Sri Jambukeswarar Temple Thiruvanaikkaval
It is situated 5km from Trichy and 2km east of Srirangam. This beautiful Shiva Temple steals the show from the larger Ranganathaswami temple because of its excellent architectural design. Installed under an ancient Jambu tree, the Lingam is partially submerged by water and meant to represent the God as Water. Apas, the water element has great fluidity and is related to the story of Goddess Parvati creating a lingam out of water (Appulingam) after she had been banished to earth by Lord Shiva for mocking his Yoga Sadhana. Legend has it that two devotees of Shiva were born under the influence of a curse as a elephant and a spider. The elephant worshipped Shiva with flowers and water brought in its trunk (hence the name Tiru Aanaikka). The spider worshipped the Lingam by spinning a web on top, to protect it from falling leaves. The elephants worship would destroy the spiders web, and the spiders web amounted to desecration in the trunk of the elephant leading to animosity between the two, of such proportion that a fight between them resulted in the death of both.
The temple has five enclosures and the walls reach a height of 35 feet. Numerous sculptures of rare beauty could not be found everywhere in the temple. It has many mantapams, Unjal mantapam, Hundred pillared mantapam, Thousand pillared mantapam, Vasantha mantapam Navaratri mantapam, and Somaskandar mantapam. The sanctum was built by Ko-Chengat-Cholan, while the walls of second Prakara was by Vijayalayam and the third Prakara was built by Vikrama Cholan. The east tower in the fourth Prakara was erected by Sundara Pandian.
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