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JAMBUKESHWAR TEMPLE, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) (Pancha-Bhootham Temple- Water)

➢ The Jambukeswarar Temple in Thiruvanaikaval is renowned in Tiruchirapalli district, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. The principal deity is Swayambhu (self-manifested). The temple lies in Srirangam island, which also has another famous temple, the Ranganathaswamy Temple.

➢ The temple is being administered by the HR& CE department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. ➢ The temple was built by King Kochenga Chola, an early Chola ruler, around 1,800 years ago. The architectural splendor of the temple is highly noteworthy.

➢ This temple is one among the five prominent Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu. Collectively, they are called the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, and they represent the five elements of air, water, fire, earth, and space.

➢ The Jambukeswarar temple represents the water element. Its sanctum has a subterranean stream that is always filled with water, though the authorities keep pumping it out regularly.

➢ One of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, the four most revered Saivite saints or Nayanmars, as they are called, have sung the praises of this temple’s deity.

➢ This is the 60th temple dedicated to Shiva on the northern bank of the Cauvery river that finds praise in the Thevaram hymns.

➢ The temple is also the abode of goddess Akilandeswari, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati. It has five enclosures. There is a massive outer wall that covers the fifth precinct. It is called the Vibhuti Prakara and stretches over a mile. The fourth precinct contains a hall with 796 pillars.

➢ The presiding deity is Jambukeswarar, who represents the element, water. The sanctum sanctorum is square in structure and lies at the center of the innermost enclosure, with a Vimana on the roof. Open on three sides, the sanctum has a shallow moat that separates it from the circumambulatory path of the innermost enclosure.

➢ The sanctum’s western side, from where the worshippers can view the deity, has a large closed hall, called the Mukha Mandapa. This has four pillars and a bronze idol of Shiva’s vehicle, Nandi. The Mandapa also has a large, ornate western door that is gilded with silver. This is the main entrance.

➢ From the Mukha Mandapa, a set of three steps descend to the area of the sanctum sanctorum. The deity is viewed through a stone window that is an integral part of the sanctum’s western face.

➢ The window’s nine viewing apertures are said to represent the Navagrahas. A panel in bas-relief over the window depicts the Sthala Puranam – the Jambuka tree growing out of the meditating sage’s head, the Lingam of Jambukeswarar beneath the tree; an elephant and a spider worshipping the Lingam, and Goddess Parvati, who is seen to the left of the Lingam.

➢ The idols in the temple face each other. Such temples are called Upadesa Sthalams. ➢ The shrine of Goddess Akilandeswari and that of Prasanna Vinayaka are in the shape of an Om, the Pranava Mantra. The holy tree or Sthala Vriksham is the White Jambuka (Venn Naval in Tamil and rose apple in English).

ANNAMALAIYER TEMPLE , Thiruvannamalai (Pancha-Bhootham Temple-Agni/Fire)

➢ Annamalaiyar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. Annamalaiyar Temple is the Third-Tallest Gopuram (216.5 ft) in the world. ➢ Shiva and Parvathi are the two deities that are worshipped here at Annamalaiyar temple. Shiva is prayed here in the form of Agni. ➢ The temple has seven prakaras and nine gopurams. The tallest gopuram was built by king Krishnadevaraya in the fifteenth century This tower is called as Rajagopuram located on the eastern side. ➢ Arunachaleswarar temple is spread over 25 acres of land. Out of the seven prakaras, the first two prakaras is said to be built by the Pandiya kings and the remaining prakaras by the Cholas and other kings. It has two big tanks named as Brahma Theertham and the other as Siva Ganga Theertham. ➢ It has a massive thousand pillar hall built by the ancient kings. In the thirteenth century the Hoysala kings from Karnataka built some sannadhis and prakaras in the temple. ➢ The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Annamalaiyar and Unnamalai Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar Period.