The Largest Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva – Tiruvannamalai Temple or Arunachaleswarar Temple

Arunachaleswarar temple is believed to be the largest temple in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva,  at Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu state, India. It is popularly known as Thiruvannamalai Temple. This temple is officially called “Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple”

Arunachaleswarar Temple or Tiruvannamalai Temple
Arunachaleswarar Temple or Tiruvannamalai Temple

Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam temple is situated on a hilltop on a 10 hectare land.The history of the temple dates back to more than a millennium.  Thevaram, a seventh century devotional poetry and  Thiruvasagam, ninth century Tamil hymns composed by the Shaivite poet Manikkavasagar, both mentions this temple.

God Shiva is known as Annamalayar or Arunachaleswarar to his devotees.  According to the official website of the temple, Legend behind Annamalaiyar temple is as follows.

Bramha took the form of a swan and flew to see the crown of Siva. Unable to see the crown, Bramha 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.

Thiruvannamalai Girilvalam

Thiruvannamalai Girilvalam is very famous among the devotees. It is the process of Circumambuling the 14 kilometers path along the temple’s outer boundary (walking around the temple compound) on a full moon day. It is believed to bring many benefits to the devotees. Benefits includes long life, fame, relief from diseases, health, wealth, peace of mind, etc. Tamil film Superstar Rajnikath has contributed more than a million Indian rupees towards illuminating the Girilvalam pathway.

Thiruvannamalai Deepam Festival

Thiruvannamalai deepam festival is very famous among the devotees. It is estimated that three million pilgrims have attended last Deepam Festival  festival.  It is celebrated on the Karthikai Deepam or Karthikai Vilakkidu day, on the full moon day, in-between November and December. A huge beacon is lit atop the hill top, which can be seen even from miles away. It symbolizes the Shiva lingam (Associated with lord Shiva) of fire joining the sky.

Hotels in Thiruvannamalai

Sparsa resort Thiruvannamalai is an Eco-friendly resort. There are many other hotels also near to the temple.

How Do I Go to Tiruvannamalai Temple or Arunachaleswarar  Temple?

Tiruvannamalai  is well connected by roads to other parts of the state. Tiruvannamalai to Chennai  distance is around 194 kilometers.  Vellore is at around 92 kilometers distance from the temple.

Tiruvannamalai railway Station is at around 2 kilometers from the temple. It is on the Katpadi-Villipuram route. Railway station code for is Tiruvannamalai  is TNM.

Nearest major airport is at Chennai.

Tags: Arunachaleswarar Temple, Girilvalam, Lord Shiva Temples, Thiruvannamalai Deepam, Tiruvannamalai Temple

About Author:

I am George T. George, blogger and owner of the website, touristinindia.com. This blog is for tourists, pilgrims and travelers to India. I started this blog in 2013, as a destination guide for Indian destinations. It has the information on most of the tourist and pilgrimage destinations in India. Currently, there are 435 destinations on the website, as of the last week of 2017. And the list is growing. I started with website related tasks in 1996. Initially, I worked with website design and hosting for my clients. I moved on to web programming and later on to local citations and search engine optimization. This website is my small contribution to those looking for information on Indian tourist destinations. Please mail me at [email protected] . com (remove the spaces around dot), if are looking for any additional information.

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