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Kanjanur Temple Story – Shukra Navagraha Temple

Kanjanur Temple, also known as Agniswarar Temple, is dedicated to Shukra Navagraha and is located around 18 km northeast of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. The story of Kanjanur temple is associated with Asura Guru Shukracharya and Mahadev Shiva.

The main deity worshipped in Kanjanur Agneeswarar temple is Shiva.

It is said that all the asuras (demons) that were killed in war were brought back to life by Asura Guru Shukracharya using the Mritasanjivani mantra. Devas (demigods) could not defeat the army of asuras due to this power of Guru Shukracharya.

Devas took refuge in the abode of Shiva and asked him to find a solution to the problem.

Shiva met Guru Shukracharya at the spot where the Kanjanur Temple is located and He swallowed the Asura guru alive. The form of Shiva worshipped in the temple is that of Shiva who has just swallowed Shukracharya. There is no separate murti of Shukra Navagraha in the temple. The sankalpam is that Shukra is present in the stomach of Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum.

It is also believed that Brahma witnessed the marriage of Shiva and Goddess Parvati by standing in the Kanjanur sanctum.

Yet another belief is that Rishi Parasara witnessed the Tandava of Shiva while offering prayers to Shiva here.

It is also said that Shukracharya had cursed Vamana Avatar of Vishnu when He put his leg on the head of King Mahabali. To overcome the curse, Vishnu Bhagavan did penance at Kanjanur temple.