Friday, September 30, 2016

Ona Kantheeswarar Temple, Panjupettai, Kanchipuram

Ona Kantheeswarar Temple, Panjupettai, Kanchipuram
Ona Kantheeswarar Temple (also called Onakanthali) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in the town of Panjupettai, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram district in TamilnaduIndia. Shiva is worshipped as Ona Kantheeswarar and his consort Parvathi as Kamakshi. Ona Kantheeswarar is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, the 275 temples revered in the canon.

The temple has a small three-tiered Rajagopuram, the entrance tower and all the shrines are located in an elevated structure. The temple has two daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar, namely the Margazhi Thiruvathirai during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January) and Aippasi full moon day Aippasi (October - November) being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu.

As per Hindu legend, the temple was believed to have been built by two asuras (demons) named Onan and Kanthan. The asuras got a lingam (an iconic representation of Shiva) from a forest in the region and became ardent devotees. On account of their devotion, they got all the desired boons. There was a third Asura, Jalandeeswaran, who joined the two, and became an ardent devotee of Shiva. The three shrines in the temple, each dedicated to Onakantheeswarar, Salantheeswarar and Jalandeeswarar are believed to be the respective shrines built by the demons.

Sundarar, a 7th-century Tamil Saivite poet, venerated Ona Kantheeswarar in one verse in Tevaram, compiled as the Seventh Thirumurai. As the temple is revered in Tevaram, it is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 275 temples that find mention in the Saiva canon. It is believed that he got back one of his eyes which he lost on account of not keeping his word in the Ekambaranathar Temple. To test his devotion, Shiva moved toward a tamarind tree and Sundarar followed his footsteps and sung praises of Shiva. His devotion was admired and Shiva turned the tamarind leaves to golden leaves and poured on him from the skies.

The temple is located 1 km (0.62 mi) south-west of Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram in a locality called Panjupettai. Ona Kantheeswarar temple complex has a single prakarams (outer courtyard) covering an area of 80 m2 (860 sq. ft.) and a small three-tiered Rajagopuram (gateway tower) facing East. The central shrine faces east and holds the two image of Ona Kantheeswarar (Shiva) in the form of lingam made of granite and is believed to be a swayambumurthy (self-manifested). There are two other shrines of Shiva namely Salantheeswarar and Jalandeeswarar. 

As in other temples in Kanchipuram, there is no separate shrine of Parvathi as it is believed that Kamakshi of Kanchipuram is the common Parvathi shrine for all Shiva temples. There is a separate shrine for Vinayagar called Vaiyurunthi Pillayar. The granite images of Nandi (the bull and vehicle of Shiva), a tall flag staff and a Balipeeta, the place of offering, axial to the sanctum.

As in other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the first precinct or the walls around the sanctum of Ona Kantheeswarar have images of Dakshinamurthy (Shiva as the Teacher), Durga (warrior-goddess) and Chandikeswarar (a saint and devotee of Shiva). The temple precinct is surrounded by granite walls. There is a Vinayagar deity at the Thiruvonakandan mandapam at the entrance and if you put your ear, you will get a kind of omkhara sound. Theertham is Onakandhan Teertham.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. continuously.
Worship & Religious Practises
The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed two times a day; Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m. and Sayarakshai at 6:30 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: Abhisheka (sacred bath), Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for Ona Kantheeswarar.
There are weekly rituals like Somavaram (Monday) and sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Amavasai (new moon day), Kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi. The Margazhi Thiruvathirai during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January) and Aippasi full moon day during Aippasi (October - November) are the two festivals celebrated in the temple.
Maha Shivrathri in February-March and Aipasi Poornima-full moon day in October-November are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Lord of the temple is praised in the Thevaram hymns of saint Sundarar. This is the third temple in the Thondainadu region praised in Thevaram hymns.
Devotees believe that chanting a song of Saint Sundarar would bring them prosperity. Performing special abisheks to Lord and Mother, devotees contribute what they can for the maintenance of the temple.
Sri Ona Kantheeswarar Temple,
Ona Kandhan Dhali, Panchupettai,
Kancheepuram-631 502
Phone: +91-98944 43108.
The Temple is located at about a km to the West of the Ekambareswarar temple near the Sarvatheertham in a corner of the road that leads to Arakkonam, just opposite to the Panjupettai Electricity Board sub-station. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kanchipuram and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.

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