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Ekambaranathar Temple

Ekambaranathar Temple, also known as Ekambareswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically the element of Earth. The main deity of the temple, Lord Shiva, is worshipped in the form of Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar, and is represented by the lingam. The idol is referred to as Prithvi Lingam.

About the temple
The temple complex is one of the largest in India, and houses four gateway towers, known as gopurams. The tallest of all the gateways is the southern tower, with 11 storeys and a height of 180 ft, making it one of the tallest temple towers in India. There are numerous shrines adorning the temple, Ekambareswarar and Nilathingal Thundam Perumal are the most prominent ones. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.

Architecture
The entrance of the temple is one of the tallest in South Infia, and the bottom half of the gateway tower has the shrines of Vinayaka and Murugan on either sides. The entrance leads to two halls, namely Vahana Manddapam (vehicle hall), and Sarabesa Mandapam (also called Navaratri hall). The fourth courtyard of the temple complex has a small Ganesha temple and a pond. The third courtyard has lot of smaller shrines.
Inside the temple complex, there is a small shrine for Vishnu named Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple. Vishnu is worshipped here as Vamana Murthy, and the shrine is hailed by the Alvar saints as one of the 108 Divya Desams.

Rituals and Festivals
The temple celebrates dozens of festivals throughout the year. The most important of these festivals are namely, Panguni (or Phalguni in devanagari) Brahmotsavam that lasts ten days during the Tamil month of Panguni, between March and April, concluding with the celebration of Kalyanotsavam.
Regular pooja (rituals) are performed by the temple priest on daily basis. The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushathkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Ucchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 8:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m.
There are also weekly rituals like somavaram and shukravaram, fortnightly rituals like pradosham and monthly festivals like amavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai or on krittika nakshatram, pournami (full moon day) and chaturthi.

Timings and other information
6:00 AM - 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM - 8:30 PM
There is no separate shrine for the female deity as is customary in all the Shiva Temples found in Kancheepuram. Heavy crowds can be expected on new moon, full moon and pradosha days.



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