Pancha Kannan Kshetrams are the five holy temples, where Pancha means ‘five’ and Kshetram means ‘temple’, dedicated to Lord Kannan (Lord Krishna), who is considered as the supreme deity, worshipped across many traditions of Hinduism in a variety of different perspectives. Lord Krishna is said to be the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, the God of preserver. All these five temples (Pancha Kannan Kshetrams) dedicated to Lord Krishna are placed in Tamilnadu and also includes in ‘108 Divya Desam Temples’ which are revered by ‘Azhwars’.
The four of the five temples (Pancha Kannan Kshetrams) are located in and around Kumbakonam and Nagapattinam of Tamilnadu state, which was called as Chola Nadu in medieval times. And the matter of fact is that Lord Krishna is not the presiding deity in any of these five holy temples. Instead, Lord Krishna, the processional deity, just led to the derivation of the names of these five holy temples. The Pancha Kannan Kshetrams are:
- Sri Loganatha Perumal Temple, Thirukannangudi
- Sri Gajendra Varadha Perumal Temple, Thirukavithalam
- Sri Neelamega Perumal Temple, Thirukannapuram
- Sri Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple, Thirukkannamangai
- Sri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Thirukovilur
Sri Loganatha Perumal Temple is located at Thirukannangudi, Sikkal, Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The presiding deity of Loganatha Perumal temple is Lord Loganatha Perumal (Lord Vishnu), in standing posture facing the east direction. The idol of Garuda (the vehicle of Lord Vishnu), at this temple is seen in a different posture that the hands of Garuda is placed around its body.
Sri Gajendra Varadha Perumal Temple is located in Thirukandiyur village of Thiruvayaru, Kabisthalam, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The presiding deity of Gajendra Varadha Perumal temple is Lord Gajendra Varadhar (Lord Vishnu), in a reclining posture. Unlike other temples, the Gajendra Varadha Perumal Temple is surrounded by brick walls enclosing all the shrines.
Sri Neelamega Perumal Temple is located in Thirukannapuram, Nagapatnam district of Tamilnadu. The temple is also called as Sowriraja Perumal Temple. Neelamegha Perumal temple is revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. And houses the presiding deity Lord Vishnu, who is worshiped by the name Lord Neela Megar. Neelamegha Perumal temple is considered as one of the holy centers of Salvation listed in Vaishnava mythology.
Sri Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple is situated in Tirukkannamangai, Tiruvarur district of Tamilnadu. Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple is revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. And Lord Bhaktavatsala Perumal (Lord Vishnu) is the presiding deity of this temple. Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple is also called as the Saptamrita Kshetram (seven elements of nature) Kshetram.
Sri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple also called as Sri Thiruvikrama Perumal Temple, situated in Tirukkovilur, Villupuram district, Tamilnadu, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The presiding deity of Ulagalantha Perumal temple is Lord Trivikrama or Lord Ulagalantha Perumal (Lord Vishnu). The located place of this temple is said to be the place where the first three Azhwars, the great saints Poigai Azhwar, Bhoothathazhwar and Peyazhwar attained salvation.