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 is 59m tall, which is one of the tallest gopurams in India.This is the 1st Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam
This vast temple is one of the most ancient in India having been in existence since at least 600 AD. Second century AD Tamil poetry speaks of Kama kottam, and the Kumara kottam .The initial temple was built by Pallavas. The Vedantist Kachiyapper served as a priest at the temple. The existing structure then was pulled down and rebuilt by the later Chola Kings. Adi Sankara, the 10th-century saint got Kanchipuram remodelled along with the expansion of this temple along with Kamakshi Amman temple and Varadaraja Perumal Temple with the help of local rulers.
The Vijayanagar kings, during the 15th century, also made lot of contributions to the temple and later developed by Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar used to go regularly from Chennai to Kanchipuram to worship in this temple, he spent significant money he amazed during British rule on the temple renovation, Pachiyappa Mudaliar seated at horseback can be seen in the temple pillar. At the later stage, a similar temple with same name Ekambareswarar was constructed in Chennai by Pachiappa Mudaliar in order to avoid travelling time to Kanchipuram. The Archaeological Survey of India report of 1905–06 indicates widespread renovation activities carried out in the temple by Nattukottai Chettiar.
The temple covers an area of over 23 acres . Reaching a height of 59 meters, the temple's Raja gopuram is one of the tallest in South India. One notable feature of the temple is the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam, or the "hallway with a thousand pillars", which was built by the Vijayanagar Kings. The temple's inner walls are decorated with an array of 1,008 Siva lingams. The campus is 25 acres with 5 prakarams and has a thousand-pillared hall. Kampai Tirtha, the temple tank is believed to have an underground holy river. The fourth courtyard contains a small Ganesha temple and a pond. The third courtyard contains a lot of smaller shrines. The sanctum sanctorum contains the lingam along with the image of Shiva.
Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram
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 the sand to get united with Shiva. The God here came to be known as Ekambareswarar or "Lord of Mango Tree". Pillar inside the temple 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 neighbouring Vegavati river overflowed and threatened to engulf the Shiva Lingam and that Parvati or Kamakshi embraced the Lingam. Shiva touched by the gesture materialised in person and married her. In this context, he is referred to as Teshuva Ku paint hair in Tamil. Tiurkuripputhonda Nayanar, one of the 63 saivite saints, called nayanars was a washerman 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 washerman banged his head in a stone in disappointment. God appeared in his true form and graced his devotee.
Sirukovil for Lord Vishnu: There is a small shrine for Lord Vishnu named Thiru Nilaaththingal Thundathan. Here Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Vamana Murthy. Temple’s Full address: Ekambareswarar Temple, Car St, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631502