Thursday, March 4, 2021

Agnipureeswarar Temple, Thirupugalur – History

Agnipureeswarar Temple, Thirupugalur – History

This Temple is considered as Mukthi Sthalam of Appar. Hence, this temple might have been built before 7th Century CE as Appar is said to have lived in 7th Century CE. The temple is extensively renovated by Cholas during the 10th – 11th  Century CE. There are two Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams in the same complex namely Agnipureeswarar Temple and Vardhamaneeswarar Temple. There are about 67 inscriptions available in this temple.

Most of these inscriptions are dated to the periods of various Chola Kings Uthama Chola, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola II, Kulothunga Chola I and Kulothunga Chola II. The temple has inscriptions dating from Uthama Chola (970–985 CE).  The inscriptions from the time of Rajaraja I indicates tax free gifts of land for conducting festivals and for providing offering to the temple every year by Panchavan Mahadeviyar, one of the consorts of the ruler.

Another inscription dated to the 27th regnal year of the Rajaraja Chola I indicates gift of paddy and money by Angikumara Gramavittan. The inscriptions from the period of Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044 CE) indicates exemption of taxes for certain lands belonging to the temple. The records from Rajadhiraja Chola I indicates offering by Pichan Sirudaikal of Saliamangalam making a gift of offering to the Ashtamangala ceremony, the eight steps of bathing of the deity (mirror, water-pot, flag, fly-wisk, elephant goad, drum, lamp and a pair of fish).

The records from the period of Rajendra Chola II (1054–1063 CE) indicates  the exclusion of land tax for certain lands of the temple. The first precinct was probably built during this time as per the information available in this inscription. There are also inscriptions from private donors indicating donations of festival images to the temple. The temple is maintained and administered by the Thiruppugalur Velakurichi Adheenam and Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

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