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. 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 (body waste). Pancha Bhoota Sthalam (place) refers to five temples dedicated to Shiva, each representing a manifestation of the five prime elements of nature: The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams of the temples, with each lingam named based on the element represented.
Srikalahasti temple is the manifestation of Lord Shiva as the lord of Wind. Originally built in the 10th century by the Chola kings, the famous 100 pillar hall is made in the 15th century.
Lord Shiva in his manifestation as Earth is represented at Kanchipuram’s Ekambaraswarar temple. Also built by the great Chola dynasty kings in the 9th century, it is one of the largest temple complexes in South India.
In Arunachaleshwara Temple at Thiruvannamalai, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of a massive column of Fire, whose crown and feet could not be found by the Hindu God of creation Brahma and Hindu God of preservation Vishnu. A celebration of this manifestation is seen even today in the age old traditions observed during the festivals of Sivarathri and Karthigai Deepam.
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.
In Jambukeshwara Thiruvanaikaval temple, Shiva represents Water element where the appu lingam is submerged in water and a perennial sub-terrain spring gushes around the lingam. It was built more than 1800 yrs ago by the great Chola dynasty.
Apart from the temples of the Five elements, we also visit the French outpost community at Pondicherry as also the two other very important temples in South India – The Brihadeswara and the Meenakshi temple. All the temples being visited are architectural marvels and apart from incredible structures, they are so esthetically designed as celestial manifestations on earth.
After the visits to these temples and after understanding the ancient wisdom of the Five elements it is time to put it into practice. The ancient alternative medicinal system, Ayurveda bases it’s treatments on rectifying the imbalances of the Tridoshas. Visit a beautiful resort on the backwaters in Kerala for a 3 night stay and get treatments and massages.