Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Agnipureeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Gowri, Parvati|
|Vriksham:||Vanni||Teertham:||Agni Teertham (Temple well)|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Vanniyur||District:||Tiruvarur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (20 km)||Kumbakonam (23 km)|
|Thiruvarur (28 km)||Nagapattinam (48 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Dakshayani attended Daksha’s yagam, and due to the insults heaped on Siva by her father and the other attendees at the yagam, immolated Herself in the sacrificial fire. For this reason, Siva punished Agni for attending the yagam, and this curse meant that Agni could not be part of any rituals. Naturally, this created consequential issues, because no yagam can be performed without Agni. This resulted in failure of rains, and widespread drought and famine. So Agni came to this place and worshipped Siva with the leaves of the Vanni tree, and also created a tank here. Eventually, Siva pardoned him. As a result, Siva here is called Agneeswarar or Agnipureeswarar, and the place used to be called Agniyur (which over time has become Anniyur) or Vanniyur. Vanniyur derives from Vanni, which has two meanings – the tree whose leaves Agni used, and also in Sanskrit, Vanni refers to fire / Agni. The temple tank is also called Agni Teertham.
Dakshayani also had to be born on earth for attending Daksha’s yagam. She was born here as the daughter of Sage Katyayana, and hence named Katyayani. She set her mind on marrying Siva, the marriage was fixed here, and conducted at Tiruveezhimizhalai.
This temple is a prarthana sthalam for those suffering from blood pressure and other medical issues. This is also a Vaastu parihara sthalam. Due to the sthala puranam of this temple, this is also a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to get married.
The temple – located on the northern bank of the Arasilar river – is a small one, with limited shrines and sub-shrines. It also has no dhwajasthambam at present (maybe it was much larger and had one, in earlier times). That said, the temple is from the Chola period, evidenced by the pillars in the mandapam and the detailed and beautiful bas relief images in the prakaram, depicting legends from the sthala puranam.
Other information for your visit
This temple is not to be confused with the Abatsahayeswarar temple at Ponnur (near Korukkai), which is also called Anniyur.
In this area, there are eight temples that are said to have been worshipped by the Ashta Digpalakas – the guardians of the eight cardinal and ordinal directions. It is considered highly auspicious to worship at these eight temples. These temples are:
East – Indra – Nagambadi
North east – Esana – Nallavur
South east – Agni – Vanniyur
North – Kubera – S.Pudur
South – Yama – Karuveli
North west – Vayu – Agalangam
South west – Niruthi – Vayalur
West – Varuna – Sivanaragaram
Some of the above temples are also part of other temple groups, such as the Konerirajapuram Navagraham set of temples.
Phone: 04352 2449578; 97867 66995
While according to various sources, the temple has fixed timings, the gurukkal lives nearby, and is very committed to serving devotees who wish to visit here. His contact number is also updated on the temple’s outside wall, and one can call him any time between 8 am and 8 pm. If he is available, he will come over and open the temple.