thiruvanaikovil-jambukeswarar

Jambukeswara Temple is a famous Shiva temple. The temple was built by Kocengannan one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple. Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu Panchabhoota Sthalams representing the five great elements, this temple represents the element of water, The sanctum of Jambukeswara 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 Saivite Saints have sung glories of the deity in this temple. The temple has inscriptions from the Chola period. Legend Says Once Parvati mocked Shiva’s penance for betterment of the world. Shiva wanted to condemn her act and directed her to go to the earth from Kailash to do penance. Parvati in the form of Akilandeswari as per Shiva’s wish found Jambu forest to conduct her penance. She made a lingam out of water of river Cauvery (also called as river Ponni) under the Venn Naaval tree and commenced her worship. The lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Water Lingam). Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her. Akilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Shiva, who stood facing west. There were two Siva Ganas (Siva’s disciples who live in Kailash) ‘Malyavan’ and ‘Pushpadanta’. Though they are Siva Ganas they always quarrel with each other and fight for one thing or other. In one fight ‘Malyavan’ cursed ‘Pushpadanta’ to become an elephant on earth and the latter cursed the former to become a spider on earth. 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 (Eugenia jambolana, the rose-apple tree) daily. The spider constructed his web over the lingam to prevent dry leaves from dropping on it and prevent sunlight directly falling on it. When the elephant saw the web and thought it was dust on lingam. The elephant tore them and cleaned the lingam by pouring water and the practice continued daily. The spider became angry one day and crawled into the trunk of the elephant and bit the elephant to death, killing itself. Siva, 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’ become ‘Thiruvanaikaval’ and ‘Thiruvanaikoil’. As an outcome of making sin by killing the elephant, in the next birth, the spider was born as the King Kochengot Chola (kotchengannan cholan 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 Siva Sannathi (sanctorum) such that not even a small elephant can enter. The entrance on the sanctorum of Jambukeswara is only 4 foot high and 2.5 foot wide. There was a story behind the king’s red eyes. When he was in his mother’s womb the palace astrologer predicted a sacred time to give birth to enable the newborn’s well being. The queen went into labor early, before the time predicted by the astrologer. The queen hence told the servant to hang her upside down for the time to come so that she could have a wise and virtuous son who could head the kingdom righteously. This waiting time inside the womb made the baby’s eyes red. After becoming the king, he built the temple for Siva and Goddess Akilandeswari in the name of Aanaikka (elephant protected) later days it changed to Thiruvanaikovil. is a famous Shiva temple. The temple was built by Kocengannan one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple. Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu Panchabhoota Sthalams representing the five great elements, this temple represents the element of water, The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water.