The Fifth temple in the Sapthasthanam Chitrai Festival
One of the Ashta Veera Temples of Lord Shiva
In the late 9th century AD, a land was purchased at 110 Kalanju of pure gold. The revenue from this land was to go the daily poojas and conduct of the festival at the Veerateswarar temple in Kandiyur!!! A couple of decades later, there was another gift of land to support the sacred offerings during night service.
During the first 35 years of the 10th century AD dating back to the rule of Parantaka Chozha I, there were three significant donations made towards the burning of the perpetual lamp at this temple
In the 2nd half of the 10th Century AD, during the rule of Sundara Chozha there was yet another gift of land, this time the purpose was to feed the Brahmins well verse in Vedas with a sumptuous meals in the temple!!! And in 979 AD, there was a provision made to take care of the food offerings for the Lord.
Such was the historical importance of the Veerateswarar temple in Kandiyur located 2 kms South of Thiruvayaru on the southern banks of Cauvery. This is one of the eight Ashta Veera Sthalams of Lord Shiva (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2016/09/thiru-kurukkai-verateswarar-temple_13.html). This is the fifth temple in the famous Sapthasthanam festival of Thiruvayaru. Lord Airappar reaches here along with four other Lords from the Sapthasthanam temple in Chitrai for one of the grandest festival in this region.
Taking the view that Brahmma had grown arrogant, Shiva assigned Bairavar with the task of clipping off one of the five faces of Brahmma. However, once he initiated this by scratching it off with his nails, the fifth face stuck to his hand. He was liberated from this dosham here at Kandiyur. Realising the folly of acting arrogant, Brahmma performed pooja to cool the angry Lord Shiva. There is a separate sannidhi for Brahmma and Saraswathi.
In ancient times, this place was referred to as Kandanapura and Brahmma Puri. The Lord was referred to as Brahmma Sira Kandeesar, Veeratesar and Brahmanathar.
Sathathapa Rishi would visit Kalahasti during Prathosham days. Once when he was stuck here in Kandiyur during that period, he was saddened by his inability to visit Kalahasti and threw himself into the pyre. The Lord of Kalahasti and Ambal provided darshan to the rishi appearing from the Vilva tree and protected him from succumbing to the heat. In memory of this episode, this place came to be called Athi Vilvaranyam and the Lord as Athi Vilvanatha. There is an idol of Sathatapa rishi inside the temple.
Thiru Gnana Sambanthar and Thirunavukarasar have sung verses in praise of the Lord.
Sapthasthanam Festival in Chitrai
Brahmotsavam in Vaikasi
Anna Abhishekam in Aipasi
Aruthra Darisanam in Margazhi
How to reach
Buses ply every 10minutes between Thanjavur old bus stand and Thiruvayaru / Ariyalur. Auto from Thanjavur station to Kandiyur will cost Rs. 150.
When here also visit:
Thiru Othavaneswarar temple ( 4kms away)
Thiruvaiyaru Pancha Nadeeswarar Temple
Hara Sabha Vimochana Perumal Divya Desam, Kandiyur