Maanakanjara Nayanar (மானக்கஞ்சாற நாயனார்)
Birthplace : Kanjaarur now known as Aananthandavapuram
Star : Margazhi Swathi
In the village of Kanjaarur, there lived a devotee of Shiva by name Maanakanjara Nayanar who was known for giving away whatever the devotees of Shiva requested for. He was the commander-in-chief of the Chozha King. Maanakanjara Nayanar and his wife did not have any offspring and many years later by Lord Shiva’s grace, his wife conceived and they had a girl child. Manakanjara Nayanar brought up the girl child well and soon it was time for her to get married. Manakanjara Nayanar chose another Shiva devotee Eyarkon Kalikkama Nayanar as the groom and the wedding was to take place in the bride’s place.
Lord Shiva chose this moment to show Maankanjara Nayanar’s devotion to the world. He came in the disguise of an ascetic Shiva bhaktha to Maankanjara Nayanar’s house. As he usually did to all Shiva bhakthas, Nayanar greeted the ascetic inside and offered him food. The ascetic enquired about the pomp and splendour at the house and Maankanjara Nayanar replied that his daughter’s wedding was to take place. He also asked his daughter to fall at the feet of the ascetic to receive his blessing. The ascetic saw the girl and commented that she had such long hair and it could be useful for making the sacred thread “Panchavati” used by ascetics. Without hesitation, Maanakanjara Nayanar took out his sword, cut his daughter’s hair and offered it to the ascetic with great respect. The ascetic vanished and Lord Shiva appeared with Goddess Parvathi on Vrushabha vahanam and gave darshan to Manjankkara Nayanar blessing him and his family for their devotion.
When the groom Eeyarkon Kalikkama Nayanar - another great devotee and one of the 63 Nayanmars - wondered how to marry a girl whose hair has been cut off, Lord Shiva blessed that the girl’s hair grow immediately and the wedding took place as scheduled!