Jambukeswaram temple in Tamil Nadu
Jambukeswaram is the religious place in which Jala Lingam is present. Jambukeswaram is one of the famous and big temples in south India. This is one of the ancient temples in which Siva and Parvati appear as Jambukeswar and Akhilandeswari.
Once, Parvati wanted to know the difference between Yoga and Bhoga. She reached Jambu Dweepam and did penance on the banks or River Kaveri. When she took the Kaveri water into her hands it formed as a Lingam which is seen there even now in Jambukeswaram.
A saint did penance for Lord Shiva in Himalayas where there were a lot of black plum or Jambuka trees. A black plum fell into his hands. When he said ‘Sivarpanam’ the fruit disappeared and Shiva dropped the seed of it into the hands of the saint. The saint ate the seed as Prasadam. From his stomach a black plum tree started growing. As was the order of Lord Shiva, he came to south India and Spread over the Jala Lingam which is on the banks of River Kaveri. From that day Lord Shiva became popular as Jambukeswaram.
There are many interesting stories about the temple. Once Pushpadanta and Malyavanta came along with Parvati and stayed in Jambukeswar in the form of elephant and spider to worship the god. Every day the spider used to weave a web to prevent the leaves from falling on the Lingam. Elephant used to remove the web. One day the spider entered into the trunk of the elephant and started biting it. Unable to bear the pain, the elephant started beating its trunk against a tree. As a result both spider and the elephant died. With the memories of the past birth, the spider took birth as prince of Chola country. He searched for the Lingam and constructed a big stone temple and high temple towers. He built another 72 Shiva temples in his kingdom and constructed the entrance small so that no elephant enters the inner temple.
The construction of Jambukeswara temple was done in the supervision of a saint who was also a devotee of Shiva. Everyday Vibhuti was given to the workers. As they reach their homes, the Vibhuti used to become money.
During the period of Adi shankaracharya, the Gods in all the temples used to scare the people with angry looks with the influence of Sakteyas. Even Goddess Akhilandeswari in Jambukeswaram temple used to roam around scaring people. When Adi shankaracharya heard this, he came to the temple. He made ear ornaments in which Sri Chakram and Siva Chakram were arranged. With this the goddess was pacified. Adi shankaracharya also installed a big idol of Prasanna Ganapati opposite the sanctum sanctorum of Akhilandeswari.
In Jambukeswara temple there is a tradition that is followed even now. The tradition is that the main priest wears the ornaments and saree of Goddess and worships Lord Shiva every day at 11.00 am. During this a cow is placed opposite to the Lord. Till today water oozes from under the Shiva Lingam to prove the existence of the God.
Jambukeswara Kshetram is near Sri Ranga Kshetram which is beside Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu. From Chennai there are train and bus facilities available to reach this place. Visiting the temple which has a very pleasant atmosphere provides peace to the devotees.
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