Çré Jambukeçwara Temple, Trichy
Jambukeswaram, near Trichy, is the ancient name of the present town of Tiruvanikka. Both terms, Jambukeswaram in Sanskrit, and Tiruvanaikaval/Tiruvanaikoil relate to the same place, the abode of Lord Jambukeswara. The Lord is worshipped here as the water aspect, hence the place is one of the Pancha-Bhüta Sthalas.
According to the Temple authorities, the current Temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas around 1,800 years ago. The Cholas, Pandyas and the Hoysalas also contributed magnificently towards the maintenance and expansion.
The presiding deity is Sri Jambukeswara, also known as Appu (water) Lingam. The sanctum is very small and at a low level. The base of the Linga is always damp with water flowing from river Kaveri underneath. As one of the Pancha-Bhuta Sthalas, a lot of significance is attached to this pilgrimage centre.
The divine consort is Sri Akhilandeswari, who is worshipped in a separate shrine. It is believed that the Amman in the temple was in deep anger hence during Ädi Çankara’s visit he installed the Prasanna Gaëapati idol right opposite to her Sannidhi, and offered a pair of Sri Chakra as Thädanga (ear-rings) for the Devi to reduce her anger.
There are many gopuras in the Temple. One has to go through three gopuras before entering the main Temple. The first one has seven tiers, the second one four, the third one seven and is the best. The pillars in the corridor are more striking than the ones in the long corridor of Rameçwaram (Yes, I photographed). The workmanship in the central maëòapam is indeed striking. There is a huge almost curtain-like pillar near Sri Akhilandeswari’s shrine, with tapestry designs on it.
The deity is said to have been installed by Parvati. To signify that the Devi is worshipping the Lord, even today at noon a priest of Goddess Akhilandeswari’s shrine wears a saree, a crown on his head, and proceeds to perform the noon-puja to the Lingam. When we entered the Temple, the priest was indeed wearing a saree and a crown and was going round the shrine with the Temple band and few devotees following him.
Work in progress