Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ekambareshvara Temple, Kanchipuram

Ekambaranathar Temple or Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is the largest temple in the town of Kanchipuram and is located in the northern part of the town. The temple gopuram (gateway tower) is 59m tall, which is one the tallest gopurams in India.

It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a natural element) representing the element - Earth. The other four temples in this category are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (Sky), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all of the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung the glories of this temple.

Legend has it that once Parvati, the consort of Shiva was doing penance under the temple's ancient Mango tree near Vegavathi river.In order to test her devotion Shiva sent fire on her. Goddess Parvati prayed to her brother, Vishnu, for help. In order to save her, he took the Moon from Shiva's head and showed the rays which then cooled down the tree as well as Parvati. Shiva again sent the river Ganga (Ganges) to disrupt Parvati's penance. Parvati prayed to Ganga and convinced her that both of them were sisters and so should not harm her. Subsequently, Ganga did not disturb her penance and Parvati made a Shiva Linga out of sand to get united with Shiva. The God here came to be known as Ekambareswarar or "Lord of Mango Tree".

According to another legend, it is believed that Parvati worshipped Shiva in the form of a Prithivi Lingam (or a Lingam improvised out of sand), under a mango tree.Legend has it that the neighboring Vegavati river overflowed and threatened to engulf the Shiva Lingam and that Parvati or Kamakshi embraced the Lingam. Shiva touched by the gesture materialized in person and married her. In this context he is referred to as Tazhuva kuzhainthaar ("He who melted in Her embrace") in Tamil.

Tiurkuripputhonda Nayanar, one of the 63 saivite saints, called nayanars was a washer-man in near the temple and he washed the clothes of all the Saivities. He was divinely tricked by God Shiva appearing as an aged Brahmin and asked him to wash before dawn. At the same time Shiva made a cloudy evening. On observing the approach of the evening, the washer-man banged his head in a stone in disappointment. God appeared in his true form and graced his devotee.

Ekambareshvara Temple, Kanchipuram

ADDIE Model

Monday, January 07, 2013

Boating on Ganges...

Boating in Ganges... by Anandarup
Boating on Ganges..., a photo by Anandarup on Flickr.

Pegion

Pegion by Anandarup
Pegion, a photo by Anandarup on Flickr.