Ona Kantheeswarar Temple also called Onakanthali, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. 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.
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.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 a 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 having more songs from the saint. He then showed a tamarind tree and disappeared. Sundarar saw the fruits of the tree changing to gold. Sundarar used the gold and built this temple for the three Swayambu Shiva Lingas.
The temple is located 1 km south-west of Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram in a locality called Panjupettai. Ona Kantheeswarar temple complex has a single prakarams covering an area of 80 m2 and a small three-tiered rajagopuram facing East. The central shrine faces east and holds the two image of Ona Kantheeswarar in the form of lingam made of granite and is believed to be a swayambumoorthy .
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 , 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 has images of Dakshinamurthy , Durga and Chandikeswarar . The temple precinct is surrounded by granite walls.
Ona Kantheeswarar Temple Kanchipuram
As per Hindu legend, the temple was believed to have been built by two asuras named Onan and Kanthan. The asuras got a lingam 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.