Jambukeshwar or Thiruvanaikava is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kochenga Chola, one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located on Srirangam island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple.Jambukeshwar is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams representing the Mahābhūta or five great elements; this temple represents the element of water. The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water. the stream of water which is said to emerge from the linga is usually demonstrated as the soaking wet clothes in which Lord is draped. The water flow increases significantly during the Monsoon. The main deity of the temple is Jambukeswara, representing the element water. Jambukeswara is depicted sitting under a jambu tree, which grows over a small stream that engulfs the deity during the rainy season. The temple is also considered the abode of the goddess Akilandeswari, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati. As Akilandeswari worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple, even today at noon the priest dresses like a female and does Pooja to Jambukeswara and ‘Go Maata’ (Cow). Legend maintains that the wall was built by Shiva working with the laborers. The temple’s deities are installed opposite to each other – Such temples are known as Upadesa Sthalams. As the Devi was like a student and Jambukeswara like a teacher in this temple, there is no marriage conducted in this temple for Shiva and Parvati, unlike the other Shiva temples. The garbhagriha of the goddess Akilandeshwari and the garbhagriha of Prasanna Vinayaka are in the shape of the pranava mantra called “Om”. It is believed that the Amman in the temple was in deep anger hence during one of Adi Sankara’s visits he installed the Prasanna Ganapathy idol right opposite to her Sannathy and installed a pair of Sri Chakra ear-rings to reduce her anger. The holy tree here is the White Jambuka, found growing along the south-eastern wall of the sanctum sanctorum.
The sanctum sanctorum is divided into the Ardha Mandapam or Antaralam (whose western wall bears the window) and the Garbha Griha where the deity of Jambukeswarar is housed. At the center, the Brahma Sthana is the self-manifested linga of Jambukeswarar. The upper conical part of the Linga is of the color of copper, whereas the Yoni-Bhaga or the pedestal is of black granite. A brass ring is seen at the point of attachment of the Linga to the pedestal. The height of the Linga is about 3 feet from the floor of the sanctum. The Garbha Griha and the Ardha Mantapa are unadorned from the inside, the only source of illumination within the sanctum being ghee lamps.