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Agnipureeswarar Temple, Thiruvarur – Where Shiva Blessed Agni

Agnipureeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu

A trip to Tamil Nadu means exploring the rich heritage that prominent temples have to offer, and, Agnipureeswarar Temple, located in Thirupugalur Village, is a must in your itinerary. This temple, situated in Nagapattinam District, is the abode of Lord Shiva and his companion, Parvathi.

The Agnipureeswarar Temple Thiruvarur, is famous among devotees in South India and is open to followers from 6 AM to 12 PM followed in the morning, as well as evening hours from 4 PM to 8:30 PM every day. However, it remains open for the entire day during new moon days. The temple reflects a deep-rooted culture of ancient times that invoke a spiritual aura among tourists and devotees. The architecture of the temple and the surroundings offer the perfect setting for a divine experience, rejuvenating the mind and soul.

The Agnipureeswarar Temple  gopuras
The two gopuras of Agnipureeswarar Temple

History of Agnipureeswarar Temple

There’s a staunch belief that this temple was built somewhere in the 10th or 11th century during the Cholas dynasty. Additionally, Kaveri River was the heartland of the Cholas and, Agnipureeswarar Temple is the 75th Shiva temple situated on the Southern Bank of Kaveri. Sthala Puranas are ancient records of the origins of Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu. These ancient traditions claim that Agni, the god of fire worshipped Shiva in this particular place giving the deity the name Agnipureeswarar. Yet another study claims that Bhudevi, Lord Vishnu’s partner, a staunch follower of Lord Shiva, wanted to install a linga. After enormous efforts by her son Banasura, a voice from the sky claimed to make a linga available for Bhudevi’s worship. Following this, Lord Shiva made himself available as Konapiran, the tilted linga.

Interesting Facts About This Shiva Temple

Vastu Parihara: Lord Shiva transformed the bricks into gold bars for Saint Sundarar. People bring bricks to the temple for vastu and Bhoomi puja during the construction of new houses to encourage peace and prosperity.

A salvation centre: Secondly, Saint Tirunavukkarasar cleaned the temple grounds and paths for devotees to walk around easily. He attained salvation for this noble act and, the temple is popularly known as Salvation Centre.

Singers: Last but not the least, hymns by Saint Tirugnanasambandar praise the temple and exhort listeners to avoid listening to unworthy words. The saint, overflowing with love for the Lord, mentions that not listening to the Lord’s glory is comparable to insanity. The devotees sing the Tevaram Hymns of Shaivism poetry in praise of Lord Shiva.

Agnipureeswarar Temple  in Nagapattinam District
Agnipureeswarar Temple from the outside

The Architecture At Nannilam Agnipureeswarar 

The architecture of Agnipureeswarar Temple Thiruvarur is of the typical Dravidian style construction where a high gopura is a dominating feature. The rajagopuram is a five-tiered structure leading to the east-facing gateway tower making way to the inner three-tier gopuram. Also, Agni Theertham is the famous tank that dominates the front of the gateway tower. Adding to this, a flagpost marks the approach to the shrine, including a mahamandapam and an arthamandapam. You can find Agni, Brahma including saint Appar on the mahamandapam with the bronze idol of Agni distinct to the temple. The image features two heads and three legs.

The main shrine houses Agnipureeswarar as a tilted linga indicating that Lord Shiva bent for his followers. Another shrine for Shiva, called Vardhamaneeswarar with Muruga Nayanar facing the main sanctum, stands adjacent to the temple. Shiva’s consort Parvathi too has a separate shrine devoted to her.

You can find 63 nayanmar with Agni and Panchalinga including Appar and Vatapi Ganapathy. Subramanya with Sanisvara including Annapurani and Mahalakshmi with Kalasamhara are also present along the inner walls of the temple. The outer walls depict Chintamanisvara including Vinayaga and Linga.

Religious Importance of Agnipureeswarar Temple Thiruvarur

Following the devotional poetry of Shaivism in Tevaram hymns, the temple is one among the prestigious Paadal Petra Sthalams. The devotees consider it as one of the greatest Shiva temples ever. Sambandar, a Saiva poet & saint of Tamil Nadu, has glorified Agnipureeswarar. He glorifies the temple in ten verses. Appar proceeded to Kailasm, and the event is celebrated annually in the temple.

Agni Theertham at Agnipureeswarar in Nagapattinam District
Agni Theertham at Agnipureeswarar Temple

Poojas are performed every day, and pradosham are performed every fortnight. The temple observes monthly festivals including amavasai on new moon day, kiruthigai and pournami on full moon days. Additionally, it witnesses the prominent festival of Brahmotsavam during May and June, the Tamil months of Vaikasi. It’s a 10-day programme showcasing Lord Shiva giving darshan to Agni Bhagwan.

Travel Route to Agnipureeswarar Temple

The distance from Chennai to Thirupugalur village is 294 KM if you choose East Coast Road and NH32. From Bangalore to Thirupugalur village is 430 KM if you take the NH77 route. Via NH44, its 465 KM. Bus and train services are available from both Bangalore and Chennai. Along the way, you can visit famous temples in Dharmapuri and you can also cover several prominent temples in Kumbakonam.

Your pilgrimage to Nannilam Agnipureeswarar Temple will be a memorable one with a deep sense of satisfaction and memories of coming into contact with a unique aspect of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims can visit this ancient south Indian Shiva temple at any time during the year.