Ekambareswarar Temple

26 May

The Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram is one of the famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Presiding Deity of this temple is Thiru Ekambareswarar, worshipped as the “Prithivi Lingam”. It is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a natural element) – five major Shiva temples and this temple represents the element – Earth (Prithvi). The other four temples in this category are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (Water), Chidambaram Natarajar (Sky), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (Fire) and Thiru Kalahasti Nathar (Wind).

This very big temple is one of the most ancient in India having been in existence since at least 600 AD and finds mention in 2nd century AD Tamil poetry. However, it was torn down and rebuilt in its present form by the Pallava Kings in 7th or 8th century AD. The Chola dynasty that came later also made several contributions to the temple. The temple covers an area of over 40 acres. Reaching a height of 57 meters, the temple’s Raja gopuram (the entrance tower to the temple) is one of the tallest in South India and was built by the Vijayanagar King, Krishnadevaraya.

Goddess Parvathi Devi performed tapas under a Mango tree and still we can find that tree inside the Temple. A 3500 years old mango tree adores the sanctum having four branches each dedicated to the four Vedas. The Deity derives its name from the Mango tree from the words Eka-Amra-Natha, meaning the Lord of the Mango tree. The path to the tree has a Shiva Lingam made of around 1008 small lingas .The Huge linga is popular as the Prithivi Linga or the earth Linga. A Somaskanda panel featuring Shiva, Parvati and Skanda together Cherise the back end of the main shrine, which has been worship for centuries together. There is no seperate shrine for the Female deity as is customary in all the Shiva Temples found in Kancheepuram. All the 4 famous Saivite Saints, Appar, Sambandar, Manickavasgar and Sundarar have sung the glory of this temple.

One of the Acharya Peetas of Sri Adi Sankaracharya – The Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam is situated here. It has been a centre for Tamil learning and Culture for centuries and gives us a clear picture of the glorious Dravidian Heritage of the Vaishnavites and Shaivites.

Kancheepuram is one of the seven Mokshapuris -sacred cities- by living in these cities takes his soul to the kingdom of God by relieving him from rebirth in this earth after death.

The Ekambareswarar Temple is the 1st of the 32 Tevara Stalam built in the Tondai region of Southern India.

Darshan Timing : 6.00am-1.00pm &  3.00pm-8.00pm



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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Kanchipuram - Temples


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