Ona Kantheeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Ona Kantheeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram
பா.ஜம்புலிங்கம், CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dedicated to Lord Shiva Ona Kantheeswarar Temple (also called Onakanthali) is located in the town of Panjupettai, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. Lord 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 is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Legend of the Ona Kantheeswarar Temple

As per legend, the two asuras (demons) named Onan and Kanthan found a lingam from a forest in this region. They became devotees of Lord Shiva and performed several penance. There was a third asura names Jalandeeswaran joined with them and became devotees of Lord Shiva and started penance. Lord Shiva was pleased by their devotion and gives them all their desired boons. The temple has three shrines dedicated to Onakantheeswarar, Salantheeswarar and Jalandeeswarar are believed to be the respective shrines built by the demons. Saint Sundarar found the three lingams when he came to this place. To protect the three lingams, the saint sang in praise of the Lord seeking funds to build a temple. Lord showed a tamarind tree and disappeared. Then the tamarind leaves turns to golden leaves. Sundarar used the gold to build this temple.

Architecture of the Ona Kantheeswarar Temple

The temple covering an area of 860 sq. ft includes a small three-tiered rajagopuram (gateway tower) facing east, a single prakarams (outer courtyard) and three shrines dedicated to Shiva named Onakantheeswarar, Salantheeswarar and Jalandeeswarar. The east  facing central shrine holds the two image of Ona Kantheeswarar (Shiva) in the form of lingam made of granite and is believed to be a swayambumoorthy (self manifested). there is no separate shrine of Goddess Parvathi. 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.

Ona Kantheeswarar Temple timings:

The temple is opened from 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Puja Timings:

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. There are weekly rituals like somavaram (Monday) and sukravaram (Friday).


Two yearly festivals celebrated in this temple are the Margazhi Tiruvathirai during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January) and Aipassi full moon day Aippassi (October – November) being the most prominent. Monthly festivals celebrated are amavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi.

How to reach Ona Kantheeswarar Temple

The temple is located 1 km south-west of Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram in a locality called Panjupettai.

By Air:

The nearest Airport Chennai International Airport is about 74 KMs away.

By Rail:

Nearest Railway Station is located at Kanchipuram.

By Bus:

The temple is about 3 KM from Kanchipuram Bus stand. Autos are available from there.


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