Siva temple in T Nagar has a shrine for sage Agasthiyar

By Aaditya Anand M Published on Jul 27, 2018 02:49 PM IST

Chennai:  Agasthiyar Temple in T Nagar is peculiar in its own way. It is predominantly a Siva temple but there is a separate shrine for sage Agasthiyar which is very special and, hence, the temple got its name 'Agasthiyar Temple'.

Located on Raja Street, the temple is believed to be more than 75 years old. It is currently under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department.

"The speciality of the temple is, of course, a separate shrine for Agasthiyar and his wife, Lopamudra. It is believed that before this temple was built, a 'naadi' reader who had written Agasthiyar Naadi lived here. He might have worshipped Agasthiyar and after him, it would have become a temple. However, there are no priests currently who know the exact history,"  says a temple priest, who wished to remain anonymous.

Deity Agasthiyar and his wife Lopamudra.

"It is also said the temple has been built as per the writings in one of the manuscripts by the naadi reader," he added.

The temple is a Harihara sthala where shrines for both Siva and Vishnu are present apart from a small shrine for Lord Ayyappa.

"Earlier, it was only a Siva temple with shrines for Siva, Parvathi, Muruga and Ganesha. But, later, changes were made and shrines built for Vishnu and Hanuman," he said.

The main deity Siva is called Sundara Vanibheswarar. Here Siva, other than in the traditional Lingam form, is present in 'Thirumana Kolam' along with goddess Parvathi.

"This is another speciality here as this is only the one among the three temples in Chennai to have Siva in this form. Since this temple is also a dosha sthala for Sashtashtaga Dosha in married couples - a dosha in the horoscopes of the couples - praying to Siva and Parvathi here will help them get rid of that dosha," said the priest.

The temple has two entrances, one on the eastern and the other on the northern end. On the right side of the eastern entrance is a separate shrine for Siddhi Buddhi Vinayagar. The outer walls of the shrine are rich in sculptures. There is also a sculpture of Shirdi Saibaba on the wall.

"There are many intricate sculptures present around the temple that depict scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayanam," added the priest.

"Kumbhabhishekam of the temple was last performed in 2007. Special poojas are performed on all special occasions that draw a lot devotees," he added.