Consecration Of Sri Agneeswarar temple will be on June 26.

Neyveli, a non-descript village, located one km from the Poondi reservoir junction, on the Tiruvallur-Oothukottai road, has a temple for Sri Agneeswarar. It is said that once upon a time, the temple was surrounded by paddy fields on all four sides and hence the name nel veli but in due course, it came to be called as Neyveli. The sthalavriksham is is Kalaalamaram (banyan tree that does not put out roots).

Legend has it that, in older days many siddha purushars did penance under this tree and have worshipped the Lord here. Prachnam has revealed that they still live in the tree in the form of bees and snakes. This banyan is believed to be the abode of Goddess Kali (vana durga) too and hence is worshipped by the villagers.

Said to be 1,300 years old, the temple gradually lost its glory as people migrated. Daily rituals had stopped and the precincts fell into disrepair. It was in this dilapidated condition that two Siva devotees found the temple a decade ago. They had been guided there by a boy, who had disappeared.

Moved by the condition of the temple, the two had the vegetation cleared and excavation around the banyan tree brought to the surface the rudra part of a lingam and agni tirtham. Villagers joined the effort and a hut was put up to house the lingam. Sri Agneeswarar Aalaya Seva Committee was formed. The committee has taken up the renovation work, desilting of Agni tirtham, the temple tank situated in the North Eastern part of this temple. The plan includes a kitchen and store room apart from shrines for Ambal and Lord Siva. Construction of separate shrines for deities such as Agneeswarar, Lalithambigai, Vanadurga, Murugan and building maha mandapam and entrance to the temple are under way.

Due to paucity of funds, the repair work is moving at a slow pace. Donations are solicited from devotees to expedite the work and perform the consecration of the temple, which is scheduled to take place on June 26, between 9.30 and 10 a.m.

Bank details: Bank of India, West Mambalam Branch, Chennai – 600 033. a/c no. 802910210000019 and IFS Code: BKID0008029.

How to reach: One km from Poondi junction, on the Trivellore-Oothukkottai-Suruttapalli road and 12 km from Trivellore. Bus route nos T-20, T-14 and 852 will reach devotees to this shrine.

For more details write to Sri Agneeswarar Temple Seva Committee, 18/21, Second Main Road, Vengeeswarar Nagar, Vadapalani, Chennai – 600 026. Or contact Ramamurthy (99403 98648)/Shankar Trivedi (94450 04908). Log on to the website: www.shanthiraju.wordpress.com/agneeswarar-neyveli for more details.