(Last Updated on : 16/09/2010)
Kachi Ekambam Temple is one of the most revered temples to Shiva - Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements. It is a vast temple with long corridors, towering gopurams and mandapams. This is the 1st of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India. There are several Shiva temples all over Kanchipuram but only one ambal shrine at Kamakshiamman.
: The temple is vast and has high gopurams. The Pallavas, Cholas and the Vijayanagar Kings have contributed to this temple. The existing structure was pulled down and rebuilt by the Pallava Kings. The Cholas also made several contributions to the temple.
: The temple covers 40 acres. The Raja Gopuram - the entrance tower is 172 feet high and the mandapam in front of the sanctum was built by Krishnadevaraya. The presiding deity is Ekambareswarar or Shiva, worshipped as the Prithivi Lingam. A Somaskanda panel features Shiva, Parvati and Skanda is to be found in the rear of the main shrine. It is believed that Parvati, worshipped Shiva as Prithivi Lingam, made from sand. Legend states that the neighboring Vegavati river overflowed and threatened to engulf the Lingam and Parvati or Kamakshi, embraced the Lingam. Shiva, touched by the gesture materialized in person and married her. There is another shrine of Shiva and Kamakshi under the Stala Vruksham or the Temple tree, which is said to be 3500 years old.
The Panguni festival lasts for 13 days and it is during this festival that the wedding of the presiding deity is celebrated.