Annamalaiyar Temple Thiruvannamalai Temple Tamilnadu Full Details

Annamalaiyar Temple | Thiruvannamalai Temple Tamilnadu Full Details


  • Locality/village :- Thiruvannamalai
  • State :- Tamil Nadu
  • Country :- India
  • Nearest City/Town :- Thiruvannamalai
  • Best Season To Visit :- All
  • Languages :- Tamil & English
  • Temple Timings :- 5:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Photography :- Not Allowed.

Annamalaiyar Temple Thiruvannamalai Temple Tamilnadu Full Details

Annamalaiyar Temple | Thiruvannamalai Temple

Annamalaiyar Temple or Arunachaleswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 5 Panchambootham linga temples in the country. It represents the fire or Agni of the Panchambootham. Lord Shiva is shown here in the form of the Agni Lingam.

The temple complex covers 10 hectares, and is one of the largest in India. It houses four gateway towers. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Annamalaiyar and Unnamulai Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.


According to Hinduism, life originated as a planetary combination of the five elements, fire, air, water, sky and land.

Lord Shiva is said to have appeared in each of the 5 panchambootham temples as one of the five elements. He appeared in the Ekambareshwar temple as the Prithvi lingam, representing land. He also appeared in  the Annamalaiyar temple as the Agni lingam representing fire, in the Jambukeshwar temple as the Appu lingam, representing water, in the Kalahastheeswar temple as the Vayu lingam, representing air and lastly in the Natarajam temple, as the Aakasha lingam, representing the sky.

Annamalaiyar Temple | Thiruvannamalai Temple Legend

According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati, one in a playful mood closed the Lord’s eyes just for a moment. Albeat it was a fleeting moment, for that second, all light vanished from the universe and the universe was plunged in darkness for years. The Goddess then performed penance along with the other Gods. Then Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of fire, on top of the Annamalai hills, returning light to the universe. He then merged with Parvati to form Ardhanarishvara, the half-female, half-male form of Shiva. The Annamalai, or red mountain, lies behind the Annamalaiyar temple, and is associated with the temple of its namesake. the hill is sacred and considered a lingam, or iconic representation of Shiva, in itself.

Another legend is that once, Shiva decided to pierce the three worlds as an endless pillar of light. Both Vishnu and Brahma started upwards and downwards respectively to find the end of the light. Brahma lied that he had found the end while Vishnu accepted that he could not and accepted defeat. Shiva cursed Brahma that as punishment for lying to him, Brahma would not be part of any ceremonies while Vishnu would always be worshipped.

Ekambareswarar Temple Tamilnadu Full Details

Annamalaiyar Temple | Thiruvannamalai Temple Puja Timing

The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaivaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste.

Ushathkalam : 5:30 a.m.

Kalasanthi : 8:00 a.m.,

Uchikalam : 10:00 a.m.,

Sayarakshai : 6:00 p.m.,

Irandamkalam : 8:00 p.m.

Ardha Jamam : 10:00 p.m.

Each ritual comprises four steps: abhisheka (sacred bath), alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Annamalaiyar and Unnamulai Amman.

Annamalaiyar Temple | Thiruvannamalai Temple Festivals

The Annamalaiyar Temple celebrates dozens of festivals throughout the year. Four prime festivals, the Brahmotsavam, are celebrated yearly. The most important of these lasts ten days during the Tamil month of Karthikai, between November and December, concluding with the celebration of Karthikai Deepam. A huge lamp is lit in a cauldron, containing three tons of ghee, at the top of the Annamalai hills during the Deepam. To mark the occasion, the festival deity of Annamalaiyar circumambulates the mountain.

Every full moon, the devotees circumvent the Annamalai hill once, a distance of nearly 14 km. This process is called Girivalam. It is said to free the devotee from the cycle of birth and rebirth. It also absolves sins and fulfills desires. Offerings are made in a string of tanks, shrines, pillared meditation halls, springs and caves around the hill. The circumambulation continues during the rest of the month. On the day of yearly Chitra Pournami, the full moon of the Tamil calendar, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come from across the world to worship Annamalaiyar. Five temple cars, called ther, with wooden carvings, are used for the procession.

Tiruvoodal is another festival celebrated during the first week of the Tamil month Thai at mid-January of every year. On the morning of Maatu Pongal, the bull Nandi is decorated with garlands made of fruit, flowers, etc. this occasion is usually between january 15 or 16. The idols are taken out of the temple, to Tiruoodal Street where the love tiff between the two gods is enacted in the evening.

Annamalaiyar Temple | Thiruvannamalai Temple How To Reach

Thiruvannamalai Temple By Road:-

Thiruvannamalai is about 100km south of Kanchipuram and 185 km from Chennai. If you are travelling from Chennai, drive towards Bangalore on the Chengham streetroad. Once you reach Yogi Ramsuratkumar ashram, travel another 8 kms and then take a right turn. This is just past the Krishnagiri 101 milepost and there is a signal to Anantha Niketan and another signal saying Pariyapaliyapattu 3kms. Travel along this road to come to Thiruvannamalai.

Thiruvannamalai Temple By Air:-

The closest Airport from Thiruvannamalai is Chennai which is at a distance of 182 kms. Tiruvannamalai can be reached by taking a cab or a bus from Chennai. It is a 5 hour drive from Chennai. The village furthermore has a helipad so as to enable devotees to come to it from Chennai and other cities.

Thiruvannamalai Temple By Train:-

The railway station in Thiruvannamalai is about half a km from the Thiruvannamalai temple. The Thiruvannamalai railway station lies between Madurai and Tirupati, and there are every day trains from each of these stations to Thiruvannamalai. The Madurai-Tirupati Exp 6800 departs from Thiruvannamalai station every day at (10.55 pm, 6 hr) from Madurai towards Tirupati. The Tirupati-Madurai Exp #6799 go away from Thiruvannamalai around (9.25 pm, 13 hr) by Chidambaram, Thanjavur, and Trichy to Madurai.

Thiruvannamalai Temple By Bus:-

Thiruvannamalai village is well connected and plenty of Tamil Nadu state transport corporation buses ply to this place. Normal and Super Fast buses are available from Thiruvannamalai to Madurai, Tirupathi and Chennai.

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