Thiruvanaikaval – Sri Jambukeshwara Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Jambukeshwara Temple

Period of origin

Before 6th century

Name of deity

Moolavar: Jambukeshwarar

Ambal: Agilandeswari

Sthala Theertham: Nava Theerthangal

Stalavriksham: Vennaval (Jambu)

Dhevaram : Appar


The Lingam is believed to have been worshiped by his Consort, Parvathi. It is said that Goddess had several doubts and approached the Lord for clarification. She was advised to worship him at Thiruvanaikkaval. She made the Lingam out of particles of water and hence the name Appu Lingam. It is one of the Panchabhootha Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). The primordial element water is represented by an undying natural spring in the sanctum.

Once the two Shiva Ganam Malyavan and Pushpadanta were born under the influence of a curse as a elephant and a spider. The elephant used to clean the place of dry leaves fallen on the lingam. It has collected water from various holy rivers in its trunk and performs anointing to the Lord. The spider was living in the tree. It used to construct a canopy over the Linga, with its web, and thus prevent leaves from falling on the Lord. The elephant worship would destroy the spider’s web, and the spider’s web amounted to desecration in the eyes of the elephant leading to animosity between the two, of such proportion that a fight between them resulted in the death of both.

The Lord was moved by the devotion of these creatures and blessed their souls. As the spider made the elephant to die it was given the rebirth and the elephant got mukthi. The spider was born in the royal Chola family as a boy with reddened eyes, earning for himself the name Chenkannan the red eyed one. In his life time Ko Chenkannan is said to have been built several elevated temples out of reach of elephants, keeping with the legend of his animosity with an elephant in his previous birth.

Since the Lord was worshiped by an elephant in this place came to be known as Thiru-aanai-kaa, which means the grove of the holy elephant. The present name Thiruvanaikkaval or Thiruvanaikkovil is a colloquial form of Thiruvanaikaa.

It is believed that the sage Sambu, who was performing penance in this place turned into Jambu tree, jambu (means naaval pazham in Tamil).Lord gave him jambu prasatham when he went to kailash he came here and sat at the theertham bank and started his penance, when he got hungry, he swallowed the fruit and the seed, because the fruit was given by the lord. Sage Sambu continued his penance in the very same place for a number of years and prayed to lord to take his abode under him, who has now become the tree. His wish was fulfilled and the Linga was installed under the tree.

It is believed that Akhilandeswari was originally an Ugra Devata of great fury, and AdiSankaracharyar is said to have converted the fiery energy of the deity into a manifestation of peace. Adorned her with ear rings bearing the symbol of the chakram. and installing Shrines of Vinayaka and Subramanya at front and back. Here we can see shrine for Adi Sankara.

This is a vast temple (18 acres) with lofty gopurams, 5 prakarams and ornate mandapams. The second and third prakarams date back to the 13th century. The dwajasthampa mandapam has grand sculptural work. There is an image of Ekapada Trimurthy representing the unity of Bhrama Vishnu and Shiva in this temple.

The Akhilandeswari shrine is located in the fourth prakaram. The Eastern tower with seven levels has fine sculptural specimen of musical scenes, while the Western tower has nine levels. The first prakaram has been renovated in this century.

Pankuni Brahmotsavam, Vasanta Utsavam, float festival in Thai, Aadi Pooram, Pancha Prakara festival are the major festivals celebrated here.

This temple is  Aathara Stalam.This place is called Swathistanam meaning One’s own abode


Timely marriage, Re-union of couple, seasonal farming, water scarcity are rectified by offering Anoiting and vastharam to the Lord and goddess.


6 km from chathiram bus stand, Thiruchirappalli.

Temple Timings:

5.30 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 8.30 pm. Fridays and Sundays the temple will be opened throughout the day

Temple Telephone Number:

0431- 2230 257

Temple Address:

Sri Jambukeshwara Temple
Thiruchirappalli (Dist)
Tamil Nadu

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