Of the five invisible incarnations (panja Bootham) Jambukeswarar (Name of Lord Shiva ) at Tiruvanaikovil manifests “water”. This temple is more than 1,800 years is one of the Panja sthalam which is dedicated for “neer” (water) and so it is called “Appu sthalam” and the Shiva Lingam here is called as ‘Appu Linga’. Inside the sanctorum of Lord Jambukeswarar, there is an eternal water stream underground and people can see water coming out of the ground, and the Goddess here is “Akilandeshwari”, the ruler of the universe.
The interesting feature of this Jambukeswarar temple is that it has 5 praharams which are designed to form a shape of a spider. The 2nd & 3rd praharams date back to 13th century. Most importantly no one should miss witnessing the exotic architecture of this temple- the Monolithic stone pillars (made from single stone) found in the mandapam, situated at the entrance of Aariyavittan tower in 3rd Praharam. Pillars found in 1000 pillar hall and in various parts of the temple have artistic sculptural works. This temple is built in nearly 18 acres and measures up to 2500 ft by 1500 ft. Once one enters the temple they will start feeling the pleasant as well as positive vibes. Situated between Cauvery and Kollidam this place paves way for the peaceful mind.
According to mythology, Goddess “Akilandeshwari” performed penance and made Shiva Linga from the Cauvery water and placed under the naval tree. Goddess Akilandeshwari took Upadesam (lessons) from Lord Shiva at this temple, so even today during noon the chief priest of the temple disguise themselves as Goddess Akilandeshwari and perform pooja to Lord Shiva( guru) and also perform Co-Pooja for the Cow.
Since Goddess Akilandeshwari and Lord Shiva share a teacher and student relationship and so there is no “Thiru kalyanam” here. Another interesting fact about Goddess here is that Akilandeshwari transforms herself into “Lakshmi”, “Saraswathi” as well as “Durga” every day, by being Lordess Lakshmi in the morning, Lordess Durga in the Noon & transforming into Lordess Saraswathi in the Evening.
Here is another story behind the history of this temple once a spider as well as an elephant both worshipped Lord Shiva. The spider develops a web every day to worship the God, unaware of it the elephant would clear the web every day, the angered spider once entered the ear of the elephant which resulted in the death of both. The spider in its next birth was ‘Kochengot Chola’ and constructed 78 bigger temples including this. This temple is constructed in such a way that Elephant cannot witness Lord Jambukeswarar.