Deity is called as Agastheeshwarar. The sanctum is facing towards the east direction. Sanctum enshrines big Shiva Lingam called Agastheeshwarar. The sanctum is built in Gajabrushta shape (also called Thoongaanai Maadam) shape. In the month of Chithirai, on the dates 7,8,9 when the sun rises in the east, its rays fall only on the Shivalingam.

Ganesha, Dakshina Murti, Vishnu, Brahma and Vishnu Durga are found as the niche idols on the exterior walls of the sanctum. Interesting feature is that the koshta Murthi of Vishnu is present in the place of Lingothbhavar. The flag staff, Bali Peedam and Nandi mandapam are found facing towards the sanctum. The idols of Agastya, Shani and Surya are found diagonally opposite to the sanctum.

Lord Saneeswarar shrine faces west and is considered to be very powerful. This place is often referred to as Vada Thirunallar. He is seen with a Chin Mudra. It is said that it is third in the order of Sani Parihara Kshetrams after Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar and Kuchanur. Saneeswarar Temple. Crow, which is the vahanam of Saneeswarar, are seen in large numbers when devotees make their offerings. Feeding the crows, dogs and cattle is said to rid one of the Sani Dosham.

This temple is also a Parihara Sthalam for Rahu and Kethu. There is also a separate Navagraha sannidhi inside to the right of the Saneeshwara. Lord Nataraja's presence as Utsava Moorthy make Arudhra festival a special one here. The Durga sannidhi and Chandikeswarar on the north-west side of the temple. Go Shala is situated at the north-east side. At southeast of the sanctum, Lord Anjaneyar (Sri Hanuman) has a separate shrine.

Mother is called as Ananthavalli. The Goddess is found in a separate south facing shrine. The idols of Bhairava and Navagraha are found near the shrine of Anandvalli. The idols of Ganesh and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are also found in the mandapam. The frontside mandapam is big with few pillars carved with sculptures.

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. Outside on the south west you have a unique neem tree with Banyan combination with a Ganesa and Nagas below it.

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. There is one more Shiva temple at around 100 meters north east of Agastheeshwarar temple, which is equally ancient. There is no Amman sannidhi and only a large Shiva lingam exists.

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