Sri Jambukeswarar Temple located at Tiruchirapalli is a Hindu temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The ancient temple was built by the Chola King Kochengatkanan Chola over 1800 years ago. It is situated in the island of Srirangam where the much famed, ancient temple of Sri Ranganathar is located.
Specialty of the temple
The Jambukeswarar Temple is one of the most important Shiva temples in the world. It is one of the five temples representing the cosmic elements dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple represents Water. The underground tunnel in the temple sanctum is always filled with water despite being removed.
The presiding deity is otherwise called Appu lingam, where Appu means water in Sanskrit. One more highlight of the temple is that, every day exactly at 12 noon, the priest of the temple dresses up like Goddess Akilandeswari and does Pooja in the sanctum. Witnessing this Pooja is considered to be very sacred.
History of the temple
Eons ago, an elephant and a spider, who were both the staunch devotees of Lord Shiva, used to do the poojas to His idol. The spider used to build the web around the idol and offered its prayers.
When elephant came to that place, it thought someone was making the divine place dusty and cleaned the web with the water carried in its trunk. This became a regular practice and one day both of them got furious as the rituals got disrupted and the spider bit the elephant to death, killing itself.
The spider was born as the Chola King Kochengatkanan Cholan in his next birth and built around 70 temples across the region and Tiruvanakoil is the first one. He was so specific in none of these temples, not even a small elephant can enter into the sanctum and in Tiruvanakoil, the sanctum is 4feet high and 2.5feet wide.
It is believed that the King remembered his enmity with the elephant in his previous birth and built the temples like this.
Panguni Brahmmotsavam and Aadi Pooram are observed in this temple. During Navarathri, Goddess Akilandeswari is dressed up differently on all the nine days. Musical concerts and dance programmes are arranged in the temple premises all through these days. The temple witnesses thousands of devotees on all Fridays of the Tamil months Aadi and Thai.
The temple functions between 5.30 am to 1.00 pm and between 3.00 pm to 8.30 pm.
No specific dress code is recommended for a visit to this temple. Still, costumes covering upper arms and legs are suggested as a mark of respect to the temple customs.