The Jambukeswarar temple is a famous temple where we worship Lord Shiva in Tiruchirapalli or Trichy in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. This temple also has other names- Thiruvanaikaval and Thiruvanaikal.
This temple belongs to the list of Pancha Bhoota Stalas (the five Shiva temples, each dedicated to the five elements). The presiding deity is in the form of Appu Lingam – the water element. Another famous temple in the Pancha Bhoota Stalas is the Arunachalam Temple located in Tiruvannamalai.
The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is in the Srirangam Island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple. Hundreds and thousands of devotees gather here every year to watch the Lord and get his blessings.
History of Jambukeswarar Temple
Moreover, once Devi Parvati made fun of Lord Shiva’s penance for the improvement of the world. So, Shiva asked her to go to the earth from Kailash (Shiva’s abode) to do penance.
Parvati in the form of Akilandeswari as per Shiva‘s wish found Jambu forest (Thiruvanaikoil) to conduct her penance. Hence, she made a lingam out of water of river Cauvery under the Venn Naaval tree (the Venn Naaval tree on top of the saint Jambu) and commenced her worship. Threfore, the lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Water Lingam). Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. Further, Akilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Shiva, who stood facing west.
Also, Malyavan and Pushpadanta were two Shiva Ganas or disciples. They always were on conflict over something or other and once Malyavan cursed Pushpadanta to become an elephant on Earth. The latter cursed the other to become a spider. The elephant and the spider came to Jambukeswaram and continued their Siva worship.
The elephant collected water from river Cauvery and conducted ablution to the lingam under the Jambu tree every day. Shiva, in the form of Jambukeswara, moved by the deep devotion of the two, relieved them from the curse. As an elephant worshipped Shiva here, this place was famous as Thiru Aanai Kaa (thiru means holy, aanai is elephant, kaa (kaadu) means forest). Then, later the name ‘Thiruaanaikaa’ becomes ‘Thiruvanaikaval’ and ‘Thiruvanaikoil’.
For committing the sin killing the elephant, the spider was born as the King Kochengot Chola meaning red-eyed king and built 70 temples and this temple is the one among them. Remembering his enmity with the elephant in his previous birth, he built the Shiva Sannathi (sanctorum) such that not even a small elephant can enter.
Significance of Jambukeswarar Temple
The sanctum of Jambukeswarar has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always abundant in water.
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.
There are five enclosures inside the temple. The massive outer wall covering the fifth precinct is famous as the Vibudi Prakara. It stretches over a mile, and is two feet thick and over 25 feet high. Legend maintains that Shiva built the wall with the laborers. The fourth precinct contains a hall with 796 pillars. It also has a small tank fed by perpetual springs.
The main deity of the temple is Jambukeswara, representing the element water. Also, Jambukeswara is depicted sitting under a jambu tree. It grows over a small stream that engulfs the deity during the rainy season.
The temple is also the abode of goddess Akilandeswari, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati.
The sannathy of the goddess Akilandeshwari and the sannathy of Prasanna Vinayaka are in the shape of the pranava manthra “Om”.
Also, the temples idols are opposite to each other. Such temples are Upadesa Sthalams. As the Devi was a student and Jambukeswara a Guru (teacher), hence Thiru Kalyanam (marriage) does not take place in this temple for Shiva and Parvathi, unlike the other Shiva temples.
Timings of Rituals and Poojas at Jambukeswarar temple
Darshan time is from 6:00 am to 12 pm in the afternoon and 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the night.
The Ushakkala pooja takes place from 6:30 am to 7:30 am.
The Kaalashandhi pooja takes place from 8 am to 8:45 am.
The Uchikkala pooja take place from 11 am to 12 pm.
The Saayaraksha pooja takes place from 5 pm to 5:45 pm in the evening.
The Ardhajama pooja happens at 9 pm in the night. It is the last pooja of the day.
Festivals celebrated at Jambukeswarar Temple
Panguni Brahmmotsavam in March-April and Aadi Pooram in July-August are the famous festivals of the temple.
Also, Purattasi is the Navarathiri festival taking place elaborately over 10 days.
Thai – Thai Poosam, Thai theppam (Float) festival. Special poojas take place during Fridays of Thai month.
Another name for Vaikasi is Vasantha Urchavam. It is another important 10-day festival.
How to reach Jambukeswarar Temple
Air: the nearest airport is Trichy at a distance of 15km. One can avail flights on a regular basis.
Rail: the Trichy junction is at a distance of 8km and frequent trains are available on a daily basis.
Road: Thiruvanaikaval is situated in the middle of Trichy and Thiruvarangam. It is about 320 km on Chennai & Kanyakumari national highway. The temple is 8 km away from central bus stand and 3 km from Chathiram bus stand at Trichy. Moreover, government and private bus service is available to reach Thiruvanaikaval.
Hotels nearby Jambukeswarar Temple
Sri Maruti Pilgrims House offers accommodation in Tiruchchirappalli. The temple is 2.1 km away. It has a welcoming atmosphere.
Mayas Kem Pride at 75-I, Salai Road , Thillai Nagar is a famous hotel.
Also, Hotel Mayas at Hotel Mayas 46, Karur Bye Pass Road, Chatram Bus Stand features good accommodations.
Places nearby Jambukeswarar Temple
Arulmigu saptharisheeswara Temple has won a unique place among the temples of Tamil Nadu. The seven rishis, atri, brihu, pulsithar, vasistar, gauthamar, angeerasar and marichi, prayed here to the presiding deity, saptharisheeswarar, to ward off the bad period they were passing through. Also, the parantaka kings extended the temple. This is an ancient temple about 500-1000 years old.
Arulmigu Vekkalaimman Temple- It is dedicated to Lord Mother Vekkali Amman. She is holding a trident, Udukkai, the rope-pasam and Akshaya Patra (a vessel from which food would be constantly flowing to feed all beings) in Her four hands.