The temple is located between two rivers, the Cauvery in south and the Coleroon in the North. It is one of the five element shrines or Pancha Bootha sthalams. The temple is a very important centre for the worship of Lord Shiva, and represents the element of water (appulinga). It is the 60th Lord Shiva temples on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns (Padal Petra sthalam).
About The Temple
The Temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. All four Nayanmars sang hymns in praise of the deity. The Temple was built by Emperor Kocengannan Chola over 1,800 years ago. The temple bears inscriptions from this era. This temple has 5 praharams. Lord Shiva himself built the 5th praharam, appearing in the form of Spider, it is known as ‘Thiruneettan thirumathil’. It is here lord Siva blessed a spider and elephant to attain moksha. Monolithic stone pillars (made from single stone) are found in the mandapam, situated at the entrance of Aariyavittan tower in 3rd Praharam. Stone chains and 12 zodiac signs are beautifully carved on these pillars. Pillars found in 1000 pillar hall and in various parts of temple have artistic sculptural works. Temple cars (Thear) in the year 1910, 2 big temple cars were made for god and goddess. ‘Coratham’(used for procession) and several wooden Vahanas are present in this temple. 156 Inscriptions have been found at this temple. Inscriptions of King Madurai konda Parakesari varman paranthaka cholan is the oldest among them. Informations about renovations and wealth of this temple are found in these inscriptions.
Holy Water Points
The Sreemath Theertham is a water spring oozing inside the Sanctorum of Lord Shiva. The Rama Theertham is situated just outside the temple. Just directly opposite to the temple across the G.S.T Road. This can be the way to the Srirangam. This is where the “Thai Poosam theppam” festival is celebrated. This Theertham is full of beautiful Lotus flower plants. There is also the Chandra Theertham, the Agni Theertham, which is the well in the South East corner of 3rd Praharam. Just opposite on the side of Vasantha Mandapam and temple Nandhavanam. In addition, there is the Indira Theertham which is in the 3rd Praharam opposite to Kasi Viswanatha Swami sannathi. Aside of these are the Akasthiya Theertham, the Jambu Theertham which is in the South West 3rd Praharam near the old Jambukeshwara temple (Opposite to Sangareshwarar temple and opposite to Kubera Linga), the Surya Theertham which is in the South West corner of the 4th praharam. Just opposite to the 1000 pillar mandapam. This Tank is architecturally beautifully built with two stories of Mandapams around the tank. Each mandapam built with 100 pillars. “Theppam” festival is celebrated in this tank in the Tamil month “Aadi” on “Pooram” day (the day when the star is Pooram, which is the star of Akilandeswari). Finally, there is the Brahmma Theertham, which is in the South side of 4th Praharam (South Car Street).The Agamam is Magudagamam and Karanagamam.The Sacred Tree is the White Jambu tree.
About The Deity
Thiruvanaikkoil Temple is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams (signifying the 5 natural elements) and represents water ('Neer'). Hence this temple is also revered as 'Appu Sthalam' and the ShivaLingam here is called as 'Appu Linga'. Lord Jambukeswarar is a swayambumurthy. The sanctum of Lord Jambukeshwara has an underground water stream. And one can see water coming out of that stream. The Presiding Deity is Devi Akilandeswari Amman. Akhilandeshwari means 'Ruler of the Universe' (Akilam – Universe, Aanda – Ruler, Eswari – Goddess).
Legend and Stories
According to mythological interpretations, Devi Akhilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Lord Shiva, who stood facing West. Hence this Temple is also revered as an Upadesa Sthalam. Since Devi Akhilandeswari worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple, even today at noon the 'Archakar' (priest) dresses like a female and performs Puja to Lord Jambukeswara and the holy Cow. A specific breed of black cow, called Karam Pasu is brought to the Temple for puja. As the Devi was like a student and Lord Jambukeswara like a Guru (teacher) in this temple, there is no Thiru Kalyanam (marriage) conducted in this temple for Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathi, unlike the other Shiva temples. The Shrine of the Devi Akilandeshwari and the Shrine of Lord Prasanna Vinayaka opposite the Devi Shrine are in the shape of the Pranava Mantra called "OM".
Brahmma the Creator once loved a woman whom he created Himself, thus incurring Sthree Dosha. He approached Lord Shiva for relief. To help Brahmma Lord left Mount Kailas, when Mother Ambica expressed Her desire to accompany Him. Lord told Mother that Brahmma is weak towards women and advised Her to stay back. Mother suggested that She would come in His form with men’s dress and that Lord may follow in Her form. Agreeing to the suggestion, both set out in disguise. This event is described to prove the philosophy that Lord and Mother are but one. They granted darshan and pardon to Brahmma. During the Brahmmotsavam this event is celebrated on the banks of Brahmma Theertham. As it is time of Brahmma’s prayer to Lord and mother, no hymn music is played.
Lord played a miracle here too as He did many in Madurai. A Chola king while constructing the fifth corridor-prakara of the temple, had to meet his enemy in war. Though duty compelled him to go to war, his mind was in the temple construction and with Lord. Lord Shiva came to the place in the guise of Vibhuti Chitthar and completed the work. Hence, this prakara is named Vibhuti Prakara and the walls around as Tiruneetran Tirumadhil. Sacred ash is Vibhuti in Sanskrit and Tiruneeru in Tamil and Madhil the wall in Tamil. There is a shrine for Vibhuti Chitthar on the banks of Brahmma Theertha.
In the early days, Mother Ambica was in a furious form. To control the fury, generally a Sri Chakra installed at the feet of the Goddess. As an alternative, Acharya Sri Adi Sankara prepared two ear rings in which he applied the Sri Chakra power and adored Ambica. Mother became all merciful and smiling to devotees. He also installed Her sons Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga before Her as a Mother cannot afford to be angry towards Her kids.
Of the Shiva Ganas serving Lord in Kailash, two of them, Pushpadanda and Maliavan began to fight with each other to decide their rank in the service of Lord. At a stage, they cursed each other to be born as a spider and elephant. Maliavan was born as spider and Pushpadanda the elephant. Both prayed here for relief but not without fighting each other. The spider entered into the ear of the elephant to kill it. Lord Shiva granted salvation to elephant only and made the spider to be born again for its attempt to murder.
Spider was born to Chola king Subaveda and queen Kamalavathi. He was the Chola king then as Kochengat Chozhan. He built Mada temples to Lord Shiva in which elephants cannot enter. He also renovated this temple preventing entry of elephants. There is a shrine for this king in the temple.
It is also noteworthy that Wedding Festival (Tiru Kalyanam) is not celebrated in the temple. Lord Shiva granted darshan to Ambica when She was in penance here but did not marry Her. As such there is no Palli Arai Puja though the Palli Arai exists. Lord Chokkanatha and Mother Meenakshi in the temple are taken to this shrine at nights. No wedding festival is celebrated for other deities too in the temple.
Mother Ambica was born as a human as directed by Lord Shiva. She made a Shiva Linga with the waters of River Cauvery. Lord appeared on the Linga and granted darshan to Mother. This is a miracle place. Of the Pancha Bhudas, the place became Appu sthala-water sthala.A sage Jambu by name performed penance in this place on Lord Shiva. Lord granted darshan to the sage and offered Naaval fruit (called blackberry) as Prasad. While consuming the Prasad, the sage swallowed the seeds too as he thought it a sin to spit the seeds. Reaching the stomach of the Rishi, the seeds began to grow into a tree and pierced his head thus leading to his salvation. Naaval is called Jambu in Sanskrit. The Water Linga created by Mother Ambica is under this tree. As Lord granted salvation to Sage Jambu, He is praised as Jambukeswarar.
Legend behind king’s red eyes
There is 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 build the temple for Siva and Goddess Akilandeswari in the name of Aanaikka (elephant protected) later days it changed to Thiruvanaikovil.
- Vaikasi - Vasantha Urchavam (10 days).
- Aadi - Aadipuram festival (10 days),Aadi Friday is celebrated.
- Purattasi - Navarathiri festival (10 days).
- Thai - Thai Poosam, Thai theppam (Float) festival Special poojas are performed during Fridays of Thai month.
- Panguni - Brahmotchavam (40 days).
- Car festival and Panchaprakara festival are important festivals.
6.30 A.M to 7.30 A.M
8.00 A.M to 8.45 A.M
11.00 A.M to 12.00 P.M
5.00 P.M to 5.45 P.M
Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother offering vastras.
As an Elephant was blessed here after worshipping here, this temple came to be known as ‘Thiruvanaikka’. As Lord Siva is seated below Jambu tree at this temple, it got its name Jambukeswaram. When Goddess Ahilandeswari penanced here, Lord Siva satisfied by her prayer blessed her. For this reason this temple is also known as Gnanashethram. A spider, which worshipped Lord Jambukeswarar in its previous life, was blessed to born as Kochengat cholan in its next birth. He constructed this temple about 2500 years ago.
Uma Deviyar, Thirumal, Brahman, Attathikku Balakhar, Attavasukkal, Jambu Munivar, Gowthamar, Aghasthiyar, a spider known as Gananatharul maliyavan, an elephant named Pushbadhanthan, Suryan and Chandran attained glory by worshipping at this temple. Thirugnana Sambanthar, Appar, Sundarar, Arunagirinathar, Iyyadigal kadawarkon, Thayumanavar have enchanted the glory of Lord Jambukeswarar in their literary works. Goddess blessed poet Kalamega Pulavar with the talent to write poems at this temple.
There are no doors in the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Jambukeswara but a stone window with nine holes. Devotees have to worship the Lord through these holes only. The nine holes of the window represent the nine outlets in the human body which we have to keep under control while worshipping Lord Shiva. While traditionally Annabishek is performed on the full moon day in Aipasi-October-November, the ritual is followed here on the full moon day in Vaikasi-May-June.It is also noteworthy that there is a perennial spring in Lord Shiva shrine. There will be more water in the sanctum in the rainy season in Aipasi-October-November. As Annabishek is not possible at this time, the same is performed in Vaikasi when the floor would be just wet only. On the Aipasi Poornima-full moon day Lord is covered with sacred ash.
Devotees worshipping here are blessed both in this birth and in next birth. One who worships Goddess Ahilandeswari will be blessed with good education and intelligence, marriage and wishes for child are fulfilled. By coming around the fifth divine wall known as "Thiruneetran thirumathil” ones’ wishes gets fulfilled.Devotees pray for unity among husband and wife, for good matches for virgins, high yield in farming and for plenty of water for living.
Nearby places to visit
Sri Ranganathar Swamy Temple
Srirangam Temple is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu . It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam. In the Vaishnava parlance the term "KOIL" signifies this temple only. The temple is enormous in size.Lalgudi is one of the Town in Lalgudi Taluk in Tiruchirappalli District. Srirangam is the centre of Prime importance of the hundred and eight Vaishnava Temples. The Lord is Sri Renga - the Temple is situated between the Coleroon and the Cauvery River.
Arulmigu saptharisheeswara Temple
The temple here has won a unique place among the temples of Tamilnadu. 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 Vekkaliamman 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. Bangles, Mangalsutra, pearl chain, necklace, crown on the head are shining on Her form. Her left leg is on the demon and the right bent. Woraiyur was the capital of the Chozhas during the Sangam Age. According to Chekkizhar, a renowned Tamil poet, woraiyur contains all the great beauties of the world.
Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple
God Shiva in this temple is called as Gneelivaneswarar. Shiva is in the form Suyambu linga (suyambu means it came from earth, it’s not made by anyone). There are many names for Shiva in this temple like Kathali Vasanthar, Gneelivaneswarar, Paramasambu, Aaraniya Vallaver, Eluthariya Peruman. But the famous and well known name is Gneelivaneswarar.
Arulmigu Samayapuram Mariamman Temple
It is dedicated to Lord Samayapurathal or Mariamman is made of sand and clay like many of the traditional Mariamman deities, and hence unlike many other Hindu deities there are no abhishekams (sacred washing) conducted to the main deity, but instead the "abishekam" is done to the small stone statue in front of it.
A wonderful picnic spot, where the river Kollidam branches off from the river Cavery. It is 18 kilometers from Trichy City.
The airport nearest to Thiruvanaikaval is in Thiruchirappalli or Trichy(15 km). The airport is at a distance of about 5 km from the main city of Trichy and about 12 km from Thiruvanaikaval. There are many domestic as well as international flights coming to Trichy. One can take a private cab from outside the airport to reach Thiruvanaikaval.
There is also the Trichy Railway Junction, and Thiruvaanaikkaval is situated in the middle of Trichy and thiruvarangam 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 trichy. Government and private bus service is available to reach Thiruvaanaikkaval.
Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple,
Pincode - 620 005.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Remedy for evil dreams
- Re-union of estranged couples
- Wedding proposals
- Family welfare and prosperity
- For general well-being of people born under Pushya/Poosam/Puyam
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple is open from 5:30 am to 1:00 am and 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm.