Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur

Sambamoortheeswarar, Ethapur

Saivite Temples - Salem District


Sambamoortheeswarar, facing east


Manonmani Ambikai, facing south

Other Deities

Surya, 63 Nayanmar, Naagar, Nirudhi Vinayaka, Sahasra Lingam, Thanthondreeswarar, Kayaneermalleeswarar, Kamanadeswarar, Swarnapureeswarar, Muruga with consorts, Panchabootha Lingams, Saneeswara, Bhairava, Navagraha. Sanctum Niches – Nritya Ganapathi, Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara

Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur is one of the Pancha Bhootha (five) Lingam temples situated on the banks of the Vasishta River representing Appu (Water). The others are Vayu (Air – Aragalur), Prithvi (Earth – Belur), Agni (Fire – Attur), and Akasam (Sky – Uthamacholapuram). Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur is an east-facing temple with a 3 tiered Rajagopuram on the entrance in the east. There is a Dwajasthambam and a 12 pillared Mukha Mandapam in front of the gopuram. The gopuram leads into the single prakaram inside. The front portion of the Mahamandapam extends to the sides and opens into the Prakaram on both sides. A balipeedam, Flagstaff, and Nandi are in front of the main deity in the prakaram. On the south side is a cloistered Mandapam with 63 Nayanmars. On the west side is another group of cloistered Mandapams with the Pancha Bhootha Lingams and other deities. There are flowering plants in the Prakaram. Further ahead of the Nandi both the main deity and goddess are visible from one spot. An Ardha Mandapam is in front of the main deity and goddess. There are two large and beautiful Dwarapalakas before the Ardha Mandapam of the main deity. There is a Nandi before Surya here at Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur. The rays of the sun fall on the main deity for 7 days in the Tamil months of Aippasi (October-November) and Masi (February-March). The Vasishta river flows on the south and east of Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur. The Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur temple is also called Vasishtaranya Kshetram.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Vasishta River

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)


Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur is an ancient temple considered to be the temple mentioned in the Thirumurai Hymns (6-7-8) of Thirunavukkarasar (7th century CE).


Sage Gauthama was cursed by Lord Indra to be separated from his wife. This curse was for diverting the attention of Indra’s wife Indrani with a beautiful flower during a Yaga being performed by him. Gautama came here to Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur to worship Lord Shiva and was reunited with his wife Akalika. Goddess Parvati left Shiva to attend the Yaga performed by her father Daksha and was banished from Mount Kailash for this act. Lord Shiva in anger is believed to have come here to Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur to cool down. Parvati also came along with Mahavishnu and undertook a penance to seek his pardon. Shiva was pleased after she worshiped him as the rays of the sun fell on him and was reunited with her. Kamadhenu, the sacred Cow, cursed to be in a tiger form is believed to have worshiped the lord here to regain its original form. The Four Vedas and Pancha Bhoothas have worshiped the Lord here at Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur.


Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur is about 37 kilometers east of Salem on the highway going towards Kallakurichi. Sambamoortheeswarar Ethapur is on the north side of the highway.

Stay and Food

None locally except tea shops and small restaurants on the highway. The closest is Salem.

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