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Sri Onakandeswarar Temple


This small temple is located to the west of Ekambareswarar temple in Kanchipuram, TamilNadu.


This is the 3rd of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India. 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. The temple is an old one but has recently undergone renovations and hence has changed its structure. But there are some slabs with reliefs of Pallava period lying here and there.

Onakandhan Dhali is one among the important Shiva temples in Kancheepuram considered the spiritual capital of Tamilnadu. Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple.


The lore goes like this,

Shiva is said to have been worshipped here by Onan and Kanthan, commanders of Vanasuran. There are 2 Shivalingams corresponding to the above,(Oneswara, Kantheswara)  and one worshipped by Jalandharan. Commanders of demon king Vanasura – Onan and Kanthan were the securities at his fort near a place called Puzhal.  Onan found a swayambulinga in the place and performed severe penance doing abishek with his blood and secured many boons. Kanthan too found a Linga and was blessed with boons as reward of his impeccable bhakti.  A third demon, Jalandeswararn was also lucky to find a Linga and got many boons from the Lord.  Saint Sundarar who came to this place, found the Lingas buried in an open space.  He was all praise of the demons for their devotion to Lord.  To show the world that even demons were staunch Shiva devotees and to protect the three Lingas, the saint sang in praise of the Lord seeking funds to build a temple.  Lord delayed His response to have more songs from the saint.  He then showed a tamarind tree and disappeared.  Sundarar saw the fruits of tree changing to gold.  Sundarar used the gold and built this temple for the three Swayambu Shiva Lingas.


Lord Shiva appears in the temple as three Shiva Lingas. The hymns sung by saint Sundarar are available in the temple. It is the faith of the people that chanting these hymns would bless them with prosperity. After passing through the three tier Rajagopuram, the devotees can have the rare darshan of three Lingas – Oneswarar, Kantheswarar and Jalandareswar in separate shrines. The devotee can also enjoy the darshan of Saint Sundarar and the Feet darshan of Lord in the Arthamandap. Lord Vayirudhari Vinayaka pours all the boons sought by the devotees. There is also Omkhara Vinayaka in the temple. Devotees place their ears close to Him to hear the sacred mantra Ohm, they say.