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Thiruvanaikaval (Thiru+Aanai+kaval) or Thiruvanaikoil is a suburb of the city of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated on the northern banks of the Kaveri river adjacent to Srirangam Island.
The island [Thiruvanaikaval-Srirangam ] is surrounded by river kaveri (southern) and river kollidam (northern), The Kollidam is the northern distributary of the Kaveri River. The Jambukeswarar temple is located here. The temple's presiding deity is Lord Shiva (Jambukeshwara) and the goddess is Sree Akhilandeshwari. It is revered as one of the Pancha-Bhuta Sthalams (Water). There is a freshwater spring underneath the Shiva Linga. Sri Adi Shankara is said to have visited this shrine and has done the Tatankya (Ear Rings) Pratishtha for the goddess to ensure that she remains in a Sowmya Rupa. It is also the birthplace of the world-renowned Nobel Laureate C. V. Raman . The king who built the temple gave wages to his sculptors for building the fifth Prakara of the shrine by way of Vibhuti instead of gold coins. The entrance of the garbhagriha is so small that an elephant cannot enter inside. The Sthala Vriksha is Jamun tree. Like Meenakshi and Kamakshi temple Goddess Akhilandeshwari is famous in this temple.
This large temple celebrates Shiva as Jambukeshwara, an embodiment of the element water(appu) and is often referred to as Appusthalam and is hence one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams the other four being Tiruvannamalai (Fire/ Agni), Chidambaram (Space/ Akash), Kanchipuram (Earth/ Prithvi) and Kalahasti (Air/ Vayu) respectively. The Sri Jambukeshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and has five concentric walls and seven gopurams. It is built around a Siva lingam partly submerged in water that comes from a spring in the sanctum sanctorum. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. The complex was built in the same time when Sri Ranganathaswamy temple was also built. According to the legend there was once a forest of jambu trees in the place of modern Tiruvanaikka. Nearby was a tank called Chandratirtha which was filled by water from the river Cauvery. Lord shiva appeared as a Lingam under one of the trees. The lingam came to be called the Jambulingam. Due to a curse, two of the shiva ganas Pushpadanta and Malyava, were born in the forest as a white elephant and as a spider. The elephant worshipped the Lingam with flowers and with water brought in its trunk. The spider too worshipped the Lingam, spinning out a web over the Lingam to prevent leaves of the tree from falling on it. The spider's web appeared to be unclean for the elephant and it destroyed the web. This led to big clash between the two and ultimately resulted in their death. Lord shiva granted Mokshaa (salvation) to both. The spider was born in a royal Chola family as the great king Ko Chenkannan who built about 70 temples (Maadakovils) including the temple of Jambukeswarar at Tiruvanaika. Because the king remembered about his earlier birth, he built the temples in a such way that no elephant can enter the sanctum sancotrum and come near the Sivalingam. The temple at Tiruvanaikaval is a big one covering an area of about 18 acres with high walls and gopurams on all the 4 sides. The temple has 5 prakarams. The main sanctum sancotrum (the 5th prakaram) can be reached by entering a series of Gopurams (Towers). The shrine for female deity Akilandeswari is situated in the 4th prakaram.
Theerthams: There are nine Theerthams (Holy Water Points) near this temple. •Srimath Theertham •Rama Tirtham •Chandra Tirtham •Agni Tirtham •Indira Tirtham •Agastya Tirtham •Jambu Tirtham •Surya Tirtham •Brahma Tirtham
Near by, located easterly on Tirupalathurai road is Sri Aadhimuleswara Temple at Panayapuram, a Padal petra sthalam.
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