Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy
Thiruvanaikaval (also called Thiruvanaikkal, Jambukeswaram) is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kochenganan (Kochengata Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam Island, which also has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple.

It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of the deity in this temple. This is the 114th Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 60th Shiva sthalam on the banks of River Cauvery in Chozha Nadu, Vadakarai. The temple has inscriptions from the Chola period.

Located on the Northern banks of Cauvery is the Lord Jambukeswarar temple in Thiruvanaikaval, one of the Pancha Bhootha Sthalams, where Lord Shiva manifests himself as ‘Water’ (among the five elements). Hence this is referred to as a ‘Neer’ sthalam (‘Appu’ in Sanskrit). The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water.

Thiruvanaikaval is home to Nava Theertham and the belief is that those who bathe in the Nava Theertham on Chitra Pournami and invoke the blessings of Jambukeswarar and Akilandeswari are said to attain Mukthi.

The temple dates back to the 2nd century AD to the rule of Kochenganan Chozha, who ruled from Uraiyur and is an architectural marvel with high roofs, five huge prakarams south of the Coleroon, towering Gopurams in the East and the West and Nava Theerthams.

This large temple celebrates Shiva as Jambukeswara, an embodiment of the element water and is often referred to as Appustalam and is hence one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams, the other four being Thiruvannamalai (fire), Chidambaram (Space), Kanchipuram (Earth) and Kalahasti (Air) respectively. 

The Sri Jambukeshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and has five concentric walls and seven gopurams. It is built around a Siva lingam partly submerged in water that comes from a spring in the sanctum sanctorum. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple.

The Consort of Presiding Deity is Devi Akilandeswari Amman. Akhilandeshwari means 'Ruler of the Universe' (Akilam – Universe, Aanda – Ruler, Eswari – Goddess). The Temple is currently under the administration of the HRCE Department, Government of Tamilnadu. And the day to day affairs are vested with an officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner. 

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Greatness of Temple
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Temple Architecture
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Temple Opening Time
The temple is opened from 5.30 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
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Religious Significance
Pancha Bhoota Stalam, refers to the five Shiva temples, each representing the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature - space, air, fire, water, earth. Pancha indicates five, Bhoota means elements and Sthala means place. All these temples are located in South India with four of these temples at Tamilnadu and one at Andhra Pradesh.
The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams and each of the lingams representing Shiva in the temple has five different names based on the elements they represent. In the temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of water (Appu Lingam). The other four manifestations are Prithivi Lingam (representing land) at Ekambareswarar Temple, Akasa Lingam (representing sky) at Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Agni Lingam (representing fire) at Annamalaiyar Temple and Vayu Lingam (representing air) at Srikalahasti Temple.
In the third enclosure, there is a coconut grove having a small tank where the festival image of Vaishnavite Srirangam temple used to be brought one day a year. The practice is abandoned due to conflict between the Saivites and the vaishnavites. As Akilandeswari worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple, even today at noon the 'Archakar' (priest) dresses like a female and does Pooja to Jambukeswara and 'Ko Maatha' (Cow). The noon pooja is very famous and a host of pilgrims attend it every day.
A special variety of black cow, called Karam Pasu is used for the occasion. Annabhishekam to lingam (ablution with cooked rice) is a daily ritual performed in the temple. The temple is one of the hosts for the annual Natyanjali, a festival of classical Indian dance. The temple has also a school for training Nathaswaram, a classical pipe instrument in Tamil Nadu.
Devotees pray for unity among husband and wife, for good matches for virgins, high yield in farming and for plenty of water for living. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother offering vastras.
The shrine is sung by Saivite Saint Tirunavukkarasar advising devotees to pray to Lord of Tiruvaanaikka day in and day out for a care free life singing his glory. This is the 60th Lord Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.
Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar have sung praise in the Thevaram verses while Manikkavachakar too has sung praise of the Lord of Thiruvanaikaval in his Thiruvasagam verse.
Many saints visited this temple and sung songs on Jambukeshwara and Akilandeswari. To name few are the four famous Nayanmars Appar, Sundarar, Tirugnanasambandar (these four Nayanmars are also called as 'Saiva Naalvar') and the famous Muruga devotee Arunagirinathar and the legendary Carnatic composer Sri Muthuswamy Dikshithar, who is one among the 'Sangeetha Mummorthigal'.
Literary Mention
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The temple implements the Honourable Tamilnadu Chief Minister's "Food Donation Scheme”. 50 persons are provided Food daily in this Temple.
Person willing to provide "Food donation" in their name can give it by paying Rs2,000/- per day.(Saturday 3,000/-) and can get the receipt for the same or can pay Rs.20,000/- as fixed deposit and with its interest can provide 'food donation' during their birthday, marriage day, etc.
Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple
Thiruvanaikaval, Thiruvarankam Taluk
Tiruchirappalli - 620 005
Phone: 0431 2230257
Priest Contact Numbers:
ST Subramanyam (STS) @ 99425 75663
Hari Archakar @ 98949 14466
Meera @ 75981 71929
Panchapakesan (Panchu Iyer) @ Ph. 0431 2232958 / 98947 74780) – He performed pooja for the Lord for over 35years including 4 Abishekams every day and washed Ambal’s clothes every day.
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