Pancha Bhoota Sthalam refers to five temples dedicated to Shiva, each representing a manifestation of the five prime elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Pancha indicates "five," Bhoota means "elements," and Sthala means "place." The temples are located in South India, four in Tamil Nadu and one in Andhra Pradesh. The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams of the temples, with each lingam named based on the element represented.
According to Hinduism, life and the various species originated by the combination of planetary globes and the five manifestations of nature namely earth, water, fire, air, and space. Bhoota(Sanskrit:भूत) in Sanskrit means compound and maha bhoota indicates a big compound. According to Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system, the equilibrium of the body with the pancha bhoota is governed by the principles of tridoshas -kaph(phlegm), pitta(bile), vayu(gas), dhātu and malas(waste products). Rabindranath Tagore, a nobel laureate for literature, in his book, Pancha bhoota, has explained the emotional faculty of the human mind is keenly sensitive to all objects of light, colour, sound, effect of speed, sun, moon and stars.
In Tiruvannamalai temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of massive column of fire, whose crown and feet could not be found by the Hindu God of creation, Brahma and Hindu God of preservation (or maintainer) Vishnu. A celebration of this manifestation is seen even today in the age old traditions observed during the festivals of Sivarathri and Karthigai Deepam. Agni Lingam explains the mythics of life - duty, virtue, self-sacrifice and finally liberation by and through ascetic life at the end of Agni kalpa.
In Chidambaram, space is worshiped as Shiva (akasha lingam) to signify God is beyond human comprehension. Unlike the other temples, this one does not contain a physical stone lingam.
|Earth||Prithivi Lingam||Ekambareswarar Temple||Kanchipuram|
|Water||Appu Lingam (Jambu Lingam)||Jambukeshwarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval||Thiruvanaikaval, near Trichy|
|Fire||Agni Lingam (Jyothi Lingam)||Arunachaleswara Temple||Thiruvannamalai|
|Air||Vayu Lingam||Kalahasti temple||Kalahasthi, Andhra Pradesh|
|Space||Aagaya Lingam (Akasha Lingam)||Thillai Natarajar Temple||Chidambaram|
Arunachalesvara Temple, also called Annamalaiyar Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Arunachala hill in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. It 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 fire, or Agni. Shiva is worshiped as Arunachalesvara or Annamalaiyar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Unnamalai Amman. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The 9th century Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar composed the Tiruvempaavai here.
The temple complex covers 10 hectares, and is one of the largest in India. It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the eastern tower, with 11 stories and a height of 66 metres (217 ft), making it one of the tallest temple towers in India. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Arunachalesvara and Unnamalai Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.
The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar. The Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated during the day of the full moon between November and December, and a huge beacon is lit atop the hill. It can be seen from miles around, and symbolizes the Shiva lingam of fire joining the sky. The event is witnessed by three million pilgrims. On the day preceding each full moon, pilgrims circumnavigate the temple base and the Arunachala hills in a worship called Girivalam, a practice carried out by one million pilgrims yearly.The present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagara rulers of the Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), the Saluva Dynasty and the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE). The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.Baneshwar
Baneshwar is a temple of Shiva located in the village of Nasarapur about 36 km southwest of Pune. It is a pleasant and calm place amidst a jungle. It was recently discovered and hence declared as a small bird sanctuary hosting a decent amount of rare birds with many crowned hornbills seen.Ekambareswarar Temple (Kanchipuram)
Ekambareswarar Temple (Ekambaranathar Temple) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in the town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India. It 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, or Prithvi. Shiva is worshiped as Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Prithvi lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Gowridevi Amman. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple also houses Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple, a Divyadesam, the 108 temples revered in the Vaishnava canon Nalayira Divya Prabhandam.The temple complex covers 25 acres, and is one of the largest in India. It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the southern tower, with 11 stories and a height of 58.5216 metres (192 ft), making it one of the tallest temple towers in India. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Ekambareswarar and Nilathingal Thundam Perumal being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.
The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar. Panguni Uthiram festival celebrated for thirteen days during the Tamil month of Panguni (March - April) is the most prominent festival of the temple and the town.The present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The temple is the largest and one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city.Harihar Dham
Harihar Dham temple, commonly known as Harihar Dham located in Giridih, Jharkhand has the distinction of having the biggest Shivalinga in the world.Hindu pilgrimage sites in India
In Hindu religion and spirituality, the pilgrimage has great significance. Members of the faith participate in the following types of pilgrimage. The pilgrimage to each sacred site has its own religious significance.
Holy Place: Himalayan Char Dham - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
Varanasi/Kashi, Prayagraj, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Somnath and Ayodhya.
Holy Fairs: The Kumbh Mela (the "pitcher festival") is one of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages that is held four times every twelve years; the location is rotated among the four cities of Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. Shravani Mela of Deoghar and Pitrapaksha Mela of Gaya are also notable holy fairs.
Holy Temples: the Char Dham of Rameswaram, Dwarka, Puri, and Badrinath.
Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple; Puri home to Vaishnava Jagannath temple and Rath Yatra celebration; Tirumala - Tirupati, home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; Sabarimala home to Swami Ayyappan; the Shakti Peethas; the twelve Jyotirlingas; the seven Sapta Puri; the Pancha Bhoota Stalam.
Mahamaham: the world-famous festival in temple town of Kumbakonam which is celebrated once in 12 years. More than 25 lakhs of people gather here from different parts of the world.
Holy Deity : Kuladaivat Hindu families have their own family patron deity. This deity is common to a lineage, a clan or a locality.
Tombs and Samadhis of Saints: Alandi, Samadhi of Dnyaneshwar: Mantralayam, samadhi of Raghavendra Tirtha, Belur Math which enshrine that Holy remains of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda Puri, and other direct Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, Tulsi Ghat, Varanasi where Saint Tulsidas left his mortal coil, Samadhi Mandir of Saint Kabir at Gorakhpur, near Varanasi, Panchaganga Ghat, Varanasi where Trailanga Swami lived and left his mortal body, Karar Ashram, Puri where Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, attained the Mahasamadhi.Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval
Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval (also Thiruvanaikal, Jambukeswaram) is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple.
Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu (Pancha Bhoota Stalam) representing the Mahābhūta or five great elements; this temple represents the element of water, or neer in Tamil. The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water.It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of the deity in this temple. The temple has inscriptions from the Chola period.List of Shiva shrines in Kanyakumari district
The Sivalayams are 12 Saivite shrines in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India. On the day of Sivarathri, the devotees go on a marathon from Thirumalai, the first Sivalayam, to the last, Thirunattalam.
The Sivalayam Temples are
ThirunattalamNataraja Temple, Chidambaram
Nataraja Temple, also referred to as the Chidambaram Nataraja temple or Thillai Nataraja temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Nataraja – Shiva as the lord of dance – in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple has mythical roots and a Shiva shrine existed at the site when the town was known as Thillai. Chidambaram, the name of the city and the temple literally means "atmosphere of wisdom" or "clothed in thought", the temple architecture symbolizes the connection between the arts and spirituality, creative activity and the divine. The temple wall carvings display all the 108 karanas from the Natya Shastra by Bharata Muni, and these postures form a foundation of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance.The present temple was built in the 10th century when Chidambaram was the capital of the Chola dynasty, making it one of the oldest surviving active temple complexes in South India. After its 10th-century consecration by the Cholas who considered Nataraja as their family deity, the temple has been damaged, repaired, renovated and expanded through the 2nd millennium. Most of the temple's surviving plan, architecture and structure is from the late 12th and early 13th centuries, with later additions in similar style. While Shiva as Nataraja is the primary deity of the temple, it reverentially presents major themes from Shaktism, Vaishnavism, and other traditions of Hinduism. The Chidambaram temple complex, for example, has the earliest known Amman or Devi temple in South India, a pre-13th century Surya shrine with chariot, shrines for Ganesha, Murugan and Vishnu, one of the earliest known Shiva Ganga sacred pool, large mandapas for the convenience of pilgrims (choultry, ambalam or sabha) and other monuments. Shiva himself is presented as the Nataraja performing the Ananda Tandava ("Dance of Delight") in the golden hall of the shrine Pon Ambalam.The temple is one of the five elemental lingas in the Shaivism pilgrimage tradition, and considered the subtlest of all Shiva temples (Kovil) in Hinduism. It is also a site for performance arts, including the annual Natyanjali dance festival on Maha Shivaratri.Ona Kantheeswarar Temple
Ona Kantheeswarar Temple (also called Onakanthali) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in the town of Panjupettai, Kanchipuram, Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshipped as Ona Kantheeswarar and his consort Parvathi as Kamakshi. Ona Kantheeswarar is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, the 275 temples reverred in the canon.
The temple has a small three-tiered rajagopuram, the entrance tower and all the shrines are located in an elevated structure. The temple has two daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar, namely the MargazhiTiruvathirai during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January) and Aipassi full moon day Aippassi (October - November) being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.Pancha Bhoota
Pancha Bhoota or Pancha Maha-Bhoota (Sanskrit: पञ्चभूत, पञ्चमहाभूत), five great elements, also five physical elements, is a group of five basic elements, which, according to Hinduism,
is the basis of all cosmic creation. These elements are: Prithvi/Bhudevi (Hindi: पृथ्वी, Earth), Apas/Varuna/Jal (Hindi: अप्, Water), Agni (Hindi: अग्नि, Fire), Vayu (Hindi: वायु, Air), Aakash/Dyaus (Hindi: आकाश, Aether). These elements have different characteristics and these also account for different faculties of human experience. In ayurveda and Indian philosophy, the human body is considered to be made of these five elements. However, Cārvāka did not accept Akash as basic element as it is not tangible and according to him, there are only four basic elements. Buddhism also accepts four basic elements and Akash is left out. These five elements of Indian cosmological system are similar but not identical to five element theory used in East Asia.Pradosha
Pradosha or Pradosham (IAST: Pradoṣa) is a bimonthly occasion on the thirteenth day of every fortnight in the Hindu calendar. It is closely connected with the worship of Hindu god Shiva. The auspicious 3 hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset is one of the optimum time for worship of Lord Shiva. The fast or vow performed during the period is called "Pradosha vrata". A devotee should wear rudraksha, Vibhuti and worship Lord Shiva by abisheka, sandal paste, vilva leaves, fragrance, deepa and naivaedyaas (food offerings).Pāśa
Pāśa (Sanskrit: पाश, romanized: pāśa, lit. "bondage", "fetter") is one of the three main components considered in Shaivism. It is defined as whole of the existence, manifest and unmanifest. According to Shaiva Siddhanta, Pati (the supreme being), Pashu (atmans) and Pasha are eternal, self-consistent, neither distinguishable nor indivisible triad in the nature.Shiva Mahimna Stotra
Shiva Mahimna Stotra (Sanskrit: शिवमहिम्न:स्तोत्र, romanized: śiva-mahimnah stotra, lit. 'Hymn about the greatness of Shiva') is a Sanskrit composition (Stotra) in devotion of Shiva that is believed has been authored by a gandharva (heavenly being) named Pushpadanta.Shiva Tandava Stotra
Shiva Tandava Stotra (Sanskrit: शिवताण्डवस्तोत्र, romanized: śiva-tāṇḍava-stotra) is a stotra (Hindu hymn) that describes Shiva's power and beauty. It is traditionally attributed to Ravana, the asura King of Lanka and devotee of Shiva.Siddha Siddhanta
Siddha Siddhanta is one of the six main Shaivite philosophical traditions. It is also known as Gorakshanatha Saivism after its founding Guru Gorakhnath.Srikalahasteeswara temple
Srikalahasti Temple is located in the town of Srikalahasti, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India, and is said to be the site where Kannappa was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the Siva stopped him and granted him mukti.
Srikalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu linga, one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing wind. The temple is also regarded as Rahu-Ketu kshetra and Dakshina Kailasam. The inner temple was constructed around 5th century and the outer temple was constructed in the 12th century by the Chola kings and the Vijayanagara kings. Shiva in his aspect as Vayu is worshiped as Kalahasteeswara.Thiruvanaikaval
Thiruvanaikaval (Thiru+Aanai+kaval) or Thiruvanaikoil is a suburb of the city of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated on the northern banks of the Kaveri river adjacent to Srirangam Island.Tirupperunturai
Tirupperunthurai (also called the Athmanathaswamy temple) is located in Avudaiyarkoil. It is a Shaiva temple situated near Aranthangi in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. One of the sacred books of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta, Manikkavasagar's Tiruvacakam, originated from this shrine. Manikkavasagar is said to have converted the king to the religion of Shiva and built the temple with money that had been intended for war-horses.Vibhuti
Vibhuti (Sanskrit: विभूति; vibhūti), also called Bhasma (ash), Vibhooti, is a word that has several meanings in Hinduism. Generally, it is used to denote the sacred ash which is made of burnt dried wood in Āgamic rituals. Hindu devotees apply vibhuti traditionally as three horizontal lines across the forehead and other parts of the body to honor Shiva. Vibhuti smeared across the forehead to the end of both eyebrows is called Tripundra. According to the MahaShiva Purana the particles of ash which cling to the skin when tripundra is applied are to be considered as individual Lingams. The scriptures further state that bhasma purifies the soul, elevates the devotee of Shiva and works done without wearing Bhasma are infructuous. There are various methods for the application of the ashes according to the purana and various mantras to be recited during application.
Another meaning of vibhuti is a 'glorious form', in contrast with Avatar, a reincarnation of Brahman. Bhagavata Theology describes a vibhuti as 'incarnation of power', which is only a temporary occasional manifestation such as when holy men are infused with divine virtues and qualities are infused. Aurobindo mentions a vibhuti as 'the hero of a race's struggle towards divine achievement, the hero in the Carlylean sense of heroism, a power of God in man.'
|Pancha Bhoota Stalam|