Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ekambareswarar Temple is a famous place located in the town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.  The temple is associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically to the element of earth, or Prithvi.  Lord Shiva is worshiped here as Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Prithvi lingam. Devi Parvati is depicted as Gowridevi Amman.  The other four temples in this category are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (ether), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). All of the four revered Saivite Saints have sung the glories of this temple.

History of Ekambareswarar Temple

A part of the main temple was built by the Pallava Kings while the rest of the temple complex was erected in the 17 th century. This temple is one of the most ancient in India existing since at least 600 AD. Second century AD Tamil poetry speaks of Kama kottam, and the Kumara kottam .Initially temple was built by Pallavas. The Vedantist Kachiyapper served as a priest at the temple. The existing structure then was pulled down and rebuilt by the later Chola Kings. Adi Sankara, the 10th-century saint got Kanchipuram remodelled along with expansion of this temple.

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The Vijayanagar kings, during the 15th century, also made lot of contributions to the temple and later developed by Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar used to go regularly from Chennai to Kanchipuram to worship in this temple, he spent significant money he amazed during British rule on the temple renovation, Pachiyappa Mudaliar seated at horseback can be seen in the temple pillar. At the later stage a similar temple with same name Ekambareswarar was constructed in Chennai by Pachiappa Mudaliar.

There is a legend around the temple. Some say that once while Lord Shiva was meditating Parvati mischievously covered his eyes with her fingers which resulted in complete darkness on earth for many years. Shiva being angered by her act cursed Parvati to go to earth for penance. Parvati went to earth and created the earth linga and worshiped it under a mango tree in Kanchipuram giving birth to the temple.

Significance of Ekambareswarar Temple

  • This is the 1st of the 32 Tevara Stalam built in the Tondai region of Southern India. Reckoned as one of the revered temple, it is the largest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram.
  • A towering 60 meter high Gopuram was built by Krishna Deva Raja of the Vijayanagara kingdom in the year 1509.
  • The temple premise has a 540 pillar hall all intricately designed and beautifully carved. The pillared hall was constructed by the Vijayanagara Monarch.
  • A 3500 years old mango tree adores the sanctum having four branches each dedicated to the four Vedas. The Deity derives its name from the Mango tree from the words Eka-Amra-Natha, meaning the Lord of the Mango tree. The path to the tree has a Shiva Lingam made of around 1008 small lingas.
  • A Somaskanda panel featuring Shiva, Parvati and Skanda together adorn the back end of the main shrine, which has been worship for centuries together.
  • The temple is revered by all four Saiva Kuravars.
  • The presiding deity is also revered in the verses of famous folk singer Kanchi Kotayappa Nayak.
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Timings of Rituals and Poojas at Ekambareswarar Temple

  • The temple opens at 6 am in the morning then closes at 11 am. Again it reopens at 5 pm in the evening and closes finally at 8 pm.
  • The Ushakkala pooja takes place at sunrise at 6 am.
  • Kaalasandhi pooja takes place at 7 am.
  • Uchikkala pooja takes place at 12 in the afternoon.
  • Saayaraksha pooja happens at 6 pm in the evening.
  • Ardhajama pooja takes place at 8 pm.

Festivals held at Ekambareswarar Temple

  • Ani Tirumanjanam is a significant festival held in the month of July.
  • Adi Kritikai and Avani Moolam are held in the month of August.
  • The Chitra Purnima and Vaisakhi In the months of May and June marks the temples annual calender. The Panguni festival is celebrated for13days and during this period the wedding of the presiding deity is observed.

How to reach Ekambareswarar Temple

  • By Air: Chennai is the nearest airport which is 75km away from Kanchipuram. The airport has public and private transport facilities available on a regular basis.
  • By Rail: connected on the southern part of railways Kanchipuram has few trains running through the town. However suburban trains are available on particular intervals running between Kanchipuram and Chennai beach.
  • By road: the city is only a few kms away from the Quadrilateral National Highway. Frequent bus services are available throughout the day making the journey easier for travellers.

Hotels nearby Ekambareswarar Temple

  • Sri Hari Residency at 99, West Raja Street, Near Sri Kumara Kottam Temple offers grand cosy accomodations. It has been reviewed to be an excellent place to stay.
  • M.Hotel, Kanchipuram of No. 65-66, Nellukara Street, Bus Stand is another great place to check in. It has well suited amenities and a blissful environment.
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Places to visit near Ekambareswarar Temple

  • Kailasnatha Temple- Lord Shiva, the supreme ascetic and god of the Hindu pantheon, is worshipped all across India. His temples can be located in every part of the country but nowhere more than Tamil Nadu we can see them in such huge numbers.
  • Kamakshi Amman Temple- This temple is devoted to Goddess Kamakshi Amman. This huge temple is constructed in around 5 acres of land. The temple houses a gallery, which presents the life history of Adisankaracharya.
  • Kanchi Kudil represents the life of the people of the city with a view to attract tourists and let them feel the essence of life as lived here. Kudil means house. The house is over 90 year old and its architecture resembles the olden style.
  • Devarajaswami Temple- The temple is famous for its richness of exquisite sculptures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it was constructed by Vijayanagar Kings.
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