Amman / Thayar:Mangalambikai
Thala Virutcham:Vilvam (Bael Tree)
Theertham: Nandi Theertham, Kudamurutti, Daksa Theertham, Brahma Theertham
Pathigam: Thirunavukarasar, Sambandar
Old year: 1000-2000 years old
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.
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 Brahmas 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.
Goddess of Wisdom Saraswathi graces with her Lord Brahmma, hence the temple has a special significance for the devotees.
Devotees worship this Lord to get rid off Brahmahathi curse and to become beautiful. Devotees can perform abhishekam to the Lord and Ambal, and adorn them with new clothes.
Maha Shivarathri in Masi (February-March) and Margazhi Thiruvadhirai (December-January).
The temple is opened from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Shri Shirakandeeswrar Temple, Kandiyur, Thanjavur district. Contact Number +914362261 100, 262 222.
Tirunavukkarasar, Sambandar, Arunagirinaathar Thevaaram song Pandankaruththathor kaiyutaiyan pataiththaan thalaiyai
Untankaruththathum oorotu naatavaithaanariyum Kantankaruththa mitarutaiyaan
kantiyuriruntha Thondarpiraanaik kanteer antavaanar tolukinrathe. Thirunavukkarasar this is the 12th sacred place in the southern banks of Kaveri,
consecrated by Thevaram.
The Rajagopuram with five stages stands majestically. Armoured Flag-post, Nandi and altar are seen. Lord Vinayakar is seen in the Flag-post. In the inscription, this Lord is noted as Thiruveerattaanaththu mahaadevar, Thirukkandiyur utaiya mahadevar.
The sanctum of Dandapaani is a separate temple with a mandapam. In the saptha sthaana festival, the Lord takes a procession. Ambal stands south facing with four arms and with abhayavaratham (refuge sign). Within are the sanctum of Vinayagar, Subrahmanya with Valli Deivanai, Mahalakshmi, Nataraja, Vishnu Durgai, Bhairavar, many kinds of Vinayagar and Ardhanaareeswarar in the sitting posture. Chandeswarar is in separate temple. Brahman, Lingodhbavar, Dakshinamaurthi, and Bhikshaadanar appear as koshta murthis.
Near the door guards (dwaarapaalar), is the image of Sage Saathaathaapar, and the sanctum of Kaalathinaathar, who revealed Himself to Sage Saathaathaapar, Sapthasthaana Lingams and Panchabhuta Lingams. In the Navagrahas sanctum the Sungod is seen with his two spouses. The Prime Deity a Swayambu murthi, is on a slightly high pedestal. The statues of Brahman and Saraswathi are near the sanctum of the Lord. The statue of seated Brahman looks lovely appearing with folded hands in prayer holding flower and rosary. After plucking his head, Brahman prayed to the Lord to restore his beauty. The Lord blessed him to get back the beauty of his five faces in his four countenances and Brahman gladly received this benediction.
To pluck the head of Brahman, the Lord assumed the garb of a hunter. A small statue of this form is seen near the left side of the door that leads to the sanctum of Brahman opposite to the Lord?s sanctum. In the sanctum of Navagraha, a dais is built with provision to light lamps and worship.
Since one head, out of the five heads of Brahman was plucked this place came to be known as Kandanapuram or Kandiyur. The Lord brought the Bael Tree from Mount Kailas for Sage Saathaathaapar; so this holy place is also called Aadi Vilvaaranyam. Sage Saathaathaapar used to go to Kaalahasti on the pradosham day to have darshan of the Lord. Once when he came to Kandiyur, he could not go to Kalahasti in time. The legend is that the Lord graced him with the Kalahasti darshan at Kandiyur itself. This sacred site is also the place to placate the Brahmahathi curse.