Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram
Ekambaranathar (Ekambareswarar) Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil NaduIndia. The temple is the largest temple in the town of Kanchipuram and is located in the northern part of the town. The temple gopuram (gateway tower) is 59m tall, which is one of the tallest gopurams in India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. All the four famous Shaivite Saints (four out of 63 Nayanmars), Appar, Sambandar, Manickavasagar and Sundarar have sung the glory of this temple.

It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a natural element) representing the element - Earth. The other four temples in this category are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (Sky),Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). The temple is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city.

This vast temple with high rising Gopurams dominates the skyline of Kanchipuram the historic capital of the Pallavas. Kanchipuram - a temple town is considered to be the foremost among the seven prime pilgrimage centers in India. Along with Mamallapuram and Tirukalukundram, this town attracts the attention of several tourists in Chennai. Shiva is the presiding deity here, worshipped as Prithvi Lingam, symbolizing earth - one of the five primordial elements. Similar to the other ancient temples of South India, even though Ekambaranathar temple is supposed to be thousands of years old, the current structure dates from the pre-Pallava era (around 600 CE).

The temple structure has contributions by various dynasties such as Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas and Vijayanagara kings during different periods. The main temple tower (Raja gopuram) is 57m tall, and it was built by Krishna deva Raya, the popular Vijayanagara Emperor. This vast temple covers an area of roughly 25 acres. There is a thousand pillared hall (Aayiram Kaal Mandapam) inside this temple, which is architecturally beautiful with 1008 Shiv lingam idols. This hall was also built by the Vijayanagara kings.

Another significant thing is Sri Nilathingal Thundathan Perumal Temple, also named as ‘Thiru Nilathingal Thundam’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu & also one of the ‘108 Divya Desam Temples’ is situated inside the Ekambareswarar Temple premises.

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For brief details, please refer below link;
Temple Speciality
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Temple Architecture
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There are inscriptions dated 1532 CE (record 544 of 1919) indicating the gift of number of villages made by Achutaraya. Vira Narasingaraya Saluva Nayaka who was directed by Achutaraya broke the royal order by giving more lands to Ekambaranathar temple than the Varadaraja Swamy temple against the instruction of an equal gift to either of the temples. Achutaraya on hearing this equally distributed the lands to both the temples.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Religious Significance
Pancha Bhoota Stalam, refers to the five Shiva temples, each representing the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature - land, water, air, sky, fire. Pancha indicates five, Bhoota means elements & Stala means place.
All these temples are located in South India with four of these temples at Tamil Nadu 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 Prithvi Lingam.
The other four manifestations are Appu Lingam (representing water) at Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Akaya Lingam (representing sky) at Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Agni Lingam (representing fire) at Annamalaiyar Temple & Vayu Lingam (representing air) at Srikalahasti Temple.
Pooja Details & Fees Structure
For brief details, please refer below link;
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Lord Ekambara Nathar is praised by the four Saivite saints, Thirugnana Sambandar, Thirunavukarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar.
This is the first Lord Shiva temple in Thondainadu region praised in Thevaram and Thiruvasagam hymns.
In Culture
Kanchipuram is famous for hand woven silk Sarees - a design by name Ekambaranathar obtain its name from the designs of these shrines.
The temple implements the Honourable Tamilnadu Chief Minister's "Food Donation Scheme”. Everyday 50 persons are provided with food.
Person willing to provide "Food donation" in their name can give it by paying Rs 1000/- per day. Or can pay Rs.20, 000/- as fixed deposit and with its interest can provide 'food donation'.
This temple is administrated by The Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department, Tamilnadu.
Executive Officer
Arulmigu Ekambaranathar Temple 
Kanchipuram-631 502
Phone: 044- 27222084 / 044- 27232083
Kancheepuram has road and rail connectivity conveniently. The temple is located in the center of the town is too close to bus stand. The Temple can be reached by walk from the Bus Stand. Kancheepuram is 75 km far from Chennai, 35 km from Chengalpet and 30 km from Arakonam.
By Road:
The city of Kanchipuram is well connected with the other part of the states and it is few kms from the Quadrilateral National Highway.
There are frequent bus services from Chennai and it takes 2- 3 hours to reach. The Chennai Metropolitan and the state express transport operate the services.
By Train:
Kanchipuram is connected with the southern part of the rail network and few trains are running through Kanchipuram.
Suburban trains are running between Kanchipuram and Chennai beach on specified intervals.
Nearest Railway Stations are located at Kancheepuram, Arakonam & Chennai.
By Air:
Chennai, the nearest international airport is situated around 75 km away from Kanchipuram. Both public and private transport facilities are available at the airport.

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