'Thirumana Thiruthalangal', is a book written by Ms.Meera Nagarajan, the Managing Director and CEO of the company. The published chapters from the book narrate the importance on worshipping at various temples that are known to bless for an early marriage to a bride or groom.

Sri Agastheeswarar - Pancheshti

Sri Agatheeswara temple – Pancheshti

Pancheshti, the Sivasthala is situated at 30 km distance from Chennai on the Gummidipoondi GNT road after crossing the Karanodai Bridge. The temple is glorified and renowned for its moorthi, tank and sthala. It is believed that sage Agathya lived here for many years and built the Agathya tank. The sthala got the name Pancheshti due to the reason that Sukethu, a yaksha conducted five yahas here for redemption from curse.

History of the temple

Mithradwasan, the ruler of Kanchi undertook Pradosha fast, worshipping Agathya at Pancheshti. One day, when he was walking through the forest on the banks of Kuchasthala River, he heard a voice "Help, help". The king rushed with a sword in his hand towards the direction of the voice. There he saw a Brahmin lying on the ground, having been attacked by a tiger. When the king told the tiger not to kill the Brahmin who was feeble and very thin, the tiger replied, "It is the dharma of Nature that a tiger can kill a human for food. I am blind. If I let go this man, all my cubs that are starving since three days would die. And, I'll also die. What is your solution for this problem?" To this, the king insisted that the tiger let go the Brahmin and instead, could have the king as its food. Also, he said that he would get salvation through his act of saving the life of a Brahmin. And, the king sought time to finish his Pradosha puja. The tiger agreed to whatever the king said. The Brahmin got up and ran away. But, when the king offered himself as its food after finishing his puja, the tiger hesitated. It said that it was pleased by the king';s honesty. But when the king put his head inside the mouth of the tiger offering himself as food, the tiger disappeared! Lord Siva appeared in the sky and conferred boons on the king. After this incident, Mithradwasa ruled over Kanchi for many more years with dharma as his mantra.

The sthala has got the glory of having been a place of worship for a king who was particular that not only his people but also the animals in his kingdom should not starve. So, the sthala is considered an annadhana kshetra.

Sri Agatheeswara temple – Pancheshti

Architecture of the temple

As we enter the temple, a five-level east facing Rajagopura welcomes us. The tower is abundant in artistic wealth with beautiful sculptures both on the inner as well as on the outer walls. We see the sannidhis of Sidhi Vinayaka and Balasubramanya at the outer prahara. At the goshta of the sanctum, we see the figures of Vinayaka, Dakshinamoorthy, Brahma, Durga and Mahavishnu, as we see at all the Sivalayas. There's an ancient ant-hill at the right side of the prahara. A sannidhi of Ishtalinga is also located here. Pulathiar, a student of Agathya worshipped this linga, it is said. Also, it is believed that by praying to this linga, one gets success in litigation and also gets peace of mind.

The Agathya theertham is situated outside the east prahara. The itheekam is sage Agasthya visits this sthala on the Full Moon day in the Tamil month of Vaikasi every year to worship the Lord. Devotees bathe in the tank on the Full Moon day in the month of Vaikasi. The navagraha sannidhi has been built on a lotus-shaped peedam.

The beautiful sculptures

Beautiful sculptural figures are seen on both the sides of the wall of the Rajagopuram. Though the temple is a Sivalaya, the figures of Vaishnav Gods have also been sculpted. Dwarabalaki, Yamuna, Saraswathi, Mayurnathar with His two consorts, Sastha with Poornapushkala are among the Gods that have been sculpted. Inside the temple and on the tower we see sculptures depicting panchaboothasthalas, navagrahas, dasavathar sculptures, Ambika in penance mode and Brahma's penance in the midst of fire etc. These are some of the beautiful sculptures that deserve special mention.

Sri Agatheeswara temple – Pancheshti

Agatheeswara

The sannidhis of Lord Agatheeswara and His consort Anandavalli are situated side by side. The presiding deity, a swayambhu, is facing the east while the Goddess is facing the south. The statue has been made of emerald. Devotees believe that by praying to Ambal, they get the capacity to win over their rivals. Agathya has established a Durga yantra in front of Ambal. It is believed that those women whose marriages are getting delayed would get relief if they light a lamp before this yantra during Rahukala.

Route

The temple is situated at 30 km distance from Chennai. If one travels on Kolkata High Road starting from Padi junction and crosses Karanode fly-over, he can reach Tachur Kute Road. Pancheshti bus stand is located at 1 km distance from here. The temple can be reached by turning to the right and walking a distance. Also, buses ply from Parry’s Corner and Red Hills in Chennai to the Pancheshti bus stand.

Festivals

All the Full Moon days are festival days in this temple. Vaikasi Visakam Full Moon day is being considered very special. In the Tamil month of Aippasi, annaabhishek is done on the Full Moon day. Pradosha is also celebrated with grandeur. Sani Pradosha is celebrated with special grandeur. Special pujas are conducted during the days of Navarathri, Arudra darshan, Adi Pooram and Maha Sivarathri.

All of you can go to this temple to have the darshan of the benevolent Lord Agatheeswara and be blessed with good health and prosperity.