Only 188km away from Chennai, Thiruvannamalai is the
home of a mammoth temple (built around 700 A.D),
dedicated to Arunachaleshwara (Shiva, venerated as a
Linga of Fire) and his divine consort Unnamalai Amman.
Birth place of the renowned Tamil Saint Arunagirinatha,
who composed the thirupughal hymns, it is also the
locate chosen by Saint Philosopher Ramana Maharishi, for
The temple's annual Karthigai Deepam festival
(November-December), involves the lighting of a huge
sacred fire atop the Annamalai hill - which can be seen
from even 25 miles away. In his upward flight he caught
hold of a flower of Pandavas falling from Siva's crown
and requested the flower to bear a false witness that he
collected it from Siva's crown. Knowing this Lord Siva
cursed Brahma that he would never be worshipped in the
temple, and banished Pandavas flower from his adornment.
This temple is safely edifice consecrated to the Lord of
Light and other deities, built centuries ago at the foot
of the hill to form the seat of worship. The main
entrance to the sanctum sanctorum is in the eastern
tower, the tallest structure in proportion to the other
dimensions of this largest temple forming part of it.
The tower rising heavenward is marvelously massive and
magnificently majestic one with its imposing structural
elegance and inviting architectural excellence and awes
people at a distance.
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