Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Thiruvaanaikkoil - Sthala puraanam

Thiruvaanaikka, also referred as Jambukeswaram or Gajaaranya kshetram is located in Trichy, near the banks of the sacred river Kaveri.

Its a famous Shiva temple. Few info about the kshetra:
Presiding deities - Jambukeswara and Akilandeswari
Sthala vriksham - Jambu tree or naaval (in Tamil)

There lived an elephant and a spider in a forest, without knowing each other. Both were born there as a result of some cursings that they got from an ascetic in their previous birth. To overcome the curse, they came to the forest on the banks of the river kaveri. They found a lingam (form of shiva on the earth) under a naaval tree.
Each started worshipping the lord in their own way without noticing each other.

The spider use to build a web to protect the lingam from dust. After completing it, the spider use to fly away somewhere and the elephant use to come to that place. Everyday the elephant use to take water from the river kaveri, fill it in its trunk and it will perform abhishekam (pour water on the lingam) and offer flowers. As a result of this the spider web will be destroyed.

This was happening every day. One day both the spider and the elephant met each other. On seeing the spider building the web over the lingam, the elephant became angry. Also on seeing the elephant spraying water on the lingam, the spider became angry. So the spider advanced itself towards the elephant and intruded inside the elephant's trunk. Elephant was unable to breathe and eventually died. The spider was also unable to come out from the deceased elephant's trunk and it also breathed its last.

Suddenly Lord Shiva, appeared and granted salvation to the Elephant. The spider was given another birth and it was commanded to be born as a Chola king, "senkot chozhan". It was this chola king, who built the present day thiruvaanaikka temple. He built several temples for Lord Shiva, on the banks of river Kaveri. In these temples, the shiva sannidhi will be at a lower level and there will be a window with nine openings in front of linga. Why so? Because of his previous birth vasanas, He built in a way that elephants could not worship Shiva easily. Elephants could not enter the sannidhi as it will be very small and at a lower level.

The image above and those below is that of the east side gopuram, which is the rajagopuram of this temple. This tower is built by Pandya king - Sundara Pandiyan. Hence it carries his name Sundara Pandiyan gopuram.

1 comment:


Good info...

Also do you know why the Shiva linga place is wet always .. is that the special about this temple.