Saturday, October 16, 2021

Agneeswarar Temple, Tirukanjanur

Location of the templeTirukanjanur, near Kumbakonam
Lord Shiva known asAgneeswarar
Female deity known asKarpagambal
PathigamThirunavukarasar - 1
How to reach This sivasthalam can be reached from Aduthurai which is located on the Kumbakonam - Mayiladuthurai road. Tirukanjanur can be reached from Aduthurai via Tirumangalakudi. It is just 3 Kms from Suryanar Kovil, 5 Kms from Adudurai and about 20 Kms. from Mayiladuthurai. Bus facilities are available from Aduthurai, Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai. This Shivasthalam is one of the Navagraha Sthalam and is associated with Sukran (Venus).
Temple addressArulmighu Agneeswarar Temple
Tirukanjanur Post
Via Thugali
Tiruvidaimarudur Taluk
Thanjavur District
PIN 609804
Location maptirukanjanur map
Map showing location of Tirukanjanur temple from Katturmannar Kovil
Map courtesy by: Google Maps

At Kanjanur, Shiva is called Agneeswarar, for Agni (the Fire god) is said to have prayed to Him at this place, and the goddess is called Karpagambal. The lord is believed to have blessed Brahma with a vision of his marriage to Parvati at this shrine. This is an interesting temple, for the Pragaram is full of lingams, supposedly prayed to by the various gods. Interestingly, there is also a lingam which is supposed to have been installed by Kamsa. The Nataraja idol in this temple is beautiful.

The temple at Kanjanur is one of the famous temples for God Shiva. Mahavishnu, Brahma, Moon God Chandiran are said to have worshipped Shiva here. God Shiva is said to have given Darshan of his wedding with Parvati to Brahama on his request. The stone idol of Natarajar here ia a rare piece of architecture. There is a separate shrine for Sukran (Venus), one of the Navagrahas and the Shiva Temple at Kanjanur is also visited by people as one of the Navagraha Sthalams.

According to the Sthala Puranam, during the Vamana avataram, when Vishnu took the form of a small boy and asked Bali for 3 steps of land, Sukracharya had his doubts about the boy. When Bali refused to heed his advice, he took the form of a bee and hid in the mouth of the kamandalu from which Bali would pour water to donate the three steps of land. When water did not flow out of the kamandalu, Vishnu in the form of Vamana pricked Sukracharya with a darbha grass due to which he lost an eye, and had to come out. After having had his wish, Vamana took his huge form and measured out the land and the sky, and as the 3rd step, placed his foot on Bali, blessing him. Sukracharya however was angry with Vishnu, and cursed him. It is believed that Vishnu prayed to Shiva at Kanjanur, where he was relieved of the curse. Shiva not only blessed Vishnu here, he promised to remain and bless those who came with prayers to Sukran, seeking his favour. Unlike the other Navagraha temples in this area, there is no idol or image of Sukran at Kanjanur. It is Shiva himself who takes the position of Sukran here.

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