This Kanjanur Siva Temple is considered to be the 36th in the series of the Thevara Stalams located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri. This shrine is also referred to as Palaasa Vanam, Brahmapuri and Agni Sthalam. This temple with a two prakarams has a five tiered Rajagopuram at its entrance. Haradatta Sivacharyar is said to have composed many works in sanskrit here. Images depicting legends related to Haradatta Sivacharyar are seen in this temple. There are also shrines to Maanakkanjaarar Nayanmaar and Kalikkaamar here.
Stone images of Natarajar and Sivakami are seen in this temple in the Nataraja Sabai referred to as the Mukthi Mandapam. The Shiva Thandavam here is referred to as Mukthi Thandavam. Legend has it that Shiva blessed Paraasara muni with a vision of the cosmic dance - Mukti thandavam here. Inscriptions from the Chola and Vijayanagar periods are seen in this temple. Appar is said to have visited Kanjanur on his way to Tirukkodikka from Edirkolpaadi.
During the Vamana Avatharam, when Lord Vishnu took the form of a small boy and asked Bali for 3 steps of land, Asura Guru Sukracharya had doubts about the boy. When Bali denied to attentive his advice, he took the form of a bee and hid in the mouth of the Kamandalam from which Bali would pour water to donate the three steps of land. When water did not flow out of the Kamandalam, Vishnu in the form of Vamana Avataram pricked Sukracharya with a Darbhai grass sue to which he lost an eye, and had to come out. At the appropriate time, having had his wish, Vamana took his huge form of Avatharam 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.
Bhrama is said to have been blessed with a vision of Shiva's marriage with Parvati here. Agni is said to have worshipped Shiva here, hence the name Agneeswarar. Haradatta Sivacharayar, originally a Vaishnava by the name of Sudarshana underwent great ordeals to prove his devotion towards Shiva to his fellow Vaishnavites here. There are a number of images in the temple Pragaram relating his story and the ordeals he underwent. Images of Agneeswarar and Karpagambal are also seen in the Varadarajar Temple at Kanjanur. Several legends pertaining to events in the life of Haradatta Sivacharyar pertain to this shrine.
This Shiva Stalam is associated with Sukran - representing the plant Venus and is - regarded one of the 9 supernal bodies central to astrological beliefs worshipped Shiva. Maintained by the Madurai Adhinam, it is located in a quiet hamlet in the vicinity of Tiruvaavaduturai, Suryanar Koyil, Tirumangalakkudi, near Tiruvidaimarudur and Kumbhakonam. Kanjanur is 18 Kms from Kumbakonam and 26 Kms from Mayiladudurai. It is just 3 Kms from Suryanar Kovil and 5 Kms from Adudurai.
Six worship services are offered each day here. A festival commemorating Haradatta Sivacharyar is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai each year. Mahasivaratri, Arudra Darisanam, Navaratri and Aadi Pooram are celebrated here.
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