Annabel Bibbs

Written by Annabel Bibbs

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Ekambareswarar Temple, located in the city of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India, is one of the oldest and largest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Steeped in history and architectural brilliance, this magnificent temple has been a place of worship and reverence for centuries.

Here are 17 fascinating facts about the Ekambareswarar Temple that will leave you in awe of its grandeur and significance. From its legendary origins to its intricate carvings and impressive rituals, this temple is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India and attracts thousands of devotees and tourists from around the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ekambareswarar Temple is a 1,500-year-old landmark dedicated to Lord Shiva, featuring massive Gopurams, a sacred Mango tree, and a Pillar that never casts a shadow. It’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers.
  • The temple’s musical pillars, golden chariot festival, and historic inscriptions add to its allure, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike.
Table of Contents

Oldest Temple in Kanchipuram

Located in the city of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, Ekambareswarar Temple is renowned as one of the oldest temples in the region. Its origins can be traced back over 1,500 years, making it a significant cultural and historical landmark.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva

Ekambareswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities of Hinduism. The temple complex is adorned with various shrines and sculptures depicting different aspects of Lord Shiva.

Massive Gopurams

The temple is known for its towering and intricately carved Gopurams (gateways). The main entrance features a majestic 59-meter high Gopuram, which is one of the tallest in South India.

Sacred Mango Tree

Inside the temple premises, there is a sacred Mango tree known as “Asthana Mandapam.” It is believed that Lord Shiva himself resides in the form of a Lingam under this ancient tree.

Pancha Bhoota Stalas

Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, representing the element of Earth (Prithvi). The other four temples in this group represent the elements of fire, water, air, and space.

Thousand Pillar Hall

The temple boasts an impressive Thousand Pillar Hall, adorned with intricately carved pillars. This architectural marvel is a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship of the artisans of ancient times.

Golden Chariot Festival

The annual Brahmotsavam festival at Ekambareswarar Temple features a grand procession where the deities are taken out in a beautifully decorated golden chariot. This event attracts devotees from far and wide.

Kamakshi Amman Temple

Adjacent to Ekambareswarar Temple is the Kamakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Kamakshi. It is believed that a visit to both temples together is highly auspicious.

Akasha Lingam

Inside the sanctum sanctorum of the main temple, there is an Akasha Lingam, which is believed to have been worshipped by Lord Indra. It is said to represent the divine form of Lord Shiva.

A Pillar that Never Casts a Shadow

The temple has a unique pillar called the “Aayiram Kaal Mandapam,” which is said to never cast a shadow, regardless of the time of day. It is considered a marvel of ancient engineering.

Holy Water Tank

The temple complex features a large sacred water tank called “Sivaganga.” Devotees believe that bathing in this tank can cleanse one’s sins and bestow spiritual blessings.

Navagraha Shrine

In addition to Lord Shiva, Ekambareswarar Temple also houses a separate shrine dedicated to the Navagrahas (nine celestial deities representing the planets). It is believed to bring good fortune and harmony.

Statue of Elephant Seeking Blessings

Near the entrance of the temple, there is a beautifully sculpted elephant statue that is depicted with one of its trunks raised, signifying its seeking of blessings from Lord Shiva.

Musical Pillars

The temple is famous for its musical pillars that produce different musical notes when struck. These architectural marvels have captivated visitors for centuries.

Festival of Lights

During the Tamil month of Masi (February-March), the temple adorns itself with thousands of lamps for the festival of lights, creating a mesmerizing and ethereal atmosphere.

Historic Inscriptions

The temple premises have several ancient inscriptions that provide valuable historical insights into the temple’s construction, renovations, and the patronage it received from various rulers.

Spiritual Significance

Ekambareswarar Temple holds immense spiritual significance for devotees of Lord Shiva. It is believed to be a sacred place for attaining spiritual enlightenment and seeking the blessings of the divine.

These 17 fascinating facts about Ekambareswarar Temple showcase the rich history, architectural grandeur, and deep spiritual importance of this iconic landmark. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a religious pilgrim, or simply an admirer of awe-inspiring structures, a visit to Ekambareswarar Temple is sure to leave you in awe of its beauty and significance.


In conclusion, the Ekambareswarar Temple is not just a place of worship but also a testament to the rich cultural and architectural heritage of India. With its ancient history, magnificent architecture, and fascinating legends, it continues to attract devotees and tourists from all over the world.The temple’s towering gopuram, sprawling premises, and sacred pond add to its grandeur and charm. The intricate carvings, sculptures, and the massive mango tree inside the temple are sure to leave visitors in awe. The temple also holds religious significance for Hindus, as it is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, representing the element of Earth.Visiting the Ekambareswarar Temple is not just a religious experience but also an opportunity to delve into the mystical world of Hindu mythology and marvel at the architectural brilliance of the past. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, culture, spirituality, or simply seeking an unforgettable experience.


1. What is the significance of Ekambareswarar Temple?

The Ekambareswarar Temple holds immense religious significance as one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas and represents the element of Earth in Hindu mythology.

2. How old is the Ekambareswarar Temple?

The temple dates back to the 7th century and has a history of over 1400 years.

3. What is the architectural style of the Ekambareswarar Temple?

The temple showcases Dravidian architecture, characterized by towering gopurams, intricate carvings, and sprawling premises.

4. Is the Ekambareswarar Temple open to non-Hindus?

Yes, the temple is open to people of all religions. However, visitors are expected to respect the customs and traditions of the temple.

5. Are there any legends associated with the Ekambareswarar Temple?

Yes, there are several fascinating legends associated with the temple, including the story of the mango tree and the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

6. Can visitors take photographs inside the Ekambareswarar Temple?

No, photography is not allowed inside the temple premises. Visitors are requested to respect the rules and regulations of the temple.

If you're fascinated by the beauty and history of Hindu temples, don't miss our captivating exploration of Eklingji Temple. Discover the spiritual significance of Jambukeswarar, a revered Shiva temple steeped in legend. For a glimpse into another ancient religious site, join us as we uncover the astonishing facts about the Temple of Confucius.

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