The Lord “Prithivi Lingam” – Represents the manifestation as “Earth”.
The 1500 years old “Ekambareswarar Temple” is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Five temples were built for each of the five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. These are the “Pancha Bhootha Sthalas” (“Pancha – Five”, “Bootha – Elements”: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Space and “Sthala – Location”). Already we discussed Chidambaram and the Lord “Anionic (Yoni) Lingam” is worshipped in his manifestation as “Space or Sky“.
Now we travel to another manifestation of “Earth“, The Lord “Prithivi Lingam” in Ekambareswarar temple at Kanchipuram which is closer to Chennai, Tamilnadu, India.
Legend of the Temple:
Once Parvati (The consort of Shiva) was doing penance under the temple’s ancient Mango tree near Vegavathi river. In order to test her devotion, Shiva sent fire on her. Goddess Parvati prayed to her brother, Vishnu for help. Vishnu took the Moon from Shiva’s head and showed the rays which then cooled down the tree as well as saved Parvati. Shiva again sent the river Ganga (Ganges) to disrupt Parvati’s penance. Parvati prayed to Ganga and convinced her that both of them were sisters and so should not harm her. Subsequently, Parvati made a Shiva Linga (Prithivi Lingam) out of the sand to get united with Shiva. The God here came to be known as Ekambareswarar or “Lord of Mango Tree”.
Another Legend of “Tezhuva Kuzhainthaar“. The neighboring Vegavati river overflowed and threatened to engulf the Shiva Lingam and that Parvati (Kamakshi) embraced the Lingam. Shiva touched by the gesture materialized and married her. In this context, he is referred to as “Tezhuva Kuzhainthaar” (“He who melted in Her embrace”).
Ancient Temple History
– This vast temple in India having been in existence since at least 600 AD. Second century AD Tamil poetry speaks of “Kamakshi Cottam and Kumara Cottam” (currently the Kamakshi Amman temple and the Subramanya temple).
– Rebuilt the temple later by the Chola Kings in the 12th century A.D.
– The Vijayanagar kings, during the 15th century, also made a lot of contributions to the temple.
– Later developed by Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar. He spent significant money he amazed during British rule on the temple renovation, Pachiyappa Mudaliar seated at horseback can be seen in the temple pillar.
– The Archaeological Survey of India report of 1905–06 indicates widespread renovation activities carried out in the temple by Nattukottai Chettiar.
- The temple covers an area of over 23 acres (93,000 m2)
- The temple’s Raja gopuram south reaching a height of 59 meters (the entrance tower to the temple) is one of the tallest in South India.
- One notable feature of the temple is the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, or the “hallway with a thousand pillars“, which was built by the Vijayanagar Kings.
- The temple’s inner walls are decorated with an array of 1,008 Siva lingams.
- Vishnu is praying as Vamana Murthy and the shrine is hailed by the Alvar saints as one of the 108 Divya Desams. The sthala-virutcham or temple tree is a 3,500-year-old mango tree whose branches are said to yield four different types of mangoes from its four branches.
- “Panguni Uthiram” festival celebrated during the month of March–April is the most popular of all the temple festivals in Kanchipuram.
Arts and Sculpture:
Temple Timings: Opening hours: 6 AM till 11 PM and 5 PM till 8 PM.
Distance and Route Details:
Book Volvo bus tickets, online bus ticket booking, online bus reservation at Oasis Bus.
- Chennai to Kanchipuram – 76.0 km
- Chidambaram to Kanchipuram – 189 km
- Bangalore to Kanchipuram by Chennai Bus – 279 km
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