Uchi Pillaiyar Temple in Trichy, was the first temple to visit during the roadtrip in Tamil Nadu. Hereafter, we went to Jambukeshwarar temple, that is located on the Srirangam Island, but in the area called Thiruvanaikaval. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the temple..
The temple of Thiruvanaikaval is the 1st among the 5 Panchabootha Sthalas, that are dedicated to lord Shiva though this was the 2nd of 5 temples, we went to. This temple is dedicated to the element water. It is also one among the 275 Paadal Petra Sthala Temples, and is mentioned by all 4 important nayanmargal/Samaya Kuravargal in their works. The temple was built by the tamil king Kochenganan (Senganaan), who was a king in the early Chola dynasties, and lived in the 6th/7th century CE. Later it was expanded by the Hoysala king, Someswara.
Kochenganan was an ardent Shiva devotee, and has built many Shiva temple, where Thiruvanaikaval is one of them. The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream, that is always filled with water despite it’s pumping water out.
The legend says, that 2 Shiva Gana’s were cursed to be born as an elephant and a spider. Both the elephant and the spider were worshipping lord Shiva in the place Jambukeswaram (the place where Goddess Parvathi once worshipped lord Shiva as Appu Lingam, in a forest of jambu trees on the Island of Ponni – Kaveri River). Though, one day the elephant found spider web on the lingam, and thought it was dirt. It therefore removed the web, poured water and worshipped the lingam daily. The spider became angry, and cravled into the elephant’s trunk and bit the elephant to death, also killing itself. Lord Shiva was moved by this, and relieved them from the curse.
As an elephant worshipped here, the places is therefore named Thiru-Aanai-Kaa (Holy Elephant Forest), now becoming “Thiruvanaikaval”/”Thiruvanaikoil”. It is believed, that the elephant was born as king Kochenganan in its next birth. By the way, Kochenganan means “the king with red eyes”.
Thiruvanaikaval is another very beautiful, peaceful temple. I’ll deifinitely go to this temple again, if I ever get back to Tamil Nadu 😉