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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Priest (Archakar) Dresses Like A Female & Performs Puja To Lord Shiva - Jambukeswarar Temple - Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval (also Thiruvanaikal, Jambukeswaram) is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple. Thiruvanaikkoil Temple is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams (signifying the 5 natural elements) and representswater (‘Neer’). Hence this temple is also reverred as ‘Appu Sthalam’ and the ShivaLingam here is called as ‘Appu Linga’. The sanctum of Lord Jambukeshwara has an underground water stream. And one can see water coming out of that stream. The Presiding Deity is Devi Akilandeswari Amman. Akhilandeshwari means ‘Ruler of the Universe’ (Akilam – Universe, Aanda – Ruler, Eswari – Goddess).

Thiruvanaikaval Temple
Thiruvanaikaval Temple
It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of the deity in this temple. The temple has inscriptions from the Chola period. According to the mythological scriptures, Devi Parvathi in Her Incarnation as Devi Akilandeswari performed penance in the Jambu forest (Thiruvanaikoil). She made a Lingam out of water from the river Cauvery, and installed it under the Venn Naaval tree (the Venn Naaval tree on top of Saint Jambu) and commenced her worship. Hence the Lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Water Lingam). Lord Siva at last gave darshan to Devi Akhilandeswari and taught Her Siva Gnana. Devi Akhilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Lord Shiva, who stood facing west.

Temple Priest dressed like Devi Akilandeswari going in procession to perform Shiva Pooja
Temple Priest dressed like Devi Akilandeswari going in procession to perform Shiva Pooja
Once Devi Parvati mocked at Lord Shiva’s penance for betterment of the World. Lord Shiva wanted to condemn her act and directed her to go to the earth from 'Kailayam' and do penance. Devi Parvathi (Akilandeswari) as per Shiva's wish found 'Jambu' forest (Thiruvanaikoil) to conduct her penance. Devi made a Lingam out of water of river Cauvery (also called as river 'Ponni') under the 'Venn Naaval' tree (the Venn Naaval tree on top of the saint Jambu) and commenced her worship. So, the Lingam is known as 'Appu Lingam' (Water Lingam).

Lord Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. Devi Parvati took 'Upadesa' (lessons) facing East from Shiva, who stood facing West. So as the temples idols are also installed in the same direction. Such places are known as 'Upadesa Sthalams'. As the Devi was like a student and the Lord like a Guru in this temple, there is no 'Thiru Kalyanam' (marriage) conducted in this temple for Lord & the Devi, unlike the other Shiva temples.

Temple Priest dressed like Devi Akilandeswari performing Go Pooja
Temple Priest dressed like Devi Akilandeswari performing Go Pooja
As Akilandeswari worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple, even today at noon the 'Archakar' (priest) dresses like a female and does Pooja to Lord Shiva and 'Ko Maatha' (Cow). This noon pooja is very famous and pilgrims wait for this pooja every day. For the purpose of this pooja the temple is growing a 'Karam Pasu' (complete black color cow). Annabhishekam to Lingam (Abishekam with cooked rice) is a daily ritual at Thiruvanaikoil.

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 06:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Evening Timings : 05:00 PM to 09:00 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

Thiruvanaikaval is around 3 Kms away from the heart of Trichy city and adjacent to Srirangam another small historic town and one of the holy places in India. Thiruvanaikaval and Srirangam are in the banks of river Cauvery. Literally these two places form an island, surrounded by river Cauvery and river Coleroon. Jambukeswarar Temple is located in the Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. This is well connected by many local town buses, auto rickhaws and taxi cabs.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple,
Thiruvanaikkaval,
Trichy district,
Pin Code : 620 005.
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 0431 2230257

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