Jambukeswarar Temple is a famous Shiva temple in Trichy. It is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu representing the Mahabhuta or five great elements; this temple represents the element of water in Tamil. The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water.
Ambica was born as a human as directed by Lord Shiva. She made a Shiva Linga with the waters of Kaveri. Lord appeared on the Linga and granted sight to her. Of the Pancha Bhudas, the place became Appu sthala-water sthala. A sage Jambu by name performed penance in this place on Lord Shiva. Lord granted sight to the sage and offered a Naaval fruit as Prasad. While consuming the Prasad, the sage swallowed the seeds too as he thought it a sin to spit the seeds. Reaching the stomach of the Rishi, the seeds began to grow into a tree and pierced his head thus leading to his salvation. Naaval is called Jambu in Sanskrit. The Water Linga created by Mother Ambica is under this tree. As Lord granted salvation to Sage Jambu, he is praised as Jambukeswarar.
Pancha Bhoota Stalam refers to the five Shiva temples, each representing the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature - space, air, fire, water, earth. Pancha indicates five, Bhoota means elements and Sthala means place. All these temples are located in South India with four of these temples in Tamil Nadu and one in Andhra Pradesh. The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams and each of the lingams representing Shiva in the temple have five different names based on the elements they represent. In this temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of water (Appu Lingam).