Padal Petra Sthalams, Tiruchirapalli District


Jambukeswarar (also Appulingeswarar, Vennavaleesar, Jambunadar, Aanaikka Annal, Neerthiral Nadhar), facing west


Akilandeswari, facing east

Other Deities

Vinayaka, Muruga, Sankareswara, Pidari, Veerabadra, Kasi Viswnathar, Meenakshi Sundareswarar, Bala Dhandayudhapani, Saneeswara

Thiruvanaikaval is a very large imposing temple with large Rajagopurams, huge walls and 5 Prakarams. Thiruvanaikaval is the only temple where 2 float festivals take place in a year. This is one of the Pancha Bootha Temples representing Water (the others are Kancheepuram Ekambareswarar – Earth, Thiruvannamalai- Fire, Kalahasthi – Air, Chidambaram – Sky).

As we enter from the west the Rajagopuram is 88.5 feet tall and 7 tiered. The prakaram that follows has a 1000 pillared Mantapam on one side and temple tank on another side. This is followed by the 60 feet tall Mamallan Gopuram. The inner Prakaram is entered through 98.5 feet tall Karthigai Gopuram. This is followed by the 77 feet tall Sangameswarar Gopuram east of the main sanctum sanctorum. The eastern Gopuram, Sundarapandian Gopuram, is the tallest reaching a height of 135 feet and constructed by Jadavarman Sundarapandian. There are many beautiful sculptures here – Ekapadha Thirumurti, the all-encompassing form of Lord Shiva, a Gypsy Woman, Dancers, Panchamuka Vinayaka and Subramanya in different forms on a peacock are a few of them.

An interesting and unique feature of Thiruvanaikka temple is that there is pooja at noon which is believed to be performed by the goddess herself. This is represented by the priest coming out of the Goddess shrine in female attire and the door is closed. He is led by an elephant and musicians and walks up to the main sanctum of the Lord to perform the rituals. This is followed by the pooja to the cow after which he goes back to the goddess shrine which is opened only for his entry.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Cauvery and 9 other Theerthams (Brahma, Indra, Jambu, Rama, Sreemath, Agni, Agastya, Soma and Surya Theerthams)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – White Jamun (Syzygium samarangense)


Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar, and Sundarar (7th-8th century CE) have rendered Thevaram Hymns here at Thiruvanaikaval.


A white Elephant and Spider are believed to have worshiped the Lord here at Thiruvanaikaval. Brahma, Ashtavasukkal, Parvati, Sage Parasarar and Kochenkat Chola are believed to have worshiped here at Thiruvanaikaval. It is also believed that it was Kochenkat Chola, who built many temples with elevated base platforms (Maadakovil), was the one who worshiped here as the spider in his previous birth.


Thiruvanaikaval is about 4 kilometers north the Rock Fort in Thiruchirapalli in between the Cauvery and Kollidam Rivers.

Stay and Food

Parthasarathy Vilas is just outside the western gopuram and serves very good food. Try their ‘Super’ a ghee roast Dosa and the Sambhar Vada. Open between 4 and 11 in the morning and again between 4 and 9 in the night. For stay, there are good hotels on the main road, Srirangam, and Thiruchirapalli.

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