Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is the Shukra Navagrahasthalam, associated with Lord Shukra or Planet Venus. Lord Shiva as Agneeswarar and Goddess Parvathi as Karpagambal forms the presiding deities of this temple. Unlike other Navagraha Temples, the main deity of Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple, Lord Agneeswarar resides here in the form of Lingam and depicts Lord Shukra. One can find no separate shrine for the Navagraha, Shukra here. This is because Lord Shiva Himself is worshipped as Shukra at this temple. Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is renowned as the Parihara Sthalam for ‘Shukra Dosha’. Worshipping Lord Shukra or Planet Venus at this temple is believed to bestow wealth and prosperity in one’s life.
Following are some of the Things to Know About Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple. Let’s check out:
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT KANJANOOR AGNEESWARAR TEMPLE:
- Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is one among the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 36th Shiva Sthalam situated on the northern bank of the Cauvery River in Chozha Nadu (Vadakarai).
- Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy, the presiding deities of Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple, represents Planet Venus or Shukra.
- Lord Shiva of Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).
- The Linga of Agneeswarar of Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple has a special feature that it absorbs all the oil poured on it during the process of Abhishekam.
- Being one of the nine famous Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu dedicated to Lord Shukra, Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is noted as the Parihara Sthalam for “Shukra Dosha”.
- Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is considered to be significant for its three chief attributes – Moorthy (glory of Lord), Sthalam (sacredness of the land) and Theertham (the sacred temple tank)
- Lord Brahma is said to have been blessed with a heavenly vision of Lord Shiva’s marriage with Goddess Parvathi here.
- The Nataraja Sabha referred to as the Mukti Mandapam of this temple is embellished with the stone images of Natarajan and Sivakami. The stone idol of Natarajan at the Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is a rare piece of architecture.
- Legend has it that Lord Shiva blessed the Sage Parasara Muni here with his cosmic dance – the Shiva Thandavam which is remarked here as Mukthi Thandavam.
- Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is believed to have built by the Medieval Cholas and renovated by the rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire. The temple has a 5-tier Rajagopuram which is surrounded by two Prakarams (closed precincts of a temple).
- Agni is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here, hence the shrine got the name Agneeswarar.
- Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is also referred to as Agnistalam, Palaasavanam, Brahmapuri, and Neelakudi.
- One of the 63 Nayanmars, Kalikkama Nayanar’s wedding took place here.
- Manakkanchara Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and obtained salvation.
- This is the birthplace of Haradatta Sivachariyar, a Vaishnava by birth but was a staunch Shiva devotee who had undergone nice ordeals to prove his devotion towards Lord Shiva to his fellow Vaishnavites here.
- It is believed that Lord Dakshinamurthy took Haradatta Sivachariyar as his student and taught him the “Shiva Gnanam”.
- Usually, Lord Dakshinamurthy (Guru) is seen with a demon being crushed under his feet. But the unique feature of Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is that here, you can find the image of Haradatta Sivachariyar worshipping Lord Dakshinamurthy.
- Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple contains two sacred temple ponds namely ‘Agni Theertham’ and ‘Parasara Theertham’.
- ‘Palasa Maram’ is the sacred tree in Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple.
GREATNESS OF KANJANOOR AGNEESWARAR TEMPLE:Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is a famous “Parihara Sthalam” for those suffering from the adverse effects of Planet Shukra. Planet Shukra is regarded as the second most beneficial planet after Guru (Planet Jupiter). Hence, devotees believe that worshipping Lord Shiva who represents Lord Shukra here will bless them with wealth and prosperity. Those seeking a cure for diseases like anemia and mental disorder can also worship Lord Shiva here.
If Shukra is well-placed in one’s horoscope, the person will be blessed with wealth, prosperity, fame, marriage, beautiful wife, own house, vehicles, and even have chances to govern the state/ country and hold influential status. But an unfavorably placed Shukra in one’s horoscope causes skin problems, eye ailments, loss of appetite, indigestion, etc. Visiting Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple and offering a white lotus, white cloth, athi (fig), and mochai Kottai (common bean) to Lord Shukra is believed to alleviate problems caused by Shukra Dosha. Fridays are regarded as the most auspicious day of Lord Shukra. Hence worshipping Lord Shukra on Friday is considered very special.
LEGENDS OF KANJANOOR AGNEESWARAR TEMPLE:
There are numerous legends associated with Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple. Butthe most famous one is about Haradatta. Haradatta was born in Kanjanoor in a staunch Vaishnava family and was named Sudarsana during his birth.
Despite being born to a Vaishnava family, Sudarsana became an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Not happy with Surdasana’s devotion to Lord Shiva, His father Vasudeva, and the villagers tried to convince him of the superiority of Vaishnavism. Regardless, nothing moved Sudarsana from his devotion to Lord Shiva and he used to visit Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple despite the fierce opposition from everyone. His father then banished him from his house. But Sudarsana went to Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple and slept there. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before Sudarsana as Dakshinamurthy and initiated teachings of Shaivism. He also named Sudarsana as Haradatta Sivachariyar.
After attaining knowledge, Haradatta took a purificatory bath in the river Cauvery and went to his house and invited his father as well as the villagers for a debate. The villagers didn’t accept his debate and planned to kill him. Hence, they asked him to prove his devotion to Lord Shiva by standing on a heated iron tripod at Varadaraja Perumal Temple.
Accepted their challenge, Haradatta stood on the heated iron tripod and courageously proclaimed that “Lord Shiva is the supreme deity and the life force behind everything on this earth”. His passionate and zealous devotion made Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Karpagambal to appear before him and they blessed him. The villagers were also enamored by Haradatta ’s devotion to Lord Shiva that even some of them got converted to Shaivism.
Pay a visit to Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple on your next trip to Tamilnadu and seek the blessings of the Lord.