Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Brahmasirakandeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||MangaLanayaki|
|Vriksham:||Vilvam||Teertham:||Nandi Teertham, Daksha Teertham, Brahma Teertham, Kudamurutti river|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kandiyur||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (12 km)||Ariyalur (38 km)|
|Kumbakonam (40 km)||Tiruchirappalli (59 km)|
Kandiyur is located 10 km north of Thanjavur, on the road to Tiruvaiyaru which is 3 km from Kandiyur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This is one of the eight ashta veeratta sthalams (or veerattanam), at each of which Lord Siva performed valorous deeds to vanquish a form of evil. This is the place where Lord Siva decapitated Brahma’s fifth head.
The story of this temple goes back to one of the legends of Siva as Bhikshatanar. At one time, Brahma had five heads, as did Lord Siva. Once, Brahma was coming to Kailasam to meet Lord Siva, but Parvati thought it was her husband who was coming, and without looking at the face, started performing pada puja to Brahma, who did not object. In fact, he considered himself equal to Siva. When Lord Siva saw this, he was furious, and cut of Brahma’s upward facing head. This incident is said to have occurred here at Kandiyur. Kandanam, in Tamil, is objection or punishment, which is what was meted out to Brahma. (As a result of this, Lord Siva was affected with brahmahathi dosham, and had to wander as a mendicant for expiation of this sin. This is covered as one of the legends of Bhikshatanar here.)
Sage Sathathapar would visit Kalahasti every pradosham day, and had vowed to immolate himself should he fail to do so. Once when the sage was at Kandiyur, Lord Siva created obstacles in the form of heavy rain and thunder, due to which the sage was unable to fulfil his vow. Angry with himself, the sage prepared a fire to step into, when the Lord appeared and consoled him, saying He was available in all places, and worship at any other place was just as efficacious as at Kalahasti.
The word kandi in Tamil may also refer to ornaments. This temple is one of the Tiruvaiyaru sapta sthanam temples connected with Nandi’s marriage, and it is regarded that ornaments for the wedding were sent from here. During this festival, Aiyarappar, his consort Aramvalarthanayaki, Nandi and his wife Urmila arrive here, and food is offered to the deities here.
Murugan is one of the dwarapalakas here. There is a Vinayakar sannidhi with 7 murtis of Vinayakar. Brahma has a separate shrine in this temple, with his consort Saraswati. On the way to this shrine, is a carving of Siva as Bhikshatanar.
Other information for your visit
This is one of the temples forming part of Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthanam festival, which celebrates Nandi’s wedding. Read our separate feature on the festival, here. All seven temples are located relatively close by, and except for Tiruvaiyaru (which is a large temple) they could be covered in about 6 hours. Alternatively, an entire day can be spent leisurely visiting all seven temples, including Tiruvaiyaru.
Contact: 98653 02750