The Ekambareswarar Temple also known as Ekambaranathar Temple is one of the largest temples, situated in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, and is just 2 kilometers from the Kanchipuram bus stand and near the railway station. This is also known as Sivakanchi. Ekambaranathar Temple is one of the five Pancha Bootham temples and specifically the element of earth, or Prithvi. Here Lord Shiva is worshiped as Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar and Parvati as Elavarkuzhali, represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Prithvi lingam.
The temple covers an area of over 23 acres. Reaching a height of 59 meters, Raja gopuram are one of the tallest in southern India. A notable feature of the temple is the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, or the “Hall of a Thousand Pillars”, which was built by Vijayanagar Rulers. The interior walls of the temples are decorated with a series of 1,008 Siva lingas. Kampai Tirtha, the temple tank is said to have an underground sacred river. The fourth courtyard contains a small temple of Ganesha and a pond. The third courtyard contains many smaller shrines.
There is no separate shrine for Parvati Devi, with other Shiva temples in Kanchipuram. A local belief is that Kanchi Kamakshi Amman is the consort of Ekambaranathar. There is a small shrine for Vishnu called Thiru Nilaaththingal Thundathan in the temple complex. Vishnu is prayed as Vamana Murthy and the shrine is greeted by the saints of Alvar 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 produce four different types of mango from its four branches.
Thousands of devotees visit the temple each year.
Kanchi Ekambaranathar Dharshan Timings:
Morning: 6.00 AM to 12.30 PM.
Evening: 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM.
This timing is subject to change during festival seasons.
Kanchipuram Ekambaranathar Pooja Timings:
|Ushakkala Pooja (Sun Rise Pooja)||06:00 A.M|
|Kaalasandhi Pooja||07:00 A.M|
|Uchikkala Poojaa (Noon Pooja)||12:00 Noon|
|Saayaraksha Pooja (Sunset Pooja)||06:00 P.M|
|Ardhajama Pooja (Night Pooja)||08:00 P.M|
Kanchi Ekambaranathar Temple History:
Once Parvathi Devi closed Lord Shiva’s benevolent eyes in “Kailai” (the place where Lord Shiva and Parvathi lived) for fun. At once the world became very dark. Being angry, He cursed Shakthi (Parvathi Devi) and ordered her to leave him. Though Parvathi Devi was his wife he asked her to live like an ordinary human being and pray him to join. So she left Kailai and reached this place “Kanchi’. There on the bank of the river Kambai, she made a (statue) idol of the lingam with the sand under a mango tree. She worshipped the sand idol. Then Lord Shiva came there on the day of month Panguni and star (Nakshathra) uthiram which is known as “Panguni Uthiram” and married her.
Reason: The name of the God is “Lord Egambaranathar” and the Goddess is Elavar Kuzhali”. In Tamil Egambaram= Egam + Ambaram “Egam” means the only one leader or Head. ‘Ambaram” means mango tree. Since the Lord came from the mango tree he is called so. He is also called “Thiruvegambam” and “Kachiegambam”.
Ekambaranathar Temple Devotional Importance:
This place was praised by devotional songs by great four persons known as “Nalvar” Sambandhar, Appar, Sundarar and Manikkavasakar and poets like “Kalamega” “Irattai pulavargal (two persons) famous “Pattinathadikal.” Sundaramurthi swamigal had lost his two eyes and reached Kanchipuram. He prayed to Sri Kamatchi Amman and Sri Ekambaranathar, He had got his left eye.
About Four Temples:
1) Nallakambar – The Lingam prayed by “Uruthiran”
2) Kallakambar – The Lingam prayed by “Thirumal”
3) Vellakambar – The Lingam prayed by “Bramma” (the creator)
4) The famous Kachimayaneeswarar temple. we can see the lord mayaneeswarar temple only at four places in Tamilnadu.
1) Kazhiyur Mayanam
2) Kadavoor Mayanam
3) Naaloor Mayanam [Naaloor] 4) Thirukkachi Mayanam
Structure and Design of the temple: This temple was designed and built on 24 acres with Five Pragarams(divisions).
Ekambareswarar Temple First Pragaram:
Here we can see the Lord Nilathunda Perumal temple which is considered the Third Holy place (Shethra). To the southwest of this temple, the statues or idols of Naalvar [Four persons mentioned already] are enchanting and wonderful.
Ekambareswarar Temple Second Pragaram:
This is famous for its art and architecture. At the entrance, we can see the idols carved in the pillars which explain the history of puranas [Ethic]. The pillars were constructed on either side of “Second Pragaram”.
Ekambareswarar Temple Third Pragaram:
This part consists’ of Pallava Gopuram, Thambattai Vinayagar temple, Vishnu temple, Rishabeshwarar temple, Valeeswarar temple and “Holy pond Sivagangai”.
Ekambareswarar Temple Fourth Pragaram:
This pragaram contains a mandapam of thousand pillars, the famous holy sand lingam [idol made of sand] worshipped by Kamatchi Amman on the bank of the river “Kambai”. Raja Gopuram of height 192 ft with 9 (nine) stages. This was built by King Krishnadevaraya.
Thalavirutcham [Holy tree]: Mango tree.
Sivagangai, Kambai, Mangala, Sarva (Theertham).
Kanchi Ekambareswarar Temple Festivals:
The Great “Panguni Uthiram”. This is a famous festival which is celebrated for 13 days. People of Kanchi gather every year and worship Lord shiva.
Kancheepuram Shiva Temple Address:
Sri Kanchi Ekambareswarar Temple,
Kancheepuram – 631 501.