Annamalaiyar Temple, Thiruvannamalai

Annamalaiyar Temple, Thiruvannamalai

For divine experience and peace, there is no better place than Arunachaleshwara temple. Vedic enchantments, amidst music with instruments like Nagaswaram and Tavil will give you a supreme experience.

History of Annamalaiyar Temple

Under the patronage of the Chola rulers, hundreds of temples were built in South India. The present structure of Arunachalesvara Temple is one among them and is built on the lines of the Dravidian style of temple architecture, while the later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagara rulers of the Sangama Dynasty, the Saluva Dynasty, and the Tuluva Dynasty.

Annamalaiyar Temple is also known as Arunachalesvara Temple as it is located on the Arunachala hills of Tamil Nadu. It is significant for Hindu sects of Saivism. Here, Lord Shiva is known as Arunachalesvara or Annamalaiyar and goddess Parvati is known as Unnamalai Amman.

It represents the “fire” of the Pancha Boothas. References of this temple are mentioned in the works of Tevaram, Thiruvempavai, and Thirupugazh by Tamil saints and poets.

Tales are associated with the origin of this temple.

1. Once goddess Parvati playfully closed the eyes of the Lord Shiva, the entire world went into darkness. In order to restore the light, lord Shiva appeared as a column of fire at the top of Arunachala hills to eliminate the darkness around the world. The Arunachala, or the red mountain which lies behind the Arunachalesvara temple is associated with the temple itself. The hill is sacred and considered a lingam, or an iconic representation of Shiva.

2. Another background is when Lord Vishnu and lord Brahma argued, “who being the superior among them!” In order to resolve, they went to lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared as flame and asked them to find the crown and feet. Lord Vishnu went down the roots to find the feet and Lord Brahma took a form of a swan and flew higher to find the crown. Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat whereas Lord Brahma lied, and in anger lord Shiva declared there will be no temples for Brahma on the earth.

Pooja Timings

1. Ushatkalam – 5:30 am
2. Kalashanti – 8:00 am
3. Uchikalam – 10:00 am
4. Sayarakshai – 6:00 pm
5. Irandamkalam – 8:00 pm
6. Arddha Jamam – 10:00 pm

Major Festivals:

Karthigai Deepam : During this festival, a huge lamp is lit in a cauldron containing three tones of ghee at the top of the hills.

Girivalam: Thousands of pilgrims take a circumambulation of the hill. It is prominently believed that walking around will remove all the sins, fulfil desires and help in achieving the freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Tiruvoodal: Another festival which is celebrated during the first week of Tamil month. Here, Nandi is decorated with garlands made of fruits and vegetables. In the evening, deities of Arunachalesvara and Uunnamamulai Amman are taken out of the temple to the streets of Tiruvoodal to enact the “oodal” that is love between the two.

How To Reach

• Trains and buses are running to and fro Thiruvannamalai.
• If you are going via road, it is easily accessible via Puducherry-Krishnagiri highway.
• Two-wheelers and bicycles are available on rent for commuting within Thiruvannamalai.
• Alternatively, there are buses and rickshaw that help travelers commute within the region.

Nearby Attractions

1. Ramana Ashram
2. Bheema Falls
3. Komutteri Lake
4. Kavalur Observatory
5. Javadi Hills
6. Sasthanur Dam
7. Padaiveedu


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