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Monday, 7 May 2018

Shiva Lingam Not Touched By Human Hands, Not Even By The Priests - Sri Arambeswarar Temple - Elumiyankottur, Kanchipuram

Deivanayaka Easwarar Temple or Arambeshwarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Elumiyankottur near Perambakkam village in the Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The presiding deity is Shiva. The temple is dedicated to Shiva as "Deivanayaka Easwarar" or the god who commanded the forces of the Devas. The goddess is Kanakakujambikai. Cow puja is done regularly. The temple is praised by Sambandhar in the Thevaram. This is one of the 276 Devara Padal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 13th Shiva Sthalam in Thondai Nadu. This is an east facing temple and it has one corridor. Instead of a main tower (Rajagopuram), there is an arch type entrance.

Sri Arambeswarar Temple
Sri Arambeswarar Temple
Saint Gnanasambandar has sung a thevaram hymn in praise of Lord Tripurantakeswara at Koovam. When he was passing through Elumiyankottur, Lord Shiva wanted him to sing about him there as well. So he appeared before him as an old man, and a child requesting him to sing Lord Deivanayakeswara. However, Gnanasambandar could not find the location of the Lord through the forest of Jasmine trees, and finally the Lord appeared as a wild bull driving him into the temple. Gnanasambandar in his hymn at the Deivanayakeswara Temple, says worshipping him would make people eternally beautiful and enable them to attain mukthi without any further births. This temple is considered to be significant for its three important attributes – Murthy, Sthalam and Theertham - glory of Lord, sacredness of the land and the auspicious temple tank.

Sri Arambeswarar Temple Outer Wall
Sri Arambeswarar Temple Outer Wall
There is no gopuram at the entrance. In fact the small wicket gate close to the Vedha Pada Salai is used for entry and exit. There is a vedha pada salai here where there are a number of youth who are learning the vedas. Other than the deities, there is no signs to show that the temple is many thousands of years old. This temple has been mentioned in the Koova Puranam. Lord Arambeswarar similar to Lord Tripurantakeswara is considered "Theenda Thirumeni". The priests do not touch him or perform abhishekam. Flowers are adorned using a small stick. The Swayambu lingam here is mixture of white and red colours and is covered most of the times by a metal sheet (Kavacham).

Sri Arambeswarar Temple Prakaram
Sri Arambeswarar Temple Prakaram
The legend is that on his march to destroy the three demons (Tiripura Samharam) - Tharakatchan, Kamalakshan and Vidunmali and protect the Devas, Lord Shiva passed through this place in a chariot. During this journey, the garland (kondrai flowers in Tamil) from Lord Shiva’s neck fell down at this place and became a swayambu lingam. As this lingam is considered to have been formed from the lord’s garland the lord here is considered to be “Theenda thirumeni” (untouched by human hands).

Sri Arambeswarar Temple Main Deity
Sri Arambeswarar Temple Main Deity
During the march, it is believed that all the devas who were under the commands of Lord Shiva stopped and worshipped this swayambu lingam. Hence this lingam here is praised as “Daiva Nayaka Easwarar” (literally translated as “the lord who was worshiped by the rest of the gods”). Another legend associated with this temple is that when Saint Sambanthar was travelling near this place, Lord Shiva wanted to direct him to go to this temple. He tried to seek Sambanthar’s attention in a couple of ways – first he appeared as a child, second time as an old man but neither Sambanthar nor his followers could recognize it. Third time Lord Shiva took the form of a white cow and hit his palanquin, Sambanthar realized that this was none other than Lord Shiva himself and followed the cow to the temple. On reaching the temple, the cow disappeared. Sambanthar mentioned about this incident in the third stanza of this temple’s hymn.

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 07:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Evening Timings : 04:00 PM to 07:00 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

There are two routes to access this little-known temple at Ilambaiyankottur or Elumiyankottur as it is known today. One route leads from Sunguvarchathiram through Sogandi, Maduramangalam, Ekanapuram and Sellampattidai, to Elumiyankottur. The other route is somewhat circuitous. One would have to take the National Highway from Chennai to Tiruvallur and drive along tolerably good roads past Tiruppachur (another lauded temple), Kadambathur, Satharai, Perambakkam and Narasingampettai. The temple is situated about three km from here in the tiny hamlet of Elumiyankottur.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Arambeswarar Temple,
Kanchipuram district,
Pin Code: 631 402,
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 044 27885217 ; 96000 43000 and 94448 65714

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