Kanchanagiri – Legends
An Asura by name Kanjanan undertook penance in devotion to Lord Shiva of the Thiruvalam Vilvanathar Temple. He performed this ordeal in hillock near Laalapet, located in the North East from Thiruvalam. After this the hillock was called ‘Kanjanagiri’ (Giri meaning a hill). It is believed that Lord Shiva is still awaited by Kanjanan. A devotee of lord Shiva worshipped the Vishwanathar at Kanjanagiri, with flowers after having bath in the rivulet.
Kanjanan, who did not get the fortune of seeing Lord Shiva, became wild with rage and met Lord Shiva’s devotee on his way up the mountain for his daily Pooja. In his fit of anger, he toppled the flowers from the devotee’s hand. Having prevented by Kanjanan from performing his Pooja for lord Vilwanathan, the devotee breaks down in front of the lord.
But like a typical Asura Kanjanan turned a beat when he didn’t get what he wanted, never realizing that it is foolish to get angry with god. The Asuras often forgot the fact that god earn be won only by love and not by force. There are many of them who met with a fatal end, like Thakkan and Surabathman. The next day the devotee takes water and flowers to perform the morning rites.
On seeing the devotee Kanjanan was again driven by anger and tried to attack the devotee. The devotee resorts to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva calls for Nandhi and kills Kanjanan. At the verge of his life Kanjanan realizes his guilt and resorts to the mercy of Lord Shiva. The lord takes pity on him, and counting on his devotion, grants salvation to him.
As per the prayer of Kanjanan, the hill was Kanjanan and lake where Kanjanan behold the vision of lord Shiva was named after Kanjanan. As the parts of his body was shattered by the horns of Nandhi, the hill was littered by different parts of his mighty body. The place where his head fell is called ‘Seekarajapuram’, the place where his chest fell is called ‘Maveri’, the place where his right leg fell is called ‘Vadagal’.
The northern corner where his left leg fell is called ‘Thengal’, The place where his wrist fell is called ‘Maniyambattu’. The place where his intestine fell is called ‘Kugayanallur’. The place where his nerves fell is called ‘Narasingapuram’. The thorax fell in a place which is now called ‘Maruthampakkam’ and the skull and the forehead in ‘Lalapettai’. His blood sprinkled throughout the hill and were reformed into rocks. Most of these rocks are in the shape of the lingam and are worshipped by the devotees today.