Temple Attractions at Thiruvanaikoil

Temples of Asia | | July 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm


Set amidst the best surroundings, the small urban village of Thiruvanaikoil indeed is a sight to behold in tours to Tamil Nadu, the cultural capital of India. Situated in the district of Trichy or Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvanaikoil is also called Tiruvanaikoil, Thiruvanaikaval, Tiruvanaikaval, or Thiruvanaikka.

Located around 3 km from the central part of Trichy, this is a place that lies next to Srirangam and some other historic towns. This is considered as a great holy place in Indian tours.

Thiruvanaikoil lies on the banks of the River Cauvery and is an island with the waters of the River Coleroon and Cauvery surrounding it. It is revered as one of the Panchabhoota Stalams which signify the five natural elements in the world. This temple represents water or Neer. Out of the other four elements, Kalahasti represent wind, Tiruvannamalai represents fire and Kanchipuram represents earth. Chidambaram represents space. Thiruvanaikoil is also called Appu Sthalam as it represents water. There is an Appu linga here which is the Shiva linga found here. As devotees see water coming out of the Shivalinga they are mesmerized and experience the divine pleasure of being in a magnificent temple destination. The deity here is the Amman and is also known by other names like Aanda, Akilam, and Eswari etc.

Thiruvanaikoil temple

Legend has it that once Goddess Parvati laughed at Lord Shiva’s penance. The Lord got angry and ordered the Goddess to do a penance on earth. Akilandeswari or Parvati penanced in the Jambu forest. She saw the River Cauvery flowing here and made a Shiv Linga out of this water. This river here is called the Ponni. She penanced under the Venn naval tree. Thus the linga here is called the Appu Lingam or the water lingam.

It is believed that Lord Siva finally gave darshan to the Goddess and also taught here the Siva Gnana. The lessons that the Goddess took were done by facing east. So in this temple all the idols are installed with the Gods facing west as the Lord was facing west. So the Thiruvanaikoil is an Upadesha Sthalam meaning a place of advice as Lord Shiva gave advice and lessons here. The Devi was like a disciple and the Lord a teacher so there are no marriages conducted here. The other Shiva temples allow marriages and so this is a temple a class apart from the rest.

It is the great Chola King “Ko Chengot Cholan” or Chenkannan who built this temple sometime in the 1st century B.C. He had already constructed around 70 such Shiva temples in the Tamil Nadu region. He is revered as one of the 63 Holy Saivite saints or Nayanmars.

Thiruvanaikoil travel

The Thiruvanaikoil temple has been constructed in the principles of the “Saiva Aagama  Sasthra” . It is said that the temple shows the human body with Lord Shiva as the soul. Then many kings like Nayakars and Pandiyas renovate this magnificent  construction in later years.

Then sometime in the 13th century AD the second and the third praharams were constructed. The fourth was then built sometime in the later half of the 13th century. There is a flag mast here which is called the Kodi maram. There are eight of these in the temple. This is in the 3rd praharam. Built in a land spanning 18 acres this temple has walls or madhils built around 35 feet high and 6 feet thick. These measure 2436 feet by 1493 feet. There is a Shivalinga here which is seen facing the western direction and the statue of the goddess facing east. The Goddess here is called “Ambal”.

There is a thousand pillar mandapam here which is found in the third praharam in the western corner of the temple area. Then there is a mandapam which is surrounded by water. It is here that the goddess and the Lord are worshipped in the evenings in the months of summer. Then you have the Somaskandha mandapam, the Trimurtimandapam, the Nataraja mandapam. The simple elegance of the mandapam with the 1000 pillared beauty is enchanting and the chariot shaped structure really strikes out.

Thiruvanaikoil temple attractions

There is also a Raja gopuram in the fifth praharam and a Sundarapandiyan gopuram on the fourth. The Mallapan Gopuram is in the fourth praharam and was built sometime in the 13th century.

The Thiruvanaikoil temple is certainly a must in tours to the wonderful state of in Tamil Nadu filled with tradition and culture.

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