Jambukeswarar Temple Thiruvanaikaval
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 is also known by the names Thiruvanaikaval and Thiruvanaikal. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located 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
Intriguing stories surround the formation of the temple. It is told that once Devi Parvati mocked Lord Shiva’s penance for the improvement of the world. Shiva wanted to condemn her act and 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. 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. The lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Water Lingam). Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. Akilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Shiva, who stood facing west.
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 and 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 Siva here, this place came to be known as Thiru Aanai Kaa (thiru means holy, aanai is elephant, kaa (kaadu) means forest). 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 filled with 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, known as the Vibudi Prakara, stretches over a mile and is two feet thick and over 25 feet high. Legend maintains that the wall was built by Shiva working 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. Jambukeswara is depicted sitting under a jambu tree, which grows over a small stream that engulfs the deity during the rainy season.
- The temple is also considered 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 called “Om”.
- The temples idols are installed opposite to each other – Such temples are known as Upadesa Sthalams. As the Devi was like a student and Jambukeswara like a Guru (teacher) in this temple, there is no Thiru Kalyanam (marriage) conducted 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. That 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 festivals elaborately celebrated in the temple.
- Purattasi is the Navarathiri festival taking place elaborately over 10 days.
- Thai – Thai Poosam, Thai theppam (Float) festival. Special poojas are performed during Fridays of Thai month.
- Vaikasi also known as Vasantha Urchavam is another significant festival that is celebrated for 10 days.
How to reach Jambukeswarar Temple
- By air: the nearest airport is Trichy at a distance of 15km. One can avail flights on a regular basis.
- By rail: the Trichy junction is at a distance of 8km and frequent trains are available on a daily basis.
- By road: Thiruvanaikaval is situated in the middle of Trichy and Thiruvarangam is about 320 km on Chennai & Kanyakumari national highway. The temple is located 8 km from central bus stand and 3 km from Chathiram bus stand at Trichy. 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 renowned hotel that is liked by many.
- Hotel Mayas at Hotel Mayas 46, Karur Bye Pass Road, Chatram Bus Stand features resplendent accommodations that are welcomed by many.
Places nearby Jambukeswarar Temple
- Arulmigu saptharisheeswara Temple – The temple here has won a unique place among the temples of Tamil Nadu. It was here only the seven rishis, atri, brihu, pulsithar, vasistar, gauthamar, angeerasar and marichi, prayed to the presiding deity, saptharisheeswarar, to ward off the bad period they were passing through. The temple was taken up for being extended by the parantaka kings.This is an ancient temple about 500-1000 years old
- Arulmigu Vekkalaimman Temple- It is dedicated to Lord Mother Vekkali Amman graces majestically sitting on a Yoga Peeta facing north. She is holding 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.