Thirukollikaadu, a little known but a very ancient and divine temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who graces this temple as Agneeswarar. This is also popular for worshipping Saturn or Saniswaran in Tiruvarur district. Agni Bhagavan is said to have revered lord Siva here and hence the name Agneeswarar and the place came to be celebrated as Agnipuri. This temple is located in Thirukollikadu close to Thiruthuraipoondi in Thiruvarur area. .This is the 115th Shiva temple located on the southern bank of Cauvery extolled in Thevaram hymns. Thirugnana Sambandar has sung in praise of Lord Agneeswarar. Agni Bhagavan is said to have worshipped Lord Siva here and consequently Lord Shiva is also addressed in name of Agneeswarar. Thirugnana Sambandar addressed Lord Shiva as Lord Kollikaadar in his pure Tamil (agni, Kolli- Fire).
About The Temple
The ancient temple was constructed by the Chola Kings around 1500 years ago. Later Raja Raja Cholan I renovated this temple as a granite structure. The engravings of Raja Raja Chola Rajendra Chola I, Rajathiraja Chola I and Kulothunga Chola I can also be seen in the temple. A person who worships Saturn, popularly known as Pongusaneeswarar, will be blessed with not only removal of the problems and worries faced but will be blessed with a life that one wishes. There is no Raja gopuram. There are sannadhis in the main praharam for Murugar with Valli Deivayanai, Mahalakshmi, Saniswaran, Bairavar, navagrahams. The navagrahams are situated contrastingly here facing each other. Lord Subramanya gives darshan with a bow and arrow as his weapons rather than his spear. Around the sanctum of Lord Shiva are Vinayagar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbavar, Brahma, Durgai. The sthala vriksham is Vanni. Saturn holds a furrow and abhaya hastham in his right hand and a crow in his upper left hand and Uru hastham in his lower left hand. He is seen on his vahana crow magnificently and is adorned in a dim blue outfit. 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 fail to worship him. Sri Bairavar has his sannathi in the north east corner of the temple opposite to Sri Sani Bagvan sannathi. Bairavar is considered to be the GURU of Sanibagavan. As the disciple is in front of his Guru always, he blesses the devotees with all his might.
About the deity
Lord Shiva is praised as Agneeswarar as Agni Bhagwan adored Lord in this temple for help from a condemnation. He is accompanied by his consort, Panjin Melladi Ammai who is also known as Mrudu Pada Nayaki. Sani Bhagwan is located in the north west corner of the temple, the place where Goddess Mahalakshmi is located in Shiva temples. This is to indicate that he bestows his devotees with prosperity like Goddess Mahalakshmi, in this sthalla. The temple has three revered trees Vanni, Oomathai and Kondrai who bless the devotees for providing relief from various issues like mental desolation and solidarity in family. As Lord Shiva himself put an end to the sins of His devotees, the Navagrahas have fewer works, hence they are facing each other, it is said.
Legend and Stories
AgniBhagavan directed SuriyaBhagavan and to his spouse Ushadevi and Sayadevi to seek out blessing of Lord Shiva residing at Thirukollikadu. Lord Shiva pleased with the devotion of Surya baghawan liberated the wives of Lord Surya them from the heat of the Sun. By the blessings of Lord Shiva ‘Yamadharma’ was born to Ushadevi and Sani Bhagavan was born to Sayadevi.At one point of time people startee fearing and cursing Lord Sani whenthye had to suffer from the impact of Saturn’s transition. Saddened by the attitude of people, Saturn came to this Agni Vanam as advised by Sage Vasishta and performed severe penance, to seek the blessing of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva gave darshan to Sani Bhagwan in the form of Agni the Fire and made him bestow prosperity to devotees who visited Thirukollikadu to worship him. Hence he also came to be known as Pongu Sani-Prosperous Sani. As blessed by the Lord, Sani Bhagwan has his shrine in the temple in the Kubera corner (north) granting all wealth to devotees. 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 the wealth he had lost earlier, according to scriptures.
Maha Shivrathri in February-March and Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January are the festivals celebrated in the temple
Saturn is called Pongu Sani and Mangala Sani as he blesses the devotees abundantly. On Saturdays, the temple is open throughout the day. People suffering from the malefic effects of Sani (seven and a half years benefit worshipping him here. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and offer vastras. Shiva is Swayambumurthy in the temple. Customarily, Navagrahas in Shivate shrines face different directions. It is unique to this temple that the navagrahas are seen facing each other. Lord Subramanya graces here with a bow and arrow, instead of his customary spear. Sani Bhagwan in this temple is holding a furrow indicating prosperity.
The temple is situated in Thirukollikadu near Thiruthuraipoondi in Thiruvarur District. Thirukollikadu is a small village situated 4km west of Thirunellikaaval Railway station. (Thiruvarur to karaikudi train route). Now Buses play from Thiruvarur to this place.
12-A From Thiruvarur
Sri Agneeswarar Temple,
Tirukollikadu Post – 610 205,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. ~ 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m ~ to