Walking into Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, one will be amazed at the architectural peculiarities that make the complex a masterpiece in itself. Spread over 25 acres of land, Sri Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshiped here as Ekambareswarar, the temple also houses Nilathingal Thundam Perumal Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which is also one of the 108 Divya Deshams.
Four majestic gateway towers welcome a visitor to the temple complex. The southern tower is 11 storey tall and is one of the tallest of its kind in the country. There are numerous shrines within the complex and devotees from all parts of the country visit here to worship. The temple also houses many magnificent halls, the most noted being the thousand-pillared hall, which was built during the Vijayanagar period. This ancient temple is believed to have been in existence since 600 CE and finds mention in the classical Tamil Sangam literature. It was during the 9th century that the Chola dynasty built the present masonry structure of the temple. Later expansions were made possible by the Vijaynagar kings.
The sanctum sanctorum of the temple contains a ‘lingam’ and an image of lord Shiva. The inner precinct of the temple is embellished with an array of Shiva lingams, one of which is a Sahasra Lingam with 1,008 Siva lingams sculpted on it. There are many festivals associated with the temple happening throughout the year, the most important one being the Panguni Brahmolsavam that lasts for 10 days during March-April.