Arunachalam Temple

Timing & History of Arunachalam Temple

Arunachalam Temple is also known as Arunachalesvara Temple and  Annamalaiyar Temple, is located in the Indian Tamil Nadu town of Thiruvannamalai at the base of Arunachala Hill.  

Shaivism is a branch of Hinduism that places great importance on the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, notably the fire element, or Agni, and its connection to the five elements. 

The lingam is referred to as the Agni lingam, and it represents Shiva and acts as his idol. As Arunachalesvara or Annamalaiyar, Shiva is worshiped. His wife Parvati is represented by Unnamalai Amman or Apithakucha Ambal.  

The Tevaram, a work of canonical Tamil Saiva literature written in the seventh century by Tamil saint poets known as nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, is revered as the governing deity.

Manikkavasagar, a Saiva saint poet, wrote the Tiruvempaavai here in the ninth century. 

It is a 10-hectare-large temple complex and one of India’s largest. Four gopurams, or gateway towers, are present.  

The tallest tower is the eastern one, which is one of the tallest temple towers in India with a height of 66 meters (217 ft) and 11 floors.  

It was built by Sevappa Nayakkar (of the Nayakar dynasty). The shrines dedicated to Arunachalesvara and Unnamalai Amman are the most prominent ones in the temple.  

The most impressive of the numerous halls in the temple complex is the thousand-pillared hall, which was built during the Vijayanagar Empire. 

History Of Arunachalam Temple 

Arunachalam Temple

The Raja Gopuram, which is the largest temple tower and provides views over the tank and the Eastern entryway, 

The shrine in Annamalai and the presiding god have been mentioned by early Tamil academics such as Nakkirar (1st century BCE to 1st century CE), Kapilar, and Paranar (125 to 225 CE).  

The Nayanar saints Sambandar and Appar described the temple in their literary work, Tevaram, from the seventh century.  

The Periyapuranam’s author, Sekkizhar, claimed that Appar and Sambandar both went to the temple to worship Arunachalesvara.  

Temple patrons, the Chola Kings dominated the area for more than four centuries, from 850 to 1280 CE.  

The inscriptions from the Chola ruler list several donations made to the temple to honor the dynasty’s various conquests, including land, sheep, cows, and oil. 

Tiruvannamalai became the seat of the Hoysala rulers in 1328 CE.

There are inscriptions from the Vijayanagara Empire’s 48 Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), 2 Saluva Dynasty, and 55 Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE) dynasties that represent gifts made to the temple by its kings.

Additional patronage is also indicated by inscriptions from the reign of the most powerful Vijayanagara ruler, Krishnadeva Raya (1509–1529 CE).  

Tamil was used for the majority of the Vijayanagara inscriptions, but Kannada and Sanskrit were also used occasionally.  

In contrast to their inscriptions in other temples like Tirupathi, the Vijayanagara kings’ inscriptions in this temple place an emphasis on local issues and administrative topics.  

Land endowments make up the majority of the gift-related inscriptions, followed by items, financial endowments, cows, and oil for lighting lights. 

During the Vijayanagara Empire, the town of Tiruvannamalai served as a strategic junction that connected important military routes and religious pilgrimage sites.  

Inscriptions from the precolonial era depict the region as a thriving urban center, with the city growing up around the temple. 


The Annamalai hills are in the background, with temple towers. Hindu mythology has Parvati, the wife of Shiva, playing fully closing her husband’s eyes in a flower garden at their residence atop Mount Kailash.  

The universe’s light was completely extinguished, though it only took the gods a moment, and the world was left in complete darkness for a very long time.  

Along with other Shiva followers, Parvati engaged in penance. 

Then, at the peak of the Annamalai hills, her spouse materialized as a large column of fire, restoring light to the universe After that, he combined with Parvati to create Ardhanarishvara manifestation. 

The hill itself is revered and regarded as a lingam, or a recognizable image of Shiva. 

According to another tale, Shiva once emerged as a flame and challenged Vishnu and Brahma to locate his source when they were arguing over who was more powerful. 

While Vishnu assumed the form of the pig Varaha and sought the flame’s base, Brahma assumed the form of a swan and flew to the sky to view its summit.   

The Lingodbhava tableau is depicted on the western wall of the shrine in the majority of Shiva temples. Neither Brahma nor Vishnu were able to locate the source. 

Arunachalam Temple Giri Pradakshina  

Arunachalam Temple

The sacred hill behind the Tiruvannamalai temple is where Lord Shiva is said to have installed himself as a Jyotirlinga, according to devotees.  

In order to pray to the god, they perform Giri Pradkshina around the hill. In order to pray at the numerous temples, lingams, and shrines that are situated along the trail, devotees walk about 14 kilometers barefoot. 

The Giri Pradakshina is available at any time, every day. Starting at midnight and finishing around four in the morning is the ideal time.  

When the sacred cow is let through the temple doors for a special darshan at 4:30 in the morning. Many devotees favor performing giri pradakshina on Pournami (the day of the full moon). 

Religion Significance Of Arunachalam Temple 

One of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams, or five Shiva temples, the Arunachalam Temple is a manifestation of the element fire.  

The other four are earth, water, air, and sky. Shiva is claimed to have appeared in the Arunachalesvara temple as a huge column of fire, whose head and feet the Hindu gods Brahma and Vishnu were unable to locate.  

Agni Lingam, the main lingam in the shrine, symbolizes duty, morality, self-sacrifice, and release through an austere life at the conclusion of the Agni Kalpa. 

The Shiva temples known as Aathara Stala are thought to represent the human anatomy’s Tantric chakras in human form.  

The Manipooraga (Manipura) chakra is related to the Arunachalesvara temple, which is known as the Manipooraga stalam. The chakra connected to the solar plexus is called manipooraga.

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