Parvati worships Shiva in this temple at noon even today
The Jambukeswarar Temple, in Tiruchirapalli’s Thiruvanaikaval is believed to be over 1,800 years old and was built by one of the early Chola rulers.
Among the many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Jambukeswarar Temple, in Tiruchirapalli’s Thiruvanaikaval is very significant. The temple is also famous for Akhilandeshwari, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.
The temple is believed to be over 1,800 years old and was built by one of the early Chola rulers.
Before we take a look at the significant features of the temple, let us know the legend associated with Goddess Akhilandeshwari and Lord Jambukeswarar.
Once, as Lord Shiva was seated in deep meditative posture doing penance, goddess Parvati took at dig at him. This angered Lord Shiva and he punished Parvati by asking her to leave Kailasha and move to earth as Akhilandeshwari.
Obeying Shiva’s order, Parvati left for earth and observed strict penance to please her Lord by offering her prayers to a Linga, she made out of the water from river Cauvery. After years of rigorous sacrament, Shiva blessed Akhilandeshwari by giving her darshan and imparting the Shiva Gnana.
Significance of the Jambukeswarar Temple
This temple is one of the five major Shiva Temples in South India that represent the Mahabhuta or five great elements - space, air, fire, water, earth.
This temple denotes the element of water.
The sanctum sanctorum or Garbhagriha of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream. No one has been able to identify the source of this mysterious stream. Interestingly, the water from the underground stream has been pumped out a few times but it gets filled up inexplicably.
Unique feature of the Jambukeswarar Temple
It is believed that Goddess Parvati as Akhilandeshwari worships the Lingam even today at noon. Hence, a priest known as Archakar, dresses up as a woman by draping a sari and offers prayers to Jambukeswara, as a symbolic gesture to give visual reference to the belief. Devotees gather in large numbers to see this unique puja at noon.
Marriages are not conducted in the temple because Shiva and Parvati are not celebrated as a couple but as a teacher and student here.