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Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple Tamil Nadu

Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu

Located in Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, the Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple is one of India’s most important Hindu temples. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has been a sacred site for thousands of years. Not only does it have an impressive history, but also fascinating legends associated with it. Visiting this temple is a special experience filled with spiritual energy and divine blessings.

Temple NameArulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple
Temple is also known asArulmigu Annamalaiyar Thirukoil Temple
Temple Dedicated toLord Shiva
Temple Timing5:30 AM to 12:00 PM & 04:30 PM to 9:00 PM
AartiNot available
Darshan FeeFree
VIP EntryNot available
Live DarshanNot available
Important FestivalsKarthigai Deepam
AddressPavazhakundur, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 606601
Contact Number+91-04175252438
Official Email

About Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple

Arunachalesvara Temple is a Shiva-dedicated Hindu temple located at the base of Arunachala hill in the Indian city of Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. It is significant to the Hindu sect of Shaivism because it is one of the temples linked with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and particularly the element of fire, or Agni.

Shiva is revered as Arunachalesvara or Annamalaiyar and is represented by the lingam; his idol is Agni lingam. His spouse Parvati is shown as Unnamalai Amman. The presiding god is revered in the Tamil Saiva canonical work Tevaram, composed by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and categorised as Paadal Petra Sthalam, which dates to the seventh century. In the ninth century, the Tiruvempaavai was authored by the Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar.

Temple Legend

The legend surrounding this temple involves Lord Shiva coming as a column of light or fire to eradicate the ego from the face of humanity. Lord Vishnu, the preserver, and Lord Brahma, the creator, two of the most revered Hindu deities and members of the Trimurthis, argue with each other to enforce the superiority of oneself over the other.

Lord Brahma stated that he is the most powerful of the Trimurthis and was born first. Lord Vishnu declared that Lord Brahma emerged exclusively from his navel. During their conflict, Lord Shiva arrives at their aid. He appeared between the two Lords as a column of fire and commanded them to locate the end of this free column. He stated that whoever discovers the end is the most powerful of the Trimurthis. Therefore, Lord Vishnu, the boar Varaha and Lord Brahma, the swan, began travelling independently toward both sides.

On the journey, Lord Brahma discovered a Thazhambu flower and ordered her to serve as a false witness. Upon his return, Lord Brahma commanded the flower to inform Shiva that he had reached the finish. The flower’s words angered Shiva so much that he cursed Brahma so that he would never have a temple dedicated to him on Earth and cursed the flower so that it would never be used for pooja kriyas. After learning that the fire column has no end, Lord Vishnu admits defeat and bows to Shiva.

This column of fire is regarded as the initial representation of the lingam, the unending source of creation. It pervades the universe, permeating galaxies and the unending cosmic ocean. The Arunachala Hills near the Arunachaleswarar Temple is thought to symbolise this column of fire.

Temple History

From 850 to 1280 CE, the Chola Kings governed the region and served as temple patrons for nearly four centuries. In their literary masterpiece Tevaram, the Nayanar saints Sambandar and Appar of the seventh century wrote about the temple. According to Sekkizhar, the author of the Periyapuranam, both Appar and Sambandar venerated Arunachalesvara in the temple.

Inscriptions from the Chola ruler document several gifts to the temple, including land, sheep, cows, and oil, in recognition of the dynasty’s achievements.

The Hoysala monarchs made Tiruvannamalai their capital beginning in 1328 CE. There are 48 inscriptions from the Sangama Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire (1336–1485 C.E. ), two from the Saluva Dynasty, and 55 from the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 C.E.) that reflect contributions from their respective monarchs to the temple. Inscriptions from the era of Krishnadeva Raya (1509–1529 CE), the most powerful Vijayanagara emperor, indicating additional sponsorship.

Most Vijayanagara inscriptions were composed in Tamil, with a few inscribed in Kannada and Sanskrit for good measure.

Temple Architecture

The approximately 25-acre Arunachaleswarar temple is one of the largest in India. The temple dates back over a millennium, but the majority of its existing structure was altered between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Upon entering the temple, your focus will be drawn to the Thousand-Pillared Mandapa on your right. It is a symbol of Tamil Nadu’s temples and a component of the state’s spectacular marvels.

The next stunning thing that may catch your attention is the big tank on your left. Then, in front of you is a second entrance that leads to the inner sanctum, where the Shiva Agni Linga is venerated.

The best vantage point for seeing the temple is above the hallowed Mount Arunachala. The ascent of this 800 m hill is arduous due to unstable rocks and the sun’s energy-draining rays, but once you reach the summit, you are rewarded with a profound sense of enlightenment.

The wonderful view of the Arunachaleswarar temple from her is well worth the effort expended.

Festivals at Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple

The most prominent festival is the Karthigai Deepam, in which a massive cauldron carrying three tonnes of ghee is ignited atop the Arunachala Hill, and the festival image of Shiva is carried on a wooden chariot around the hill in procession with worshippers.

Karthigai Deepam is the most important event celebrated at the Arunachaleswarar temple with grandeur and festivity. It is commonly referred to as the Karthigai Brahmotsavam festival. Multiple processions precede the Maha Deepam, commemorated over ten days.

List of other festivals

Every year, there are 12 events. The Karthigai Deepam festival is held on the full moon day between November and December. On top of the hill, a huge beacon can be seen for miles around. This beacon represents the Shiva Lingam, a circle of fire that joins the sky.

Devotees also walk around the base of the temple and the Annamalai Hills the day before each full moon. This ceremony, called Girivalam, is done by a million pilgrims. There are three million pilgrims there.

English MonthTamil MonthFestivalRunning Days
April-MayChithiraiChithirai Vasantha Urchavam10
May-JuneVaikasiVaikasi Urchavam1
June-JulyAaniAani Bramorchavam,10
June-JulyAaniAani Thirumanjanam1
July-AugustAadiAadi Pooram Bramorchavam10
August-SeptAvaniAvani Moolam Urchavam1
Sept-OctPuratasiNavarathri Urchavam9
Oct-NovAippasiAnnabishekam Urchavam1
Oct-NovAippasiKanda Sashti urchavam6
Nov-DecKarthigaiKarthigai Deepa Bramorchavam17
Dec-JanMargazhiVaikunda Ekadasi Urchavam1
Dec-JanMargazhiArudra Darisanam (Lord Nataraja Urchavam)1
Jan-FebThaiVaikasi Urchavam1
Jan-FebThaiUttarayana Punyakalam Bramorchavam10
Jan-FebThaiThiruvoodal Urchavam1
Jan-FebThaiManalurpettai Theerthavari Urchavam1
Jan-FebThaiKalasapakkam (Rathasapthami). Theerthavari Urchavam1
Feb-MarchMasiMaha Shivaratri Urchavam, Masi Makam Pallikond Pattu Theerthavari Urchavam.1
March-AprilPanguniPanguni Uthiram Thirukalyana Urchavam6

Darshan Timings

When the temple opens at 5:30 AM, pilgrims have until noon to visit. Again opens from 04:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Six times a day, poojas are done in this well-known temple. Every day, special poojas are held in Lord Shiva’s Temple.

Pooja DetailsTime
Ukshakala05:30 AM
Kala Santhi08:00 AM
Uchikala11:30 AM
Sayaratchai05:30 PM
Irandam Kala07:30 PM
Arthajama09:00 PM

Darshan Dresscode

Even though there are no dress codes, try to wear clothes that aren’t too revealing and don’t hurt the place’s religious or holy feel.

Local Culture

The area was the capital of the Hoysalas and was an important part of the history of the Cholas, Vijayanagar, Sangamas, and Hoysalas.

The Tiruvannamalai temple is the centre of the people’s lives and the area’s culture. During the festivals at the temple, there are a lot of people in the area. People also like to do yoga and go on yoga retreats in the area.

How to Reach

By Air: The nearest airport is 185 km away at Chennai International Airport. There are flights to Chennai from all of India’s major cities and cities around the world. You can take a taxi or a government bus from Chennai Airport to Tiruvannamalai.

By Rail: The nearest train stations are Katpadi (76 km) and Villupuram (76 km) (65 km). Trains from all over the country stop at these two stations frequently. To get to Arunachaleswarar Temple from the station, you can take a taxi or a government bus.

By Road: Tiruvannamalai is close to all the big cities in South India by road. Tiruvannamalai is easy to get to by either bus or car.

Location Map

Other Famous Temples in Tamil NaduOther Famous Shiva Temples in India
Tiruchendur Murugan Temple, ThoothukudiKotilingeshwara Temple, Udupi, Karnataka
Arulmigu Palani Murugan TempleAmbreshwar Shiva Temple, Ambernath
Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temple
Basukinath Temple, Deoghar, Jharkhand
Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik
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