We talked about “Panch Bhota Sthalams” in one of our posts before. These are set of 5 Lord Shiva temples dedicated to the five elements of life i.e earth, water, fire, air and space. The temple we talk about today is Shri Jambukeswarar Temple in Thiruvanaikaval, Tamil Nadu, India.
As we have mentioned before, below are 5 Panch Bhoota Sthalam temples:
|lement||Temple Name||City||Called as|
|Earth||Ekambareswarar Temple||Kanchipuram||Prithvi Lingam|
|Water||Jambukeshwarar Temple||Thiruvanaikaval||Appu Lingam|
|Fire||Thiruvannamalai||Arunachaleswara Temple||Agni Lingam|
|Air||Kalahasti temple||Shri Kalahasti (near Tirupati )||Vayu Lingam|
|Space||Thillai Natarajar Temple||Chidambaram||Akasha Lingam|
So, Shri Jambukeswarar temple is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas (the 5 Shiva temples).
The presiding deity is the Appu Lingam – the water element.
It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all the Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of the deity.
Why should you visit Shri Jambukeswarar Temple
Shri Jambukeswarar is a very ancient Shiva temple and hold a very important place in Hinduism. The temple is one of the Pach Bhoota Stalams and also one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams.
- Shri Jambukeswarar temple was built by Kochengannan (one of the Chola Kings ) around 12000 years ago.
- This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 60th Shiva Sthalam on the northern bank of the river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu (Vadakarai).
- Shiva Linga in the temple is Swayambhu (self-manifested).
- Lord Jambukeswarar is facing west and Goddess Akilandeswari is facing the east.
- As I mentioned before this is one of the “Pancha Bootha Sthalams” and it represents Water element (called as Appu and hence Appu Lingam).
- This is the first of the 70 Madakkovils built by King Kochengat Cholan.
- All the three saints (Moovar) have rendered hymns on Lord Shiva of this temple.
It is believed that devotees worshipping here are blessed both in this birth and in next birth. People worship goddess Ahilandeswari here for good education and intelligence, marriage and wishes for child.
It is believed that by going around the fifth corridor (known as “Thiruneetran Thirumathil”) one’s prayers gets fulfilled.
Legend of Shri Jambukeswarar Temple
Once Ma Parvati mocked Shiva’s penance for betterment of the world. Lord Shiva got angry and directed her to go to the earth to do penance. Ma Parvathi left Kailash and came to Jambu forest to do penance. She came in the form of Akilandeswari . She made a lingam out of water of river Kaveri (also called as river Ponni) under the Venn Naaval tree and commenced her worship.
Hence, the lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Water Lingam).
Lord Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. Akilandeswari took Upadesam facing East from Shiva, and Lord Shiva stood facing west. ( Hence this area is also called as Gnanashethram. And people come here for blessings for education and intelligence. Also since lord Shiva is seen as Guru here to goddess Parvathi, wedding festival is not celebrated here unlike other shiva temples)
As per another legend, there were two Siva Ganas (Siva’s disciples who lived in Kailash), ‘Malyavan’ and ‘Pushpadanta’. They always used to fight with each other.
In one such fight Malyavan’ cursed ‘Pushpadanta’ to become an elephant on earth and the latter cursed the former to become a spider on earth. So they both were reborn as Spider and Elephant and came to Jambukeswara forest
They both continued Shiva worship. The elephant collected water from river Kaveri and poured it over the lingam and the spider created a web over the lingam so that dry leaves do not fall on the lingam. However the elephant saw the web and thought it to be a dust and hence tore it and cleaned the lingam. This continued for many days.
The spider became angry one day and crawled into the trunk of the elephant and bit the elephant to death and also killing itself in the process.
Siva, in the form of Jambukeswara, was deeply moved by the deep devotion of the two and hence relieved them from the curse.
As an elephant worshipped Siva here, this place came to be known as Thiru Aanai Kaa (thiru means holy, aanai is elephant, kaa means forest).
Later the name ‘Thiruaanaikaa’ become ‘Thiruvanaikaval’ and ‘Thiruvanaikoil’.
Shri Jambukeswarar Temple Architecture
The temple is a beautiful example of Dravidian Style of Architecture and the immense importance given to temple architecture during chola period.
The massive outer wall covering the fifth precinct, known as the Vibudi Prakara, stretches over a mile and is two feet thick and over 25 feet high
The east facing main tower (Rajagopuram) has 13-tiers and the west facing Rajagopuram has 7-tiers. This temple has 7 main towers and 5 corridors.
Shri Jambukeswarar Temple address and timings
Address: Sri Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikkaval Post, Trichy Tamil Nadu 620005.
From 06.00 AM to 01.00 PM and 03.00 PM to 08.00 PM.
|Morning Darshan||6 AM 12 PM|
|Evening Darshan||3 PM 8 PM|
|Ushakkala Pooja||6:30 AM 7:30AM|
|Kaalashandhi Pooja||8 AM 8:45 AM|
|Uchikkala Pooja||11 AM 12 PM|
|Saayaraksha Pooja||5 PM 5:45 AM|
|Ardhajama Pooja||9 PM|
Important Festivals at Shri Jambukeswarar Temple
- Vaikasi – Vasantha Urchavam (10 days)
- Aadi – Aadipuram festival (10 days).
- Purattasi – Navarathiri festival (10 days)
- Thai – Thai Poosam, Thai theppam (Float) festival – Special poojas are performed during Fridays of Thai month.
- Panguni – Brahmotchavam (40 days)
- Car festival and Panchaprakara festival
Hope you liked this information. This is a very very important temple and center for Lord Shiva. People in this region are blessed to have this divine presence near them. Do visit this temple whenever you get a chance.
Have a blessed darshan!