TIRUVAANAIKAAVAL - Siva Temple

This temple, 2kms from Srirangam is dedicated to Lord Siva. It is also known as Jambukeswaram.
This is the Appu Sthalam among the Pancha Bootha Sthalams.
The others are -
Tiruvannamalai (Thejo sthalam - Fire)
Kanchipuram (Prithvi sthalam - Earth)
Kalahasti (Vayu sthalam - Air)
Chidambaram (Akasa sthalam - Space).

The Siva Lingam (Appu Lingam) under a holy Jambu tree is submerged in water from a subterranean spring. There is another Lingam in the shrine. Daily prayers & worship are offered to both Lingams. There is a separate shrine for the Goddess, Akhilandeswari facing east, while the Lord faces west.

The temple is situated amidst a mango grove. There are 7 gopurams and the temple is surrounded by 5 walls. The sculptures & carvings are of the Chola period. In a pillar in the Mahamandapa of Akhilandeswari temple, there is a magnifi ient figure of Ekapadeswarar, with Brahma & Vishnu on either side with their vahanas.

During the mid-day puja, the priest is dressed as a female while offering worship, signifying that Godddess Parvati herself is offering prayers to the Lord.


Legend
An elephant and a spider were offering worship to the Lingam simultaneously. The spider would spin a web giving cover to the Lord. The elephant would bring water in its trunk to do Abhishekam to the Lord. He found the web in the way & destroyed it. The spider spun the web again & the elephant destroyed. This continued & one day the angered spider got into the elephants trunk to disturb him. The elephant struck his trunk against a rock. The Lord was pleased with their relentless devotion & both the spider and the elephant attained moksham. Since an elephnat worshipped the Lord here, the place is known as Tiruvaanaikaaval (Aanai in Tamil-Elephant)

This place is also known as Jambukeswaram. There was once a rishi who performed tapas in this region. The Lord was pleased with his prayers & agreed to give darshan to devotees here as Jambukeswarar.

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