About Thirupugalur Temple:
This temple is located near Nannilam in Thanavur district. One can reach this place by train as there is a railway station at Nannilam. A branch of the river Cauvery also flows here, known by the name Mudikondan.
The temple is also known by the following names – ‘Komesam’, which symbolizes that the lingam here has a slight slant, ‘Punnaga vanam’, which signifies the holy tree of the temple. The temple is usually entered through its southern entrance. There is an idol of Vinayaka, also called Gnana Vinayaka, which guards the entrance. The specialty of this temple is that there are two separate shrines for Siva. Both theses shrines symbolize two different aspects of the Lord. Agnisvarar and Varthamaniswarar are the two deities, and Manonmani and Varthamaniswari are their respective Consorts. It is a popular belief that blessed are those who worship the Lord here.
Temple Structure :
The temple has a five-tiered gopuram. There is also a separate shrine for Chandrasekhara. In the inner ‘prakaram’ of the temple, there is a shrine for Agni, which has two faces, three legs, seven flames and seven hands. This is a very rare idol of Agni. Among the other idols in the temple are Dakshinamoorthi, Nataraja, Annapoorani, Saraswati and the sage Agastyar.
While going around the shrine of Vardhamaniswarar, one can spot the statues of Appar and Apudhi Adigal. There are also statues of Sani and Nala. The navagrahas in this temple are not in the usual square format but in the form of the letter L. The temple has many rare idols, one such being that of Thirunavukkarasar. He is gifted with the faces of a man, bird and a pig. He is said to have worshipped Siva here.
The Nandi in this temple is another treat to the eye. He is taken out in procession during festivals along with the deity, with the head of a bull but with the body of a man. He is also called ‘Adikara Nandi’, and an interesting aspect is that his wife Jvalakesari is also seen here.
As the place is a staunch Saivite abode, a festival is conducted in the Tamil month of Chithirai in the star of Sadayam, which signifies the fusion of Appar into eternal bliss with Siva. There is also a ‘Siddhar’ shrine here. There are numereous inscriptions on the wall, some describing the life of Appar also. One of the inscriptions also say that he had a dip in a pool at Kailas and appeared out of another pool at Thiruvaiyaru.
The temple covers an area of over 7300 sq’ with (East-West Wall is 325’ long and North-South Wall is 225’) and the moat surrounds the temple. There are number of legends attached to the temple. The Demon Banasura could not take out this Shiva Linga to his mother for worshipping , which led to him to attempt suicide, which was prevented by Lord Shiva , who tilted himself and allowed Banasura’s mother to worship him for her own place- hence the Tilted God got the name KONAPIRAN. People keep the bricks in the temple before commencing the construction of new house There is a nice Aghazhi around this temple.. Interestingly Panchavanmadevi’s Servant maid gave 9 Golden Flowers to Appar Bronze in this temple.Among the Saiva Samaya Kuravargal, Sundarar who relaxed here with brick stones as his head rest, found after awakening with surprise that the brick stones have been turned into golden stones. Further, the other Samaya Kuravar Thirunavukkarasu at the age of 81 is said to have been liberated here from this mortal life on earth on the day of Sadaya Nakshtra in the Tamil Month of Chithirai.
How To Reach:
The Famous Siva Temple “Agniswarar Temple” is in Thirupugalur. The God is known is Agneeswarar or Konapiran and Goddess is known as Karundhaz Kuzali. This temple is situated at a distance of 7 km from Nannilam, at 25 km from Nagapattinam and 40 km from Kumbakonam.