Kandeeswarar Temple of Thirukandiyur in Tamilnadu

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Kandeeswarar Temple (also called Brahmakandeeswarar temple,  Brahmasirakandeeswarar temple and Veerataneeswarar temple) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in Kandiyur also known as Thirukkandiyur or Tirukkandiyur, near Tiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu, India.

Donate for the maintenance of Kandeeswarar Temple of Thirukandiyur

Shiva is worshiped as Kandeeswarar, and is represented by the Lingam and his consort Parvati is depicted as Mangalanayagi. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil poet saints known as the Nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.

As per legends, Shiva is believed to have destroyed eight different demons and the eight Ashta Veeratanam temples are built signifying each of his victories in the war. The temple is one of the eight where Shiva is believed to have removed one of the five heads of Brahma.

There are many inscriptions associated with the temple indicating contributions from: CholasThanjavur Nayaks and Thanjavur Maratha kingdom. The temple has numerous shrines.

Donate for the maintenance of Kandeeswarar Temple of Thirukandiyur

The shrines of Kandeeswarar and Mangalanayagi are the most prominent. The temple-complex houses many halls and three precincts.

The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and many yearly festivals on its calendar.

The temple is one of the Sapthastanams of Aiyarappar temple and the Sapthastanam festival celebrated during the month of January is the most prominent festival in the temple, and the region. The temple is maintained and administered by Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Many temples have same name, Kandeshwarar Temple is also in Thamarankottai, a village in Pattukottai taluk of Thanjavur district.


As per Hindu legend, Brahma, the Hindu god of creation and Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, had originally five heads. 

Parvati, the wife of Shiva, once got confused and performed patha pooja (ablution of feet, considered an act of respect) to Brahma, instead of Shiva.

Shiva got enraged and cut off one of Brahma’s heads; the cut head got stuck in his hand due to Brahma’s curse. To get rid off the sin, Shiva worshipped Vishnu at Thirukarambanur as Bhikshatana, where a part of his sin was relieved.

He got his curse fully relieved after visiting Vishnu at Thirukandiyur and taking a holy dip in the temple tank, Kamala Pushkarani.

Since Vishnu relieved (Vimochana) the sin (Saabha) of Shiva (also called Hara), the temple is called Hara Sabha Vimochana temple. After the incident, the tank came to be known as Kapala Theertham (Kapala indicates skull). Shiva was pleased and he built the Hara Sabha Vimochana temple and also built a temple for himself near it.

As per another legend, Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu requested Shiva to cut off one of the heads of Brahma as she felt that Vishnu would ignore her and show all his affection towards Brahma.

Sage Bhrigu, King Mahabali and Chandra (Moon) all got their sins relieved worshipping Vishnu here in the temple.

Sage Bhrigu, once wanted to test the superior of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. He kicked Vishnu in his chest in anger and got relieved of the sin here. Chandra, who sinned by seducing the preceptor’s wife, got partially relieved of it by worshipping Hara Saabha Vimochana Perumal.


The temple is located 21 km away from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam – Tiruvaiyaru– Tanjore road. The temple is 2 km away from Tiruvaiyaru and located in the heart of Thirukandiyur. 

Kandeeswarar has a five-tiered RajaGopuram and a west-facing sanctum. The sanctum lies axil to the temple gateway and the flag staff, which is located after the gopuram in the second precinct.

The shrine of Ambal is south facing and she is sported in standing posture. There are shrines of Vinayagar, Murugan with Valli & Deivanai, Mahalakshmi and Vishnu Durgai.

The images of Brahma, Lingodhbhavar and Dakshinamurthy are located in the planks around the sanctum. The sanctum is guarded by Dvarapalas and the image of sage Sathapatha is depicted in the nearby wall. In the halls in the first precinct, there are images of Sapthastana lingas and Panchabhoota lingas.

There are small images of Brahma and Saraswathi near the sanctum. The temple is one of few places where there is a separate shrine for Brahma.

Religious Significance

The temple is counted as one of the temples built on the banks of River Kaveri. This temple is one of the 7 shrines associated with Saptamartrikas  (seven female deities in Siva temple).

As per legends, Shiva is believed to have destroyed eight different demons namely: Andakasuran, Gajasuran, Jalandasuran, Thirupuradhi, Kaman, Arjunan, Dakshan and Taaragasuran.

There are Ashta Veeratanam temples built signifying each of his victories in the war, and also as places where he is believed to have performed with fury. 

The eight temples are: Tiruvadigai Veerattaaneswarar Temple at Thiruvadigai,  Tirukkovilur Veerateshwarar Temple at TirukoilurVeerateswarar temple at Korukkai or Thirukkurukkai, Amirtagateswarar Temple at ThirukadaiyurVazhuvur Verateswarar Temple at VazhuvoorKeelaparasalur Veerateswarar Temple at Tirupariyalur, Kandeeswarar Temple at Thirukkandiyur  and  Tiruvirkudi Veerataneswarar Temple at Thiruvirkudi. 

Shiva in all these temples is described to have used bow and arrow, trident and spear.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

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