The God had taught “To destroy your Ego” – “The Fire” is one of the main worship in ancient South India – History and Culture of 7th century CE.

Thiruvannamalai” is one of the largest temple in India and the main deity is “Shiva” called as an “Annamalayar or Arunachaleswarar“. The history of this “Annamalayar” temple more than thousand years old. Lord Shiva took Avadhara to teach “To eliminate the Ego”. One Article is not enough to tell this temple story.


Legend: Lord Shiva took Avadhara to teach “To eliminate the Ego”

“The Creator Lord Bramha” and “The Protector Lord Vishnu” entered into a controversy among themselves so as to ascertain who was the greatest. Lord Siva was asked to be the judge. “Lord Siva,” told them that “whoever was able to see his crown as well as his feet” would be termed as the greatest. Then Lord Siva transformed himself into a “Jothi” (a column of fire) touching the heaven and earth. Thirumal took the avatar of “Varaha (wild boar)” and dug deep into the earth to find Siva’s feet but at last accepted defeat. Brahma took the form of a “swan” and flew to see the crown of Siva. Unable to see the crown, Brahma saw a “thazhambu flower” which had decked Siva’s crown falling down. He asked the flower as to the distance of Siva’s crown whereby the flower replied that he had been falling for forty thousand years. Bramha, realizing that he would not be able to reach the crown asked the flower to act as a false witness. “The thazhambu flower acting as a false witness” declared that Brahma had seen the crown. Siva became angry at the deception and “cursed” that “Bramha should have no temple on earth and that the thazhambu flower should not be used while praying to Lord Siva”. The place where Lord Siva stood as a column of fire “to eliminate the ego is Thiruvannamalai”.


The Hoysala kings used Tiruvannamalai as their capital beginning in 1328 CE.
The Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), The Saluva Dynasty and Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE) of the Vijayanagara Empire, reflecting gifts to the temple from their rulers.
The temple altered by Pallava Kings, who ruled from Kanchipuram before on the 9th century.
The present masonry as seen from an inscription in the structure made by Chola kings from 850 CE to 1280 CE.
During the 17th century CE, the temple along with the Tiruvannamalai town came under the dominion of the Nawab of the Carnatic.
The western world learnt of Tiruvannamalai during the mid 20th century, through the work of Ramana Maharishi (1879–1950 CE).


Temple Views:

The temple is situated at the bottom of the Annamalai hills, lying over 25 acres. The walls on the east and west measure 700 ft (210 m), the south 1,479 ft (451 m), and the north 1,590 ft (480 m). It has four gateway towers, the gopuram, on its four sides. The eastern tower, the Rajagopuram, is the tallest in the temple. The base of the Rajagopuram is made of granite, measuring 135 ft (41 m) by 98 ft (30 m). It was begun by king Krishnadevaraya (1509–29 CE) of the Vijayanagara dynasty and completed by Sevappa Nayaka (1532–80 CE). The inscriptions indicate that the tower was built at the behest of Sivanesa and his brother Lokanatha in 1572 CE. The south tower is called Thirumanjangopuram, and the west, Pei Gopuram. Ammani Ammal, the north tower which carries the name of Sannyasini. The temple has a total of five precincts, each of which holds a huge Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva. Towers include the Valhalla Maharaja Gopuram and Kili Gopuram (Parrot Tower).

images inside kulam tvm_inside

Festival seasons, Religious significance:

– Tiruvoodal is big festival celebrated during the month of January 15 and 16, Nandi is decorated with garlands made of fruits, vegetables and sweets. The festival deities of Annamalaiyar and Unnamamulai Amman are taken out of the temple to Tiruoodal street to enact the oodal (or love tiff) between the two in the evening.

– The Annamalaiyar temple is called the Manipooraga Sthalam, and is associated with the Manipooraga chakra. Manipooraga is the chakra of spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness and sadness.

Temple Specials:

Appearance of Lord Muruga – One of the famous places of visit for the devotees of Lord Muruga (“Son of Shiva”).

The View of Thousand Pillar Mahal at temple premises.

Girivalam: Every full moon, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Annamalaiyar by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot. The circumambulation covers a distance of 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) and is referred as Girivalam. According to Hindu legend, the walk removes sins, fulfils desires and helps achieve freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Offerings are made in a string of tanks, shrines, pillared meditation halls, springs and caves around the hill.

asta lingam

Saints and literary mention:

Thevaram and Thiruvasagam – both those great composed works in Tamil.

– “Tevaram” wrote on the 7th century by Nayanar saints Tirugnana Sambandar and Appar. (God blessed the singing.)
– Sekkizhar, the author of the “Periyapuranam”. (The Purana(legend) of the Holy Devotees)
– Manickavasagar wrote “Thiruvempavai” on 9th-century, describing the deity as “Annamalai”. (A penance observed by unmarried girls)
– Arunagirinathar was a 15th-century Tamil poet composed Tamil hymns glorifying Murugan, the most notable being “Thirupugazh”. (Holy Praise” or “Divine Glory” – songs dedicated to Murugan)

Pooja Timings:

Cow Pooja – 5.00 a.m.
Thirupallieluchi – 5.15 a.m.
Ushakkalam – 5.30 a.m.
Kalasanthi Pooja – 8.00 a.m.
Uchakala Pooja – 11.00 a.m.
Closing Time – 12.00 p.m.
Opening Time – 3.30 p.m.
Sayaratsai Pooja – 5.30 p.m.
Eraadamkala Pooja – 7.30 p.m.
Arthajama Pooja – 9.00 p.m.
Palliyarai Pooja – 9.15 p.m.

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