|Arunachaleswarar temple - Siva Temple|
temple at Tiruvannamalai (located on the Northern part of Tamilnadu. )
lies at the foot of Arunachala hill and occupies a vast area of 25 acres
of land. It is one of the Pancha (five) Bhutasthalas. Tiruvannamalai
is the Thejo sthalam - Fire. The other four are at Kanchipuram (Prithvi
sthalam - Earth), Tiruvanaikaval (Appu sthalam - Water), Kalahasti (Vayu
sthalam - Air) & Chidambaram (Akasa sthalam - Space).
The Tiruvannamalai temple owes its
grandeur to four lofty towers - the eastern one called Rajagopuram is the
tallest and measures 217 feet, the western is called the Pey gopuram, the
southern - Tirumanjana gopuram and Northern - Ammani Amma gopuram. It has
five prakarams, and the walls are broad and high, resembling the rampart
wall of a fort. In each of the prakara, there are tanks and many
Entering through the Rajagopuram,
devotees worship Gopura Ganapathi. In this prakaram, ( the fifth)
lies the thousand pillared mandapam and an underground temple enshrining
Patala Linga. Bhagavan Ramana did penance here in his Purvasramam.
Then they enter the fourth prakaram
passing through Vallaha Maharaja Tower. The Brahma Thirtham (temple
tank) is situated here & a bath in its holy waters is said to purge
one of all his sins. There are several other shrines dedicated to
Arunagirinathar (Gopurathilayanar), Kesavar, Kalyaneswar, Viranmandir &
Next, they cross the Kili Gopuram
to step into the third prakaram. Arunagirinathar is said to have
entered the body of a parrot in order to fetch the parijatha flower.
His enemy Sambandan burnt his body & hence Arunagirinathar settled
himself on the temple tower in the form of the parrot and sang his famous
Kantharanubhuthi. There is a form of a parrot in one of the sthubis, testifying
to this story. In this prakaram there are temples dedicated to Bhimeswar
and Vigneswar besides the Mahila trees.
In the second prakaram the temples
of Ganapati and Muruga are situated on either side of the entrance.
Finally, the first prakaram enclosing the garbha griha of Sri Arunachaleswarar
(Tejolingam) - the presiding deity of this glorious temple.
Devotees refer to this deity by
various other names such as Sonachaleswara, Arunagiriswarar, Vedamurthi,
Annamalaiyar, Bhaktavashankar, etc. It is recorded that there are
as many as 360 thirthas and 400 lingams in the eight-mile circuit of
this sacred hill. Around the hill are many hermitages inhabited by
holy personages of supreme spiritual eminence such as Ramanashram,
Seshadri Swamigal Sannidhi, Durvas Ashram, Goutama Ashram, Adi Annamalai
tmeple, Manickavachagar temple, Isanya Gnanadesikar Mutt, Durga temple
besides the famous Virupaksha cave, Sadai Swami cave and Mamarathu cave.
Traditional poojas start everyday at 7.30 AM followed by Kalasanthi at
9.30 AM. Uchikala poojai begins at 11.30AM. Sayarakshai Poojai
starts at 5.30PM & the Ardhajama poojai at 9.30 PM. Special
poojas are offered every Monday, Friday, Saturdays, on the first
day of every Tamil month, Sukla Chaturthis, Sashti, Amavasya and
In addition many annual festivals
like Chitrai, Ani, Adipooram, Puratasi, Aipasi, karthigai, Margazhi, Thai
and Panguni are celebrated and these normally last for 10 days. Among
the galaxy of spiritual celebrities Sage Gautama, Pangu Muni, King Brihadatta,
demon king Pulakathipa, Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar, Manickavachagar, Arunagirinathar,
Guhai Namasivayar, Isanya Gnana Desikar, Virupaksha Devar, Daivasikhamani
Desikar, Ramana Maharishi, Seshadri Swamigal, Jatini Shanmuga Yogini
and Iswara Swamigal deserve special mention.
Karthigai Deepam is the most important
festival, when devotees walk round the hill and worship the Bharani Deepam.
The deepam is lit in a gigantic, circular metal vessel that can hold about
2000litres of ghee. It is five and half feet in height and five feet
in diameter. For making the wick, 30 meters of ghada cloth is used
and is burnt with 2 kilos of camphor on the night of Karthigai Pournami.
The jothi can be sighted from nearly 10km around.
Arunachala, Shiva, India, Grace, Spiritual, Miracles
on the temple,
Ashtalakshmi temple, Besant Nagar, Chennai