Ever religious town, Kanchipuram is home to numerous temples and amongst nexus of religious shrines the name Ekambareswarar Temple needs a special mention. The religious sanctuary is dedicated to lord of universe, Lord Shiva and it is situated in the northern part of the town. It is a door to salvation and being one of the oldest it follows the ritual and code of conduct to invoke deities of Lord Shiva. The gopuram of the temple which is considered as primary attraction is 59 meter tall making it the largest religious storeys in India. It represents the sect of pancha Bootha Sthalams, five major elements of and it stands for earth. The Shivaites are probably the deadly followers and it seems to pinch the religious thirst by awakening the mind of reality.
Legend of the temple and the mango tree
Religious folklore believes that Devi Parvati was performing a penance under the temple’s ancient mango tree when Lord Shiva sent fire to test her devotion. She prayed to Lord Vishnu and to save her, he took the form of Moon and set into curls of Shiva to show rays which would then equal the situation of task. Shiva again sent Ganga to disrupt her dedication but Parvati convince that Ganga was her sister and then she did not interrupted the making of Linga out of sand to get united with Lord Shiva.
Affectionate temple is one of the biggest and ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, its existence according to folklore dates back to 6th century and it has found its name in mentions of many religious and historic poems of 2nd century by Tamil Poets. The temple had undergone series of changes in time but during the rule of Pallava dynasty the original structure was pulled down and new temple was constructed. During an era of Chola Dynasty, its structure was improvised and present situation of temple is credited to work of Vijayanagar Empire.
Sprawled over an area of around 23 acres, it is one of the tallest temples of South India with its gopuram reaching the height of 59 meters. The inspiring feature of the shrine is its thousand pillars hall which according to folklore was constructed during Vijayanagar Empire. The exterior of the shrine is decorated with array of 1008 Shiva Lingams. The entire complex is built on 25 acres of land and has 5 courtyards. The temple has a water reservoir and it believes to have an underground holy river. The fourth courtyard of the temple complex contains a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the younger son of Devi Parvati and Lord Shiva. There is no separate shrine for Devi Parvati but there is a small complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Panguni Uthiram festival is an annual festival celebrated during the month of March and April. The festival is a religious node and devotee comes from every corner of the world to be a part of religious fever.
Pancha Bhoota Stalam an element of nature is what it looks to represents and the temple here is a sign of earth which is control by Lord Shiva. The five temples representing five elements complete the circle of life. For worship of the lord traveller could come here each day to offer six different kinds of worship services namely UshadKalam, Kaalasanthi, Uchi Kaalam, Pradosham and Sayaratchai.
Morning hours 9 am, 10 am and 12 pm
Evening hours: 5 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm
Distance: The temple is 2 km away from Kanchi Bus stand and from railway station it is only 2.6 km away.
Timings : From 6 am till 12.30 pm and from 4 pm till 8.30 pm.
Entry fee: not Applicable.