Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval – History
The Jambukeshwarar temple in Tiruvanaikaval alongside the holy river Cauvery is one the Panchabootha sthalam where the Lord manifests as the element of water. The temple is believed to have constructed by King Kochengata Chola. The shrine was then widely expanded by Hoysala king, Someswara, the son of Vira Narasimha. The tiered gopuram is also believed to have constructed by the Hoysala king.
The temple has inscriptions from the Chola era showing their endowments to the place. The four most revered Nayanars have sung praises of the Jambukeshwarar. The temple has been maintained by Nattukkottai Chettiars during the later centuries.
The Lingam is believed to be 'Swayambu'. The temple is believed to have built by Kochengata Chola in the 2nd century. This temple has records of patronage from the Cholas, Pandyas, Hoysalas and the Madurai Nayak kings. Ko Chenganan had been praised in Tamil literature for having built more than seventy temples - and he is historically placed in the Sangam period (the very early years of the Christian era).
Inscriptions from the tenth century AD testify to later Chola patronage. The Hoysalas who had a base near Samayapuram (near Tiruchi) built four temples in Northern Tiruvanaikaval (Vallaleeswaram, Padmaleswaram, Narasimheswaram and Somaleswaram). The Pandyas and the Hoysalas contributed to the Eastern tower.
Adi Sankara is said to have visited the Akhilandeswari shrine. He is said to have adorned her with ear-rings bearing the symbol of the Chakram. There is a shrine to Adi Sankara in this temple.
The image of Ekapada Tirumuthi, the trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, is present in the temple, which can be seen only in Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvottriyur.
There is lot of inscriptions from various Chola kings from 11th - 12th century indicating grants to the temple. The temple was widely expanded by Hoysala king, Someswara, the son of Vira Narasimha. During 1236-37 CE, he built a lot of shrines namely Vallaliswara, Padumalisvara, Vira Narasingeswara and Somleswara evidently named after his grandfather Ballalla II, grandmother Padmaladevi, father Vira Narasimha and Aunt Somala Devi. The 7-tiered Rajagopurams also believed to have constructed by the Hoysala king.
There are separate shrines beyond the temple compound namely Aadhi having a typical structure as the main shrines. The temple and its pagodas were subject to frequent conquest between French and English forces between 1751 and 1755 CE. The temple has been widely maintained by Nattukkottai Chettiars during the 19th and early 20th centuries.