Shree Lalithambika sametha Shree Agneeswarar Temple at Neyveli (Thiruvallur) – where Lord Shiva is considered being worshipped by rishis and siddhars everyday
From Thiruvallur, take the road towards Uthukkottai / Poondi, that will go along the periphery of the Poondi reservoir. About 100 meters before Poondy village, there is a 3 way junction (Poondy koot road) and just before it, there is a road towards right. If you travel about a km in that road you will reach the Neyveli village and the temple.
Wikimapia temple location is here (thanks to Padma for sending the correct location)
It all started in 2004 when two Shiva devotes visited Oondreeswarar temple at Poondy village. After their visit there, a village boy appeared and directed them to visit a nearby Shiva lingam at Neyveli village and disappeared. In the village, they found no Shiva lingam / temple and after persistent search, the villagers showed them a mound of thorny shrubs and wild weeds which they said is the only place which they had not explored due to the movement of snakes. On clearing the place a little, they found a beautiful, shining shiva lingam with only the top (rudhra) portion exposed under the clutches of the massive roots of a big Kallala tree (banyan without the hanging roots). The lingam was present very fresh as if daily poojas were taking place.Kallala tree is the one under which Lord Dakshinamoorthy sits.
Following are the earliest photos available:
The two people then heard about Sri Vadapalani Ramamoorthy who is doing the temple related services for the past more than 3 decades and informed the details. Then, Sri Ramamoorthy, Sri Murugashram Swamigal and Dr.Sathyamoorthy ex-director of ASI and the current chief patron of REACH foundation visited the place and they had a terrific experience. When they tried to enter the sanctum hutment, a whirlwind dust storm supported by heavy rain started without any warning all of a sudden. They had to go and embrace the nearby trees in order not to be thrown away freely. The Kallala tree started swinging wildly and an army of beetles flew all over the place and chased the people away. All these happened within that very small area of few 100 meters radius. Even the nearby villagers did not believe it when they arrived at the village in shambles fully wet. Later it was told in the deiva prasnam that Siddhars were in the middle of their worship and since it got disturbed, they got into all these problems. It was then decided that this is not a normal place and had to be handled very carefully.
Then, deiva prasnam was conducted by two eminent experts, one from Chennai and the other, a Namboodri from Kerala. Without one knowing what the other said, surprisingly both gave more than 90% matching information such as:
- the main deity is Shree Agneeswarar
- It is believed that the 18 siddha purushas among whom the two most prominent duo Shree Karur Devar and Nerur Shree Sadhasiva Brahmendrar worship this deity even today during midnights
- The Kallala tree without hanging roots is the adobe of Vana Durga (Mother Kali, Goddess of forests) and 9 rishis are penancing below this tree! It was revealed during prasnam that the Adivasis who lived here have worshipped this Kali as their main deity in ancient days and the divine presence of Kali is still felt even today in this tree. A serpent couple which live in this tree make occasional appearances during pradhosha kaala poojas even today! (The Poondy surrounding area is historically a place where the ancient stone age people lived – remember they lived near the water bodies. The Gudiyam caves near Poondy has pre-history caves where stone age people lived. On the way to Neyveli from Poondy, the vast area on the right side has been fenced and being protected by Archeological Survey of India. There is a permanent museum of the finds of the stone age people discovered from these areas).
- Agni theertham pond which is situated in the North Eastern part of this temple is believed to have spurted from the third eye of Eshwara. A dip in this holy tank and the worship of Eshwara is sure to eliminate the severest kind of Sarpa dhosha
- This temple will be a popular pilgrimage centre very soon and people from all over this country and abroad will throng the place to have a glimpse of Shree Agneeswarar
- This has similar spiritual significance to that of Kalahasthi for the Sarpa dhosha remedy.
In the devia prasnam, it was told that without the permission of Shree Karur Devar and Nerur Shree Sadhasiva Brahmendrar, not a brick can be moved. It also revealed that one has to visit the Karur Siddhar’s adhishtanam and if the Siddhar accepts Vasthra dhanam (donation of cloth) on a Monday, it is an indication of the permission from the duo to startup the construction activity. Further one should not go and voluntarily give but somebody will come and voluntarily accept the dhanam.
So Sri Ramamoorthy, with the vasthram ready for dhanam, visited Nerur Shree Sadhasiva Brahmendrar adhishtanam on one Friday and then on Saturday, the Karur Pasupatheeswarar temple where Karur Devar adhishtanam is present, waiting for the vasthra dhanam to take place. But nothing happened till afternoon and suddenly he remembered that it will take place only on Monday as per the prasnam. So he just decided to leave wanting to come on Monday. At that time, the archagar called him inside and gave the (anga) vasthram that was adorned on the Karur Siddhar adhishtanam, as prasadam. He was totally surprised since he was expecting to give vasthra dhanam but he received and that too from the divine Himself. He found from the archagar that it is not customary to give the vasthram as prasadam to anybody on any day but it is just that he got some inner urge to do so at that moment. Sri Ramamoorthy was more than happy thinking that he got more blessing than what was told in the prasnam and so can start the temple work. On Sunday evening, he returned to Chennai. On Monday morning, an aged person came to his house saying that he is arranging a marriage for his younger grand daughter and getting some help from several people. He showed up a cardboard saree box saying, it was a saree donated by somebody next street. He said, he expects a vasthra for the bridegroom. Now the following in Sri Ramamoorthy’s own words:
“Raju, I am doing temple related service for nearly more than 3 decades but on that day, I got an experience which I never got in my whole life. I immediately became half-conscious, gave the vasthrams I kept for this purpose. The person didn’t talk any further. I did pranams, he blessed me with both hands and just walked away. For the next 20 minutes I just sat on the sofa speechless. I slowly regained full consciousness and later only realized what had really happened. If people need real marriage assistance, they will ask for money or gold or whatever costlier assistance but not just this single vasthram worth 200 Rs, is itn’t?”
From that moment, Sri Ramamoorthy didn’t look back and is going ahead, though slowly, due to paucity of funds. At the age of 70+, he is regularly going to Neyveli for Pradhoshams apart from other visits to supervise the work.
There are many miracles happening to many people visiting the temple including me and my wife. One of the incidents worth mentioning is this:
Late Sri T.S.Gothandarama Sharma of Chrompet is a popular figure in VHP and Kanchi mutt and has written many books on Sri Kanchi Periyavar. He conducted the bhoomi puja at Neyveli with the Ganapathy homam and Navagraha homam and when they were about to leave, they suddenly remembered, Kali, a main deity there, was totally forgotten . So they continued with the Dhakshina Kali homam and then left. Next day early morning, Sri Ramammorthy received a telephone call from Sri Sharma who was stammering in a highly emotional voice that he just got the dharshan of the beautiful smiling Mother Kali. Sri Sharma was a regular writer to many magazines and so he has narrated his experience in a letter to Sri Ramamoorthy which is being preserved.
Now, in the span of two years,
- a Vinayagar shrine has been built and consecrated
- the compound wall has been constructed
- the temple tank has been almost completed
- the approach road has been laid (with the donation of lands by many villagers)
- the shrines of Shiva, Ambal, Vana Durga and Murugar are coming up
In the last 4-5 months, we have visited thrice and felt the blessings of Shree Agneeswarar. Our first trip was along with a Blog friend Sri Sethurathnam and REACH Chandrasekar on a Pradhosha day. It was raining right from Adayar and while crossing Porur, it was the toughest. In Thirumazhisai, the water stagnated in the road to about 2 feet level and I was really scared to drive through. All the way, it was a very tough, scary and testing drive but somehow safely reached Neyveli. There was no further rain all through the pradhosha proceedings till we returned!
The temple is located in a beautiful environment with paddy fields all around. Initially when the temple was found there was no road to the temple it was surrounded by fields all around. Now many people have donated lands and made a road. When you enter, first you will see a beautiful Village God temple. The red and white striped compound wall of the Agneeswarar temple with the big Kallala tree, amidst the green fields all around gives a very pleasing look from quite a distance.
We can see that Shri Agneeswarar is sitting in an ancient hutment with the damaged walls on all sides. There are traces of this being a good structure once a upon a time. The Kallala tree had grown into the shrine and engulfed the Agneeswarar from all sides. We can visualize that the roots of the tree from all sides and the damaged old roof had stood as a solid protection for Shri Agneeswarar all these years. There is a space for only about 3-4 people to stand in front of the sanctum and there is serpent cave in the tree in such a position that when people stand, the serpent can be present just a few inches back of their head and watch the proceedings. It seems, many times it happened so also! (Recently when a devotee from Bangalore was there, the serpent was just present there. With the full awareness of it – remember it was just a few inches above the head – the devotee stood there without any movement with the whole body sweating but it went inside after some time without doing any harm to anybody).
Agneeswarar on different days:
When we went, Sri Ramamoorthy and his team brought all the items for the pradhosha abhishegam and we were about 15-20 people initially. Sri Rammoorthy started narrating all the miracle experiences from the beginning one after the other. We were totally absorbed by his narrations and in the meanwhile, Lakshmi Narayan and others started preparing for the abhishegam. Slowly the crowd started coming. By around 6 PM, when the abhishegam was over, it was a crowd of about 100+ people! and what was more exciting is the involvement of the villagers. I was there passing the Nivedhya items and archanai items from the crowd to the sanctum and I was continuously passing about 20 archanais and about 10+ different varieties of neivedhyam from the crowd. It was really a grand dinner to Him and I understand now why He showed up Himself here after so many centuries. After all, these villagers deserve Him. They, at present, are not aware of how their village is going to change in the near future but, for sure, the village has found a great treasure. When the abhishegam and archanis were all over, many people had to distribute prasads from different corners because there were so many. Only after all these, we realized that we had to call up our kids at home and our umbrellas and bags were lying on one side. We realized that our attention didn’t go beyond the four compound walls of the temple in those 3 and a half hour – it never happened to us before!
Sri Ramamoorthy is also taking up the activity of introducing Siva puranam and Thevara padals to the village children there. It’s a pleasure to watch these bright faces of village kids very actively doing temple service on a special day like pradhosham. Where is the question of conversion when the village kids are guided like this?
Later, on hearing about the temple, our relative families were also interested and we went there in 3 vehicles on a normal day. Ramamoorthy Sir was kind enough to be present also and everyone was thrilled to listen to all those marvelous experiences from him. We did abhishegam to Agneeswar ourselves and it was very satisfying that we got a chance to touch and do the abhishegam to such a sacred lingam being worshipped by so many Siddhars and sacred souls.
At the end, one person said ‘Just with this one temple, I have the satisfaction of visiting 20 temples’ – it was no exaggeration.
Official information with the contact details:
Sri Ramamoorthy: 99403 98648 – firstname.lastname@example.org
V.S.Shankar Trivedi: 94450 04908
1) It is a known fact that it is very difficult to construct a Shiva temple even if one has a huge bank balance. Here we have an opportunity to participate in a temple with so much of spiritual significance. Like Edmachi, I am participating in this temple also with keen interest and I request the readers also the same and strengthen the hands of Sri Ramamoorthy. Remember I had not been given a free hand (by Sri Ramamoorthy) to write everything I heard about this place and I am underplaying to a large extent to avoid showing this as a “mayajal”. So, just remember that there is much more to this place than what has been written – Visit and experience it!
2) The temple Kumbabhishegam is expected to take place by May 2013. The latest state of the temple can be seen in the photos here.
Contributions can be sent to:
Sri Agneeswar Aalaya Seva Committee,
s.b a/c no: 8029 1021 0000 019
Bank of India,
West Mambalam branch, Chennai – 31
Nearby places to visit:
- Thiruvallur twin temple of Sri Veeraraghava perumal temple, a divya desam and the Sri Theertheeswarar Shiva temple
- Oondreeswarar temple at Poondy village
- Poondy reservoir
- A permanent pre-history museum with the finds of the stone age people around this area