Agneeswarar Temple at Kanjanur is one of the nine Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu. It is associated with Lord Sukran (Planet Venus), the sixth of Navagraha planets. Also known as Sukran Navagraha Sthalam. Lord Agneeswarar in this temple is found in the form of a Lingam, an infinite nature of Lord Shiva, which depicts Shukra. And the Thayaar of Agneeswarar Temple is Goddess Karpagambigai (Goddess Parvati).The other deities of the temple are Lord Karpaga Vinayagar, Lord Dhakshinamoorthy, Lord Natarajar, and Pullunda Nandhi. The special feature of this temple is that the sage Parasara Muni was believed to be blessed by Lord Shiva with His divine cosmic dance. According to the belief of Saivite, followers of Lord Shiva, Shukra is found within the stomach of Lord Shiva.
Kanjanoor is considered to be 36th in the series of the “Thevara Sthalams” located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri. And is also one of the nine Navagraha sthalas i.e. temples linked to the 9 planets in the Thanjavur area located in the Kaveri Delta region dedicated to planet Venus, called Sukra. Unlike other Navagraha temples, the main deity, “Agnishwarar” in the form of lingam (cylindrical column) depicts Lord Sukra (venus).The temple has a 5-tier Rajagopuram surrounded by two prakarams (closed precincts of a temple). The temple is revered by the verses of Appar, one of 4 most prominent of the 63 Nayanmars and hence referred as “Paadal Petra Sthalam”, marked by Lord Shiva.
History and Legend of Kanjanur
- Sukracharya was the son of Brigu Maharishi. Once during a war between the devas and asuras, Brigu Maharishi’s wife, was accidentally beheaded by Vishnu’s chakram (discus). An angry Sukracharya cursed Vishnu. As a result of the curse, He was born as Sudarsanar to Vasudeva, a Vaishnava Brahmin.
- Sudarsanar was a staunch Shiva devotee and was popularly known as Haradatta Shivacharyar. There are stories of the ordeals undergone by Haradatta to prove his devotion for Shiva. Images pertaining to these are seen in this temple and also in the Vishnu temple in the village. Haradatta used to spend much of his time meditating before the Dakshinamurthy.
- The presiding deity Agneeswarar is the embodiment of Sukran. Sukran was the Guru of asuras. He had got the blessings from Lord Siva after severe penances. In the Vamana Avataram of Lord Vishnu, Vamana sought three footsteps of land from Mahabali, an asura king.
- Realising Vamana to be no mere mortal, Sukrachariyar assumed the form of a bee and tried to block the flow of water from the kamandalam. Vamana picking up a pavithram blinds Sukracharya in one eye while trying to unclog the hole in the kamandalam.
- Sukracharyar has the prowess to bring the dead to living by virtue of his knowledge of Amirtha Sanjeevini Mantra. Using this mantra, in the asura war against the devas, he revived the slain asuras. This helped the asura army swell.
- The devas prayed to Lord Siva for help, who swallowed up Sukracharya in a fit of rage. After residing in Lord Siva’s stomach in a siddha state, he emerged from Lord Siva’s stomach.
- Another historical incident making this Shivasthalam so rare and unearthly is that Lord Shiva himself blessed Paraasara Muni. He was a great sage who is the author of Vishnu Purana, with a vision of his cosmic dance Mukti Tandavam (dance of liberation) here. Paraasara Muni is also father of Srila Sri Veda Vyasa, who ascribed the great Indian epic Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam.
- Stone images of Natarajar (dancing Lord Shiva) and Sivakami are seen in this temple in the Nataraja Sabha referred to as the Mukti Mandapam. The Shiva Tandavam here is referred to as Mukti Tandavam.
- It is said that Lord Brahma was blessed with a vision of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati here. The Brahma Linga enshrined in the Agneeshwarar Temple is said to have been worshiped by Lord Brahma.
Significance of the Kanjanur Temple
Sukra endows those who pray to him will be blessed with wealth, pleasure, wife, prosperity, vehicles. He is the next most beneficial planet after Guru. If in a person’s horoscope, Sukra is well placed, then the person will enjoy pleasure, beautiful wife, wealth, house, vehicle, good food, fame, love, affection, marriage, siblings, governmental help, chance to govern the country/state and hold influential status.
Lord Dakshinamurthy (Guru) is always seen with a demon being crushed under his feet. The demon signifies ignorance. It means that Dakshinamurthy leads us from ignorance to the knowledge of self. Instead of this standard practice, you can find the image of Haradatta worshipping Dakshinamurthy, which is a unique feature of this temple.
Kanjanur Temple Temple Timings
Temple is opened from 6 AM to 12.00 PM in the morning and 4 PM to 9 PM in the evening.
Festivals celebrated at the Kanjanur Temple
Mahasivaratri: Mahashivratri is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva or Shankara. There are many mythological stories associated with the celebration of Mahashivratri in India. Devotees visit Lord Shiva’s temple and observe fast on the day of Mahashivratri.The people perform Pooja or worship of Lord Shiva on this day. Many people observe fast during day while many fast throughout day and night.The Shivalinga is washed every three hours that day with cow’s milk, curd ,honey , cow ghee ,water and adorned with the holy Bilva leaves and Vibhuthi. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and children, unmarried girls keep fast so that they get good and understanding husband.It is celebrated to make people aware of the universe and their inner selves. It drives out ignorance and radiates the light of knowledge.
Aadi Pooram: Aadi Pooram, also called as ‘Aandal Jayanti’ is a prime festival of Tamilians. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Aadi Pooram is celebrated during the month of ‘Aadi’ in Tamil calendar that corresponds to the months of July-August in the English calendar. Aadi Pooram is a 10-day festival observed with great pomp and show in all Lord Vishnu temples in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of these, the last day (10th day) is observed as ‘Aadi Pooram’ and a grand marriage ceremony of Goddess Andal and Sri Ranganathaswamy is conducted. This event is also known as ‘Thirukalyanam’.Several Tamil Hindu rituals and festivals are held in the month of Aadi and therefore it is also auspicious to some people.
Arudara Darshan: Arudara Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January). It is essentially a Shaivite festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. Arudhra signifies the golden red flame and Shiva performs the dance in the form this red-flamed light. It takes place on the full moon night in the month of Margazhi and this is also the longest night in a year. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.The married women keep fast for husband’s well being and unmarried for a good marriage. Ardra darshan is in early morning and temples are decorated with flowers and diyas.
Navaratri: Navratri is one of the most celebrated of all Hindu festivals. “Nav” means nine and “ratri” means night, thus Navratri festival means a festival spread over nine nights.The exact dates of the festival are fixed by the movement of the moon according to the Hindu lunar calendar but approximately it takes place around September or October. The festival of Navratri is marked by the celebrations of nine days. On each day one of the nine incarnations of the Goddess Shakti is worshipped. Chaitra Navratri is celebrated after Holi and during Chaitra Shukla Paksha. This starts from the first day and ends on the ninth day which is also celebrated as Ram Navmi. The worship of Goddess on the eighth day is very important and auspicious and is significant in both Navratri festivals.
Poojas and Rituals of Kanjanur
- There are six worships that are offered to the Lord in Kanjanur. Lord Sukra is generally worshipped with white lotus, white cloth, diamond, ‘mochai’ powder and athi to ward off evil effects owing to the malefic planetary effects.
- By praying to Lord Sukra these problems could be mitigated. Arts, sculpture, love, vehicles are the beneficial aspects of Sukra.
- Six worship services are offered daily. Fridays are considered auspicious to pray Lord Sukra. Sukran, the next most beneficial planet after Guru (Brihaspati), bestows his devotees with wealth and prosperity. If in a person’s horoscope, Sukra is well placed, then the person enjoys better life and wealth.
- Kanjanur is the temple for performing “Kalathira Dosha Pariharam” for Lord Sukiran. Lord Shiva named as Agneeswarar is the presiding deity and his consort is Goddess Karpagambal. Lord Agni one of the “AshtadhikBalakars” is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence the name Agneeswarar
How to reach: Road, Rail and Air
By Air: The nearest airport to Agneeswarar Temple in Thanjavur airport, which is 46 Km away from the temple.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Agneeswarar Temple is Mayiladuthurai railway station which is 18 Km away from the temple.
By Road: There are direct local bus services to Agneeswarar Temple from Mayavaram, Aduthurai, Thiruvidaimarudhur and Kumbakonam.
Where to stay in Kanjanur
There are many resorts and hotels that are available near the temple that offers good accommodation to the devotees.
- Mantra Veppathur Resort Contact: 536/537A,No.1, Bagavathapuram Main Road Extension, | Srii Sailapathipuram Village, Veppathur,, Kumbakonam 612103, India
- Sivamurugan Hotels Contact: 60 Feet Main Road | Near New Bus Stand, Kumbakonam 612001, India
- Sara Regency Contact: 45/1 Chennai Road, Kumbakonam 612002, India
- Quality Inn VIHA Contact: #2, New Railway Road | Kumbakonam, Tanjore Dist, Kumbakonam 612001, India
- Hotel Metro Contact: 19/11 Sarangapani Sannithi Street, Kumbakonam 612001, India
Where to eat
- Dosa Plaza Kumbakonam Contact: 332 Nageshwaran North Street | Kurinchi Metro Bazz
- Habibi Restaurant Contact: 29/921 Sarangapani East Street, Kumbakonam
- Raya’s Restaurant Contact: 18,19 Head Post Office Rd, Kumbakonam 612001
- Venkataramana Contact: near Municipal office, Kumbakonam, India
- Sri Mangalambiga Vilas Contact: Adi Kumbeswarar Temple Complex, Kumbakonam
Suryanar Koil: Suryanar Temple is considered as one of the Navagraha temples, which houses the Sun God (Surya god). To offer worship at Sooriyanar Temple, one has to reach the Rajagopuram (Main Entrance) and more towards North where Pushkarani of temple is located. One can take bath in the tank or sprinkle holy water in the head as purification. Lord Surya Bhagawan is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity.The name of the small town is itself Suriyanar koil. A three tiered tower is at the west of the temple.The sacred tank is to the left of the temple front position.The shrine Suriyan is in the center of the temple. Suriyan alone has a temple built all for himself.
Sri Sarabeswarar Temple: Sri Kambaheswarar Temple (or) Sarabeswarar Temple has located at Thirubuvanam village of Kumbakonam taluk, Thanjavur district. The main God of this temple is Lord Shiva has known as Kambaheswarar and Goddess Parvathi. The Chola King Kulothunga Chola had built this temple for his victory of North Indian battle. The shrine has sculptures of Sridevi and Bhudevi, the consorts of Vishnu. As per Hindu legend, Shiva is believed to have relieved Kampa (quaking) of a king haunted by evil spirits on account of the king killing a Brahmin by mistake. This led to the name of Kampahisvara.
Sri Mahalinga Swami Temple: Mahalinga swamy temple has located at Thiruvidaimaruthur, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district.The holy tree Marutham had found in this region like forest. Therefore, this place has known as Maruthur. This Temple located at the middle of the Maruthur so it was known as Thiruvidaimaruthur. Appar, Sundarar and Thirugnana Sambandhar visited this temple. They sang many songs about Mahalinga Swamy.
Kalyanasundara Swamy Temple: It is believed that unmarried boy or girl will enter into wedlock if they propitiate the presiding deity Kalyanasundarar and his divine consort- Kokilambal.Parvathi Devi performed Tapas in this sthalam to marry Shiva Perumaan and finally got married in this sthalam. And because of this the sthalam is called as “Thiru Mananchery”. Another speciality of this temple is by offering the milk payasam towards mangala Raghu on every no moon day (amavasai) will gives the puthra baghyam.