Jambukeswarar Temple Trichy

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2016

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After a visit to the wow Srirangam Temple visited this temple. Amazingly surprised with architectural design. So glad I went there. Entrance gopuram. "Temple is installed under an ancient Jambu tree, the lingam is partially submerged by water and meant to represent God as Water." Darshan was unique.

Way to temple. Area has shops today like in other temples. "Apas, the water element has great fluidity and is related to the story of Goddess Parvati creating a lingam out of water (Appulingam) after she had been banished to earth by Bhagwan Shiva for mocking his Yog Sadhana".

Pillars inside mandapam. Notice the straight line. "It is one of the pancha booth sthalas, so lot of importance attached to this pilgrim centre. The deity is said to have been installed by Goddess Akilandeswari, one of the forms of Goddess Parvathi, to signify that the devi worshipping the Lord, even today the priest wears a sari and performs the pooja".

Second gopuram. "Temple has 5 enclosures and walls reach a height of 35 feet. According to tradition the shrine of Akilandeswari and prasanna Vinayaka are in the shape of Om. It is believed that people who go round the shrine 12 times and for one full mandalam (48 days) will get the blessings and have a good, healthy and wealthy life."

On right is temple tank. Entry was restricted. "It is also believed that Adi Shankara offerred Sri Chakra as Thaadanga (ear rings) for Shri Akilandeswari."

Third gopuram. The corridors around the temple are as long as 1 mile and it is lined with beautiful paintings, missed seeing.

As we crossed third gopuram and entered temple in centre is flag post. Temple was built by one of the Chola kings about 1800 years ago. It is one of 275 Paadal Pethra Sthalams where most Nayanar (Saivite saints) have sung glories of the temple deity.

Huge pillars on 4 sides of flag post. Devotees lit diyas and kept. "Monolithic stone pillars (made from single stone) are found in the mandapam. Stone chains and 12 zodiac signs are beautifully carved on these pillars." Missed seeing the stone chains and zodiac signs. Pillar on left and right that I think Shiva Parvati images, do see that too.

Pillar top - even after so many years, stone intact. "The temple dates back to the 5th century AD to the rule of Kochenganan Chozha, who ruled from Uraiyur and is an architectural marvel with high roofs, five huge prakaras south of the Coloroon, towering Gopurams in the East and the West and Nava Theerthams."

Amazing alignment of pillars. "Tere are hundreds of inscriptions inside the temple dating back to the rule of Chozhas, Pandyas and Hoysalas.

View of two gopurams 2 and 3.

Gives you a sense of temple grandeur and design. So glad I visited. "Temple has many mantapams, Unjal M, Hundred pillared M, Thousand pillared M, Vasantha M, Navaratri M and Somaskandar M."

A view of a pillar going up to end. Right is entry to sanctum, no camera allowed. "Sanctum was built by Ko-Chengat-Cholan, while walls of second Prakara was by Vijayalayam and third Prakara or inner wall by Vikram Cholan. East tower in the fourth Prakara was made by Sundara Pandian".

View of way to exit. 4 male images on temple doing Namaste. Second pillar are 2 images of sons of Shiva, left is Ganesh and right is Murugan. To read a very informative travelogue on temple Click here

Rear side view of main gopuram. There is a shrine on right hand side. Rarely seen a small shrine next to main gopuram. This link has pics of temple that I missed taking Click here

20 kms away from Trichy enroute to Gangaikondacholapuram is Grand Anicut. "The Kallanai Dam was “[built] during the 2nd century AD by Karikalan, a king of southern India''s old Chola Dynasty” and “is also one of the oldest irrigation systems in the world that is still in use". Our ancestors did many things right, making this dam was one of them. To read more Click here

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