Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ekambareswarar Temple, Sowcarpet, George Town – The Temple

Ekambareswarar Temple, Sowcarpet, George Town – The Temple
The Temple is having a small seven-tiered Rajagopuram which was built in the recent times. There are two prakarams in the Temple. Presiding Deity is called as Ekambareswarar. Lord is housed in the sanctum. The sanctum sanctorum is facing the east direction. It enshrines a very small Shiva Linga Idol. Adjacent to Linga, the image of Kamakshi, facing south as is customary, is also found in the same main shrine. The main Murthi worshipped in the temple is a Shivalinga and the Idol of Mother Goddess is located on the base of this Shiva Linga along with the Sri Chakra in front of the Goddess. 

Moolavar is little tall and it is believed that if one could not go to Kanchipuram, can get the same blessings from this temple Sri Ekambareswarar. Dwajasthambam (Flag staff), Bali Peetha and Nandi Mandapa are found facing the sanctum. The Dwajasthambam (Flag staff of the Temple) has a beautifully carved lion in front of it. Ganesha, Dhakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols around the main shrine. There is another main shrine in which the beautiful idol of Goddess Kamakshi is found in standing posture.

There is a big corridor (Outer prakaram) surrounding the main shrines. It is very spacious and is of open space. In that corridor, there is a separate shrine for Lord Ganesha under the Vanni tree. There are idols of Vallalar and Chandikeswarar also found. There is also a shrine for Bhairava in this prakaram. There is an Aswatha Tree near Rajagopuram. Under the tree, there is a small shrine for Lord Shiva (called as Ramanathar). Idols of Sakthi, Vishnu, Ganesha and Surya (Sun God) can be found in this shrine. There is also an idol of Mariamman separately near the shrine.

The Temple Tank, Sivaganga Theertham is situated in the outer prakaram. There is a shrine of Vaveshwar (a form of Lord Shiva found in Rajasthan state) is found under a holy tree near this Tank. It is situated in south west corner of the temple is one of peaceful locations within the temple complex where Vaveshwar is a Rajasthani form of Lord Shiva, on which a pot containing water sprinkles water on the Shiva Linga as Ganges on the head of Lord Shiva.

There is another Arasa tree where you can find a single sculpture with five headed Ganesha on one side and Subramanya under five headed snake on the other side, which is very rare. There are also small shrines for Bhairava and Hanuman. The inner corridor (prakara) surrounding the two main shrines has a lot of idols and shrines. The Temple is considered equivalent to Kanchi Ekambareswarar temple, one of Pancha Bootha Sthalangal representing land. Lingams of all the other Pancha Bootha Sthalams (Kalahasthi, Thiruvannamalai, Thiruvanaikaval and Chidambaram) and all the 63 Nayanmars are also present.

The highlight is the shrines of various forms of Lord Shiva such as Vriddagireeswarar, Vadaranyeswarar, Kasi Viswanathar, Arunachaleswarar, Chidambareswarar, Kalatheeswarar and Jambukeswarar. All these different forms of Shiva Linga are main deities of some famous pilgrimages all over India. The idol of Kasi Viswanathar is huge and attractive along with Ganesha and Subramanya idols. The speciality is, people can do pooja to the Lingam themselves. There is a separate shrine for Visalakshi along with the idol of Annapoorani.

There is a separate shrine for Navagraha (nine planets). The Navagraha of this temple is very popular and believed to be very powerful. The temple attracts thousands of devotees during Shani Peyarchi (transit of Saturn). This is because Shani faces Mother Goddess Ambal in the temple. The belief is that she helps a devotee to overcome troubles associated with the bad positioning of Shani in horoscope.

There is a rare Hanuman Idol in temple known as Shiva Anjaneyar. The belief is that offering silver color silk thread – zari and Tulsi leaves garland to this Hanuman Idol will help in fulfillment of dreams. Those who had good dreams can offer prayers here for its fulfillment. Those that had bad dreams can do prayers for non-fulfillment of the dream.

A 16 pillared mandapam is in between inner and outer prakaram. Shrines of Nataraja & Sivakami, Lord Dwara Ganapati with his consorts, Lord Dwara Subramanya with his consorts, Pitchandeswara, Somaskandar and Utsava idols can be found in this Mandapam. Dwarabalakars are located after this mandapam. Opposite to the main temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This shrine is separately located from the main temple.

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