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Jambukeswarar Temple or Thiruanaikaval is a prominent Shiva Temple of South India. This is situated in Thiruanaikaval, Tiruchirapalli. The prominent deity is Lord Shiva who is worshipped as Lord Jambukeswarar in the form of a Lingam. As Lord Shiva sat under the Jambu tree, he is called as Jambukeswarar. His consort is Goddess Parvati who is depicted as Goddess Akhilandeswari, who is the Goddess for the whole world. The word Akilam denotes the world, and Eashwari denotes the goddess who protects. This is one of the “Pancha Bootha Sthalams”, connoting “Water” or Appulingam. This temple is highly revered by Tamil Saints and Nayanmars, who are highly revered.
Lord Shiva blessed an elephant who was his ardent devotee, so this temple gained the name of Thiruanaikaval. This temple is highly significant as Goddess Akhilandeshwari is portrayed as the student of Lord Shiva. Unlike other temples which perform the Thirukalyanam or divine marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, this temple does not have that ritual.
It is believed that an elephant was given salvation by Lord Shiva in this temple when a spider entered the trunk of the elephant and killed the elephant by biting it. Both the elephant and the spider were Lord Shiva’s “Boota Kana” in their previous birth and were cursed to be born on earth. They had a terrible fight when the spider built the cobweb several times, despite the elephant cleaning the Shiva Linga several times. Thus Lord Shiva proved that he is the epitome of grace even to animals. He stood as Jambukeshwarar in Thiruanaikaval and saved a lot of ants and stood as Thiruyerumbeshwarar at “Thiruverambur”, Trichy.
This temple is one of the oldest shrines which was built 2500 years ago by Chola Kings in Dravidian-style architecture. There are five enclosures for this temple. The temple has big halls with grand pillars. There are many intricate carvings, with each depicting certain stories and trying to narrate something to the devotes. The shrine of Lord Shiva is called Jambu Linga, which has a natural spring of water, which flows throughout the year. The bronze idol of Lord Nandi is kept before the Lingam of Lord Shiva. The deity is viewed through the stone wall. The shrine of Goddess Akhilandeshwari is installed with a big Ganesha statue opposite to it. There are several other shrines for Navagragahas, Sage Vibuthi Sithar, Lord Muruga and Lord Chandikeshwara. The lingam of Lord Shiva is said to be Suyambu, which means ‘self-manifested’.
Every day, the temple priest here dresses like a lady and does the pooja for Lord Shiva and the Gotha. There are several festivals that are very prominent in this shrine. Brahmotsavam is celebrated during the month of Panguni which runs for ten days with great pomp. Annual Natyanjali is conducted in this temple to honor the cosmic dancer, “Nataraja” every year. Other festivals like Maha Shivaratri, Tamil New Year day, Deepavali, Arudra Darshan, Makar Sankranti are all other important festivals.
Lord Shiva is highly compassionate towards his devotees. People who worship in this temple will break their birth-death cycle, and earn blessings for the generations to come. Goddess Akhilandeswari will bestow good education and intelligence. Many people also enjoy the fruits of good marital life, good childbirth and other material gains, and also have wishes for marriage and progeny fulfilled.
The nearest Airport in Trichy, which is nationally and internationally connected. There are numerous means of local transport from the airport to the temple.
Thiruvanaikaval is very close to Trichy city, which is well connected from various parts of Tamil Nadu. The nearest railway station is in Srirangam, which is just within three to five kilometers from the temple premises.
There is a bus stop very near the temple. Apart from buses, there are numerous options like autos and taxis which can take one very close to the temple. This is on the Trichy-Chennai highway, and it is very easy to reach the temple.
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