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Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

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The Ekambareswarar Temple addressing the component Earth is one of India’s Panch Bhooth Sthalams temples devoted to Lord Shiva located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the five significant Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams addressing the component – Earth.

The other four temples in this collection are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (ether), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire), and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). The current structure of the temple, which is a reconstruction from around 600 AD by the Pallavas, is thousands of years old.

Story Behind Ekambareswarar Temple

The deity here is the Prithivi Lingam, also referred to as Shiva or Ekambareswarar. Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple. The sand Shivalinga that Mother Kamakshi made is revered in the sanctum sanctorum. The hand that symbolizes Mother embracing the Lord is still discernible on the Linga. A Somaskanda panel depicting Shiva, Parvati, and Skanda who have been worshipping together for centuries adorns the back of the main shrine.

According to legend, the lingam at the Ekambareswarar Temple was created by Goddess Parvati herself, who also worshipped it. This rumour is supported by a mark that is still visible on the lingam. When Goddess Parvati covered Shiva’s eyes, the world briefly went dark. Shiva closed his eyes and the Sun and Moon darkened without a ray of light. He opened his third eye, and humanity was saved. Parvati felt bad when she saw everything.

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Shiva commanded her to perform penance in order to erase her negative karma. Parvati started her atonement when she arrived on earth as Kamakshi. She prayed to Lord Shiva under an ancient temple mango tree as a Prithvi Lingam, a lingam made of earth. She crafted a sand Shiva linga. Shiva tried Kamakshi’s devotion by starting a flood in her worship area at the same time.

When Kamakshi learned about the flood, she became concerned that the Prithvi Lingam would be washed away, so she grasped it. Lord Shiva appears in human form and marries Kamakshi, whose devotion and love caused him to literally melt. Kamakshi accidentally left some marks on the sand-made lingam from her bangles and kuchas, which can still be seen today.

History of Ekambareswarar Temple

This Ekambareswarar Temple, which has been around since at least 600 AD, is one of India’s oldest temples. Tamil poetry from the second century AD mentions Kama kottam and Kumara kottam (the present-day Kamakashi Amman Temple and Subramanya temples). The Pallavas were the first to build the temple. Kachiyapper, a Vedantist, was a temple priest. The current structure was demolished at the time, and it was rebuilt by subsequent Chola Kings. The saint Adi Sankara of the tenth century transformed Kanchipuram and expanded this temple, the Kamakshi Amman temple, and the Varadaraja Perumal Temple with the help of local rulers.

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

During the 15th century, the Vijayanagar kings also made a lot of contributions to the temple. Later, Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar used to regularly travel from Chennai to Kanchipuram to worship in this temple. He spent a lot of money on the temple renovation while the British were in charge. The temple pillar shows Pachiyappa Mudaliar seated on horseback. To save time travelling to Kanchipuram, Pachiappa Mudaliar later built a temple in Chennai with the same name as the original, Ekambareswarar. Nattukottai Chettiar renovated the temple extensively between 1905 and 1906, according to an Archaeological Survey of India report.

Architecture of Ekambareswarar Temple

The Ekambareswarar Temple spans more than 93,000 square meters. The temple’s Raja gopuram, or entrance tower, is one of South India’s tallest, standing at 59 meters high. The Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, also known as the “hallway with a thousand pillars,” which was constructed by the Vijayanagar Kings, is one of the temple’s most distinctive features. The inner walls of the temple are decorated with a total of 1,008 Siva lingams. The 25-acre campus includes a thousand-pillared hall and five prakarams (or courtyards).

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

It is believed that the Ekambareswarar Temple tank, Kampai Tirtha, contains an underground holy river. The fourth courtyard contains a pond and a small Ganesha temple. In the third courtyard, there are numerous smaller shrines. The sanctum sanctorum houses the lingam and Shiva’s image.

Within the temple complex is a small Vishnu shrine known as Thiru Nilaaththingal Thundathan. The Alvar saints regard the shrine as one of the 108 Divya Desams, and Vishnu is prayed to as Vamana Murthy. The sthala-virutcham or temple tree is a 3,500-year-old mango tree whose branches are said to yield four distinct kinds of mangoes from its four branches.

Facts about Ekambareswarar Temple

  • The presiding deity here is Ekambareswarar or Shiva, worshipped as the Prithivi Lingam
  • On the Rathasapthami day in January-February, the sun’s rays fall on the presiding Lord.
  • Thevaram and Thiruvasagam praise this as the first temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Thondainadu region.
  • The Ekambareswarar Temple mango tree is 3,500 years old and produces fruits with a variety of flavours, including sweet, spicy, citric, and bitter.
  •  The devotee crowd is also huge on the new moon, full moon and pra dosha days.
  • The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar.
  • The temple complex covers 25 acres and is one of the largest in India.
  • The Ekambareswarar Temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.
  • The present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers.

Famous Festivals In Ekambareswarar Temple

Ani Tirumanjanam (June to July), Adi Kritikai (July to August), Avani Moolam (August to Sep), Navaratri (September to October), Kartikai Deepam (Nov to Dec), Thai Poosam (January to February), Panguni Uthiram (Mar to Apr), Chitra Pournami (April to May), and Vaikashi Vishakam (May to June) are among the colourful festivals that are observed.

There are also a lot of devotees on the new moon, full moon, and pradosha days. Deepavali, Tamil New Year, and Hindu New Year are all celebrated with special abisheks and pujas in the temple.

How To reach Ekambareswarar Temple

Kanchipuram is also well connected with the other parts of the states and it is a few km from the Quadrilateral National Highway.

By Air: Chennai has the nearest international airport, situated around 75 km away from Kanchipuram.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kanchipuram Railway Station which is merely 1 km from the temple. Take an Auto/E-Rikshaw Or taxi after reaching the railway station.

By Road: Tamil Nadu Government Transports to Kanchipuram are accessible from all parts of the Tamil Nadu state, as well as major urban communities in South India. It is 64 kilometres from Chennai, the nearest major city, from which there are numerous buses to Kanchipuram.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Temple Timings
The temple is open to worship during morning 06:00 am to 11:00 am and evening 05:00pm to 08:00 pm.
Panguni Uthiram Biggest Festival Details

Day 1: Kodiyettram 

Day 2: Suryapprapai 

Day 3: Boothavaakanam 

Day 4: Nagavaakanam 

Day 5: Velli Athikara Nandhi Sevai 

Day 6: Arupathu Moovar 

Day 7: Erathortchavam 

Day 8: Arumugasway Edupputher 

Day 9: Aalmeel Pallakku / Velli Maavadi Sevai.

Day 10: Panguni Uthiram Thirukkalyanam.

Day 11: Kandhapodi Vasantham / Velliyillana Punniyakodi Vimanam.

Day 12: Purusaa Miruga Vaganam / Panja Moorthi.

Day 13: Theeirthavaari(Sarva Theerthathil) / Yanai Vaakanam Kodiyirakkam.

Day 14: 108 Kalasa Abishekam,108 Sangu Abishekam / Thirumurai Vizha.

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Open Now

Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Ekambareswarar, Ambigapadeeswar temple, Kilambi, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: +914427222084Call Now
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Open Now

Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Ekambareswarar, Ambigapadeeswar temple, Kilambi, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: +914427222084Call Now