Location: Kallidaikurichi, near Ambasamudram, near Tirunelveli city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:A rare temple dedicated to the sage Agastya
Nearest Railway Station:Ambasamudram
How to reach:Well connected as the temple is located within the center of the village
Hotel: Few options within the town; more options in the nearby city Tirunelveli
Restaurants: Only few options within the town
Ambasamudram is a picturesque town located on the banks of the beautiful Tamrabharani river and on the foothills of the Western Ghats. Kallidaikurichi is another picturesque village located on the other side of the river. The nearest city of Ambasamudram is Tirunelveli. It is located in Tamil Nadu state in South India. Kallidaikurichi and Ambasamudram have a lot of scenic spots and temples. Let us explore a rare temple in Kallidaikurichi, which is dedicated to a seer, Agastya Rishi, in this article.
A big temple having Agastya as the main deity
God - Agasteeswarar
Goddess - Lopamudra
As per the legend, when Lord Shiva married Parvati in the Himalayas, all the deities, Devas, seers and the others gathered there. Due to this, the earth lost its balance and tilted. Lord Shiva ordered Agastya to go towards south to balance the level of the earth. On his way to Podhigai hills in the south, Agastya visited many sites and installed a lot of Shiva Lingas. We can see so many Agasteeswarar temples in South India. It is believed that all of them were installed by the sage.
In Kallidaikurichi village, the sage was taking rest under a tamarind tree. A devotee met the saint and invited him to have lunch in his home. However, the sage requested the devotee to bring the food there itself. As the devotee did not return on time, the sage started moving towards Podhigai hills. The devotee apparently realized that the sage left the place already. He vowed that he would not return home till the seer accept his offer. Moved by his devotion, the sage gave darshan to him in Ambasamudram (may be the place where the devotee was living) and had food offered by him.
There are two temples dedicated to the sage in both these sites - Kallidaikurichi and Ambasamudram.
Agasteeswarar temple is located at the heart of Kallidaikurichi village. Unlike the other Agasteeswarar temple in Ambasamudram, it is very small temple.
Although the temple is supposed to be very old as per the legend, the current structure cannot be dated more than half a century. Perhaps it could have been renovated multiple times.
There are many temples named as 'Agasteeswarar temples' in Tamil Nadu state of India. However, they all are dedicated to Lord Shiva Lingas installed by the sage Agastya. However, in Ambasamudram and Kallidaikurichi, the name Agasteeswarar denotes to the sage Agastya himself. This temple in Kallidaikurichi is dedicated to him. He is the main deity who is present in the sitting posture and his sanctum sanctorum faces the east direction.
A separate north facing shrine of the Goddess Lopamudra is located. She resembles the posture of any typical Uma/Parvati/Amman in Shiva temples; she is in the standing posture and holding a flower in her right arm.
There is a small prakara around the main shrine where the small idols of Ganesha, Uma & Maheswara (Shiva Linga) and Pazhani Andi (Kartikeya) are located.
There is an outer prakara which has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena and Navagraha.
The outer wall of the main shrine has the Koshta idols of Dakshinamurti and Vishnu Durga.
A small sub-shrine with the metal (utsava) idols of Agastya with his wife is also located within this temple.
The temple does not have a tower; however flag staff and bali peetha are found.
When you go to this beautiful village, do not miss to visit this rare temple.