Saturday, October 16, 2021

Brahmasirakandeesar Temple, Tirukkandiyur

Location of the templeTirukkandiyur
Lord Shiva known asBrahmasirakandeesar
Female deity known asMangalanayagi
PathigamThirunavukarasar, Sambandar
How to reach This temple is located 11 Kms from Thanjavur and 3 Kms from Tiruvaiyaru on the Thanjavur - Tiruvaiyaru road. Town bus facilities are available from Tiruvaiyaru. Other paadal petra sthalams in and around Tirukandiyur are Tirupoonturuthi, Tiruchotruturai and Tiruvedhikudi. One of the 108 Divya Desam shrines of Lord Vishnu is also situated at Tirukkandiyur near the Shiva temple.
Temple addressArulmighu Brahmasirakandeeswarar Temple
Tirukandiyur Post
Tiruvaiyaru Taluk
Thanjavur district
PIN 613202
Location mapThirukandiyur map
Map showing location of Tirukkandiyur temple from Thiruvaiyaru
Map courtesy by: Google Maps

Thirukandiyur or Kandiyur is the site where Shiva curbed the ego of Brahma by cutting off his fifth head. It is believed that, at the beginning of creation, Brahma had 5 heads, and as he created one form of life after another, his ego grew, until he felt that he was the greatest of the gods. Shiva decided to teach him a lesson, and cut off Brahma's fifth head, which stood on top of the other four. Brahma at once realized his error, and prayed to Shiva, asking for forgiveness. This temple also figures among the Saptha Sthaanam temples.

The main deity here is the Brahma Shira Kandeeswarar. There is no bronze idol depicting the story of this temple. The goddess is Mangalambigai. There is a statue of Brahma and Saraswati to the left of the lingam, facing it, in a separate sanctum.

Kandiyur has the distinction of being one among two sets of temples - one of the Saptha Sthaanam temples and as well as one of the Ashta Veeratta Sthalams - temples where Shiva has shown his power by overcoming someone. Here, at Kandiyur, he crushed the ego of Brahma by plucking off his fifth head. He is therefore known as Brahma Shira Kandeeswarar. Hence the name - Kandiyur. The Devi here is Mangalambigai.

An interesting thing about this temple, and indeed, many other temples in this area (Thanjavur, Thiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam) is the position of the Navagrahas. Generally, the Navagrahas have Surya in the middle, with the eight others facing in different directions. However, in many of these temples, all the eight face Surya. Another interesting thing is that Surya is accompanied by his wives, Usha and Sandhya.

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