Temple

Ekambareswarar, Chettikulam, Perambalur

Siva temple and Kubera sthalam, featuring exceptional architecture

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:EkambareswararAmbal / Thayar:Kamakshi
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Vijayapuram
Vriksham:VilvamTeertham:Sivaganga
Agamam:

Kamika

Age (years):

500-1000

Timing:6 to 11 & 5 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:ChettikulamDistrict:Perambalur
Maps from (click): Current location Perambalur (20 km)Ariyalur (41 km)

Tiruchirappalli (48 km)Thanjavur (70 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

According to the sthala puranam, a trader from the Chola empire was passing through this area which was full of Kadamba trees. As it was late, he decided to rest her for the night. Suddenly, he was roused by the vision of a fireball with a Siva Lingam in the middle, being worshipped by Devas and rishis. Not knowing whether this was real or his imagination, he informed the local Chola king, who rushed here with his guest who was a Pandyan ruler. The trader came here along with the kings, and they were led to the site of the incident by an old man using a sugarcane as a walking stick. After showing them the Siva Lingam, the old man disappeared near a hillock nearby. The kings realized that this was divine grace, recognizing the old man to be Murugan.

The kings joined forces to build this temple. (Several resources online and elsewhere say that the Chola king was Parantaka Chola and the Pandya guest was Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan. However, this cannot be correct, since their respective timelines are separated by more than 300 years. Given the age of the temple and reading this with the other puranams and inscriptions, it appears that the Pandya king might indeed be Kulasekara Pandyan, but the Chola king – if at all there was one at that time – could have been only a local chieftain.)

Kubera on his matsya (fish) vahanam

This is a Kubera sthalam, with 12 separate depictions of Kubera – one for each of the 12 rasis. These twelve bas relief sculptures are placed in such a manner that, viewed from above, they form the shape of OM. In a separate shrine, Kubera is seen with his wife Chitrakala on his vahanam, the fish, and also with sanganidhi and padmanidhi. It is believed that Kubera worshipped Siva and Parvati here, and was rewarded with four things:

  • Guardianship of one of the 8 directions – Kubera is responsible for the north (and hence that part of the temple is called the Kubera moolai)
  • Title as the Lord of material wealth
  • Kingship of Alagapuri, the celestial land of riches
  • Comradeship of Lord Siva Himself.

Worshipping Kubera in general, and particularly at this temple, is said to enrich one’s life with material wealth.

Also, Kamakshi Amman is located in the Kubera moolai of the temple, but uniquely, is without her customary sugarcane. It is said that this sugarcane is the one that Murugan has instead of his Vel, at the nearby hillock temple of Bala Dandayuthapani.

The temple has stunning architecture work in its walls, halls and pillars, including the various Kubera depictions mentioned above. There is a sculpture with the head of a bull and an elephant, depending on the angle of view, and also a 1000-pillared mandapam. There are also 10 musical pillars that emit different notes when hit with a sandal stick.

There is also a connection between this temple and Sangam literature. In the Silappathikaram, Kannaki burnt Madurai to ashes, for the wrongful death of her husband Kovalan. Then she traveled north, and passed by this place and the nearby Murugan temple, where she was blessed and told to go to Siruvachur, where she would incarnate as Madhura Kali, and bless devotees.

Other information for your visit

The Bala Dandayuthapani temple for Murugan is located on a hillock about 2.5 km away, for which there is a road till the top of the hillock.

Contact

Ramani / Rajesh Sivam: 97868 83233 & 99768 42058

Gallery

Sthala puranam by temple Sivacharyar (Youtube link)

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