The Ekambareswarar Temple is the 1st of the 32 Tevara Stalam built in the Tondai region of Southern India. Reckoned as one of the revered temple, it is the largest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram. It is referred to as one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind, water, Fire, Earth and Space. The temple dominated the historical capital of the Pallava rulers.
History says that, once while Lord Shiva was meditating Parvati mischievously covered his eyes with her fingers which resulted in complete darkness on earth for many years. Shiva being angered by her act cursed Parvati to go to earth for penance. Parvati went to earth and created the earth linga and worshiped it under a mango tree in Kachipuram giving birth to the temple. The ancient temple has been in existence prior to the 600 AD and been praised in songs by the Saivite saints.
Temple Architecture Ekambareswarar
A part of the main temple was built by the Pallava Kings while the rest of the temple complex was erected in the 17 th century. The temple boast of a towering 60 meter high Gopuram built by Krishna Deva Raja of the Vijayanagara kingdom in the year 1509. There can be found no two towers opposite each other nor are the wall of the temple parallel to each other. The temple premise has a 540 pillar hall all intricately designed and beautifully carved. The pillared hall were constructed by the Vijayanagara Monarch.
A 3500 years old mango tree adores the sanctum having four branches each dedicated to the four Vedas. The Deity derives its name from the Mango tree from the words Eka-Amra-Natha, meaning the Lord of the Mango tree. The path to the tree has a Shiva Lingam made of around 1008 small lingas .The Huge linga is popular as the Prithivi Linga or the earth Linga. A Somaskanda panel featuring Shiva, Parvati and Skanda together Cherise the back end of the main shrine, which has been worship for centuries together.
Festivals held are Ani Tirumanjanam in the month of July, Adi Kritikai and Avani Moolam in the month of August. The Chitra Purnima and Vaisakhi In the months of May and June marks the temples annual calender. The Panguni festival is celebrated for13days and during this period the wedding of the presiding deity is observed.
Daily Chores in the Temple
There are held six types of Puja daily in the temple by the name of Ushadkalam, kaalasanrhi, Uchi kaalam, Prodosham , Sayaratchai and Ardhajamam. The six types of services have different type of significance to the devotees offering the prayers.
How to Reach
» By Air : The nearest airport is in Madras, 71 km northeast to the place of Kanchipuram.
» By Rail : Kancheepuram railway station is on the Chengalpattu-Arakkonam section of the Southern Railways.
» By Road : Well connected by roads, the temple is situated at a distance of 80 Kms from Chennai.