Shiva is worshipped as Kachabeswarar and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Antanatchi and Kanniyumaiyal. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple is counted as a twin temple along with Marundeeswarar Temple located in the same village.
While churning the milk ocean, the Mandhara hill used as the stick began to sink. To bring it out, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Kachaba-tortoise to help the Devas. He came to this place, created a spring, bathed and prayed to Lord Shiva in the endeavour. As Lord Shiva helped Vishnu, hence named Kachabeswarar. The place came to be known as Tirukachur after this event. Mother Anjanakshi in Kachabeswarar temple blesses the devotees from a separate shrine. Anjanam means eyes. As the Mother is protecting devotees as Her own eyes, She is so named. Admiring Her beauty, She is also praised as Sundaravalli. The Sri Chakra is installed in the mandap before this shrine. Women light ghee lamps here for family welfare and prosperity. Lord Shiva also staged His Ajaba Dance here as Thiagaraja for Lord Vishnu. As a procession deity of the temple, all festivals are dedicated to Him. Saint Arunagiriar had sung the praise of Lord Muruga of this temple. As Kallala Maram (Banyan tree) is the sacred tree, the temple is also known as Aala Koil – banyan tree temple.
The temple has a flat gateway tower and all the shrines of the temple are enclosed in concentric rectangular granite walls. There is a sixteen pillar hall in front the gateway that has sculpted pillars dating back to the 16th century. The temple occupies an area of around 2 acres . The temple tank is located adjacent to the sixteen pillared hall. The central shrine houses the image of Kachabeswarar in the form of Lingam. The shrine of Irulneeki Thayar , facing West is located in the Mahamandapam leading to the sanctum. The central shrine is approached through the shrine of Thyagaraja located adjacent to the sanctum. As in other Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, the shrines of Vinayaka, Murugan, Navagraha, Chandikesa and Durga are located around the precinct of the main shrine. There is a shrine depicting Shiva offering food to Sundarar on the Western side.
Kachabeswarar Temple Kanchipuram
As per Hindu legend, Vishnu in the form of the tortoise (called Karkada) worshipped Shiva to attain divine ambrosia at this place. On account of the legend, the place was called Kascapavoor, which went on to become Kachoor and the presiding deity, Shiva came to be known as Karchabeswarar. The temple has a recorded history from the 10th century, but scholar attributes the presence of the temple at least from the 8th century, pertaining to the period of Sundarar, the famous Saiva Nayanar. Sundarar has glorified the temple in his verses in 11th Thirumurai of Thevaram.
Religious importance A stucco image indicating the legend of Shiva as a Brahmin feeding Sundarar It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanars Sundarar. As per Hindu legend, Sundarar, while travelling through the place became very hungry. Shiva appeared in the form of a Brahmin and fed Sundarar. Sundarar has made a mention of the event, calling the deity as Kachabeswarar, Virundeeswarar and Iranthittai Eswarar.