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> Tamil Nadu - Tiruchirapalli district
Pilgrimages of Tamil Nadu - Tiruchirapalli district
- Thiruvanaikkaval (Famous pilgrimage of Shiva and a Pancha Bhoota Sthalam)
- Famous Pilgrimage of Shiva: Thiruvanaikkaval is associated with the legend of Devi Parvati worshipping Shiva. According to a legend, once Devi Parvati approached Lord Shiva for clarification of a doubt. Lord Shiva directed Her to perform penance at Thiruvanaikkaval. The Devi made a Lingam out of water and started worshipping the Lord. Hence the Lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Lingam of Water). (Water can be seen oozing out of the Lingam even today). At the proper time, Lord Shiva gave darshan to the Devi and cleared Her doubts. Devi Parvati is shown here facing Lord Shiva in the posture of taking upadesha.
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- According to another legend, once there were two devotees of Lord Shiva in Mount Kailash known as Malyavan and Pushpadanta. Each wanted to excel the other in devotion to Lord Shiva. In due course, due to a quarrel they cursed each other. Pushpadanta became an elephant and Malyavan a spider. When they approached Lord Shiva, He advised them to go to the present Thiruvanaikkaval. Accordingly they started worshipping the Shiva Lingam under a Jambu tree. The elephant used to worship the Lingam by pouring holy water over it. The spider used to construct a canopy over the Lingam with cobweb to prevent dry leaves from falling over it. The elephant did not like the cobweb and used to destroy it. The spider became angry and one day went inside the trunk of the elephant and bit it severely. The elephant out of great pain dashed its trunk on the ground. Both of them died in this fight. Lord Shiva was pleased with their devotion and gave them darshan. The elephant got liberation. The spider was born as the son of Chola king Subhadeva and was named Kosenkannan. He remembered his previous birth and constructed a Shiva temple near the Jambu tree where he in his former birth worshipped the Shiva Lingam as a spider. Since an elephant worshipped Lord Shiva in this place (and got liberation), the place came to be known as Thiruvanaikka which means "grove of the holy elephant".
- Pancha Bhoota Sthalam: Thiruvanaikkaval has one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, the Jambukeshwara temple representing the Jala Lingam (Water).
(Pancha Bhoota Sthalams are: Kanchipuram Ekambareswara [Prithivi Lingam], Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara [Jala Lingam], Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara [Agni Lingam], Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara [Vayu Lingam], Chidambaram Nataraja [Akasha Lingam])
- Thiruvanaikkaval is located in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu.
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