Ekambareswar Temple

About The Temple

Introductory note of Ekambareswar Temple:

The huge temple that finds its location in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram is one of the finest manifestations of the Dravidian architecture. The Ekambareswarar Temple dates back in time to 600 AD. The temple was originally built by the kings of the Pallava dynasty. After this, the structure had undergone a few rounds of renovation. The Chola kings had the complex rebuilt, and later on during the British regime, a devotee by the name of Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar contributed significantly to the cause of expansion and redevelopment.

Spiritual and religious significance of the temple:

The temple that celebrates the essence of Lord Shiva happens to be an acclaimed Pancha Bootha Sthalams. There are four such temples that represent the four respective natural elements (water, sky, fire, and wind). Ekambareswarar Temple Chennai represents the earth element. The temple celebrates the essence of the Prithvi Lingam that was created by the Mother Goddess Parvati. The most notable feature is the simultaneous existence of the Lord and the Goddess Parvati in the same shrine. The lingam confers blessing on the devotees and grants their wishes. You can extend your offering to the Shiva Lingam for the fulfillment of special wishes. The phallic manifestation ensures fulfillment of both materialistic as well as the non-materialistic wishes. From being blessed with progeny, money and landed property to acquiring ultimate emancipation; you can acquire everything by performing one of the six pujas.

Presiding deity of the temple:

Lord Shiva or the Ekambareswarar Temple who takes the form of Prithvi Lingam happens to be the predominant deity. Though the phallic representation of the Lord happens to be the cult figure of worship; it is customary to pay obeisance to Lord’s consort, Kamakshi Amman. But the river sand structured lingam that was molded by the Goddess is the main fulcrum of worship and attraction.

Details of deities:

Inside the main sanctum, you will come across the following idols. The phallic representation or the ekambareswarar temple lingam presents the look of a cone. The topmost part of the image resembles a cone. You already know that river sand went into the making of this lingam. The main sanctum not only contains the sand made representation, but also contains Ekambareswarar idol together with his consort. The sanctum includes a panel by the name of Somaskana. The panel encloses the dancing posture of the Lord. The consort Parvati accompanies him, on the left, and an elephant-headed image of the Lord Ganesha is placed right in the front.

Existence of other shrines:

Apart from the main shrine, you will come across a few more shrines inside the temple premise. Mention needs to be made of the Thiru Nilaaththingal Thundathan that is inside the premise. It includes the image of the Lord Vishnu, as the ‘Vamana’. The religiously significant mango tree (Mavadi Sannidhi) is also considered as a separate shrine. Besides, you can see around the shrines that have been dedicated to the Shahashra Lingum and the Vadrakali Amman.

The traditionally practiced rituals:

There is something unique about the daily practice of rituals. Six different sets of rituals are practiced, on a regular basis, and they are known by the following names. Ushad Kalam, Uchi Kaalam, Kaalasanthi, Sayaratchai, Ardhajamam, and Pradosham are the respective sets of religious offering. The official ekambareswarar temple timings cover the duration of six and a half hours in the morning. The morning proceedings start at six and culminate in the afternoon at 12:30. The evening proceedings start at half past four and end around half past eight.

Special festive occasions:

It will not be an exaggeration to say that the colorful festivities of some forms or the other keep occurring throughout the year. Navarathri, Adi Krittikai, Kartikai Deepam, Avani Moolam, Ani Tirumanjanam, and Thai Poosham are some of the noted festive occasions. Special mention needs to be made of the Panguni Uthirum. The latter takes place either in the month of March or that of April. The date forecast made by the almanac is taken into the consideration. The festivity covers the time duration of thirteen days. The festival marks the marriage solemnization of the presiding deity. Marriage Solemnization of Shiva and Parvati takes place amid the chanting of the sacred hymns and the recitation of the religious poems composed by Tirumurais. Tourists and pilgrimage are also found pouring in, in large numbers during the celebration of the Vaikashi Vishakam. But the occasion that marks the holy nuptial of the predominant deity is the leading fulcrum of attraction.

Pilgrimage value of the temple

As a Shaivaite or for that matter as a devout follower of Lord Shiva; you will definitely recount the pilgrimage value of this esteemed Panch Bhuta Sthala. The pilgrimage value centers on the religious and spiritual significance of this holy shrine. People come in large numbers during the special occasions and otherwise for paying obeisance to the Prithvi Lingam. The gesture leads to the fulfillment of worldly wishes, and it is claimed, that visit to the temple also leads to the spiritual redemption and the ultimate salvation from the bondage of life and death.

How To Reach

Now that you have decided to visit the holy shrine up here in Kanchipuram, what you need is a convenient-to-follow commutation plan. The kind of plan that you line up will ultimately depend on the place from which you are traveling. You can use, either of the three commutation options. Besides, if you are a local; then, with little or no hassle can you make your way to the sacred destination.

 

  • By airway: The nearest air terminal is Chennai. It is just seventy-five kilometers apart from Kanchipuram, and so if you are flying in from one of the nearby cities or states; first you have to target the Chennai air terminal. Private as well as, public transportation facilities are available from the airport.
  • By railway: Railway network connects Kanchipuram to the different regions and cities of South India. You can also avail of the suburban train service that connects Kanchipuram with the Chennai beach. The trains are found running at a regular interval.
  • By roadway: The National Highway that is quadrilateral in the shape connects Kanchipuram to the South Indian cities. If you take a local bus from the city of Chennai, you will end up reaching the temple destination in two to three hours’ time. Kanchipuram’s proximity to the National Highway proves to be advantageous.

 

Nearby Attractions

Visiting the Kanchipuram Temple will be one of the important parts of your touring itinerary, but it will not be the only objective to achieve. Your will also look forward to discovering and visiting the nearby destinations. It is worth noting that the region is replete with religiously significant tourist spots. The very first thing that you will like to do after visiting the Ekambareswarar Temple is visit the:

  • Consort Temple of Kamakshi Amman: This particular temple is hailed as the consort temple of the former. The temple commits itself to upholding and celebrating the essence of Shakti. The creative power of the divine mother manifests itself as the Kamakshi Amman. The temple testifies to the high-end sculptural and architectural exuberance of the ancient Dravidian dynasties.
  • Kailsanathar Temple: If you are intrinsically religious; then, you will not miss out on the sculptural and the religious glitters and glories of this particular temple that celebrates the omnipresence of Lord Shiva. Both Kamakshi, as well as the Kailsanathar Temple, testifies to architectural heritage of the bygone days.
  • Kanchi Kudil: The concept has an interesting angle to present. It comes in the shape of a house and epitomizes the sociological, cultural and the religious specialties of the region. The concept came into being almost ninety years ago, and the main objective is to acquaint the tourists and the outsiders with the generic scenario of Kanchipuram
  • Devarajaswami Temple: The temple dates back in time to the reign of the Vijaynagar Kings. Once again, you get to discover the brilliant craftsmanship of the Dravidian art and sculpture. Incidentally, the temple celebrates the essence of Lord Vishnu.

The temple city has a few more attractions to offer, and if you have sufficient time, you can make it to the nearby bird sanctuary, besides visiting Mammalapuram and Muttukkadu.

 

History Of Temple

The Sthala Purana has interesting accounts to offer regarding the ekambareswarar temple history. Once, Lord Shiva was at his creative best. He was on with the sequential procedures of creation, protection, and destruction. The Lord was undertaking his respective duties seriously, but his consort, the Goddess Parvati was a bit playful. She playfully closed her eyes, and this led Shiva to stall the natural processes of creation, destruction and protection. The universal law of creation and destruction came to halt. The Lord was extremely angry and ordered her consort to make up for her misdeed.

Upon receiving the Lord’s summon, the Goddess came to the river bank of Kampa in Kanchipuram. She sat underneath the mango tree that is presently known as the ‘Mavadi Sannidhi’. To make up for the loss of faith, she used white sands of the river bank to create a phallic representation of the Lord Shiva. She worshipped the same, with deep veneration. The Lord tried to put various obstacles, but she overcame all those and proved to be a success. According to the legend, the overflowing deluge of the Vegabati River also tried to wash away the lingam, but the Goddess clasped it in her deep embrace.

The history of the temple has yet another interesting angle to present. The temple has an inextricable connection to the Saivaite saints. The Lord personally visited and graced one of the devout Saivaite saints by the name of Tiurkuripputhonda Nayanar. The ekambareswarar temple photo has volumes to reveal about the architectural and sculptural excellence of the erstwhile Dravidian dynasties. Before visiting the temple, do make it a point to glimpse into the online pictures and testaments. What will take you by surprise are the sprawling complex and the fifty-nine meters high entrance tower. The hallway that has thousand pillars and the sculpted representation of the 1008 lingams are the other notable features of attraction.