Traditional stories tell us that there was an unsettled dispute between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma as to who was superior. They sought the help of Lord Siva to judge.
Brahma said to Vishnu, "I have created the five elements and all the living beings with their endless differences in form and sound. Therefore I am the Absolute God." Vishnu said, "The whole universe is but an aspect of mine. Of what use is your creation if I do not protect it? It is my thought-power that creates, sustains and destroys the whole Universe. So I am the Absolute God" Their dispute resulted in misery in the manifested world. Supreme Being Parameshwara saw this and was filled with compassion. To settle the discord and subdue their pride, Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of blazing column of light and a voice issued from it asking them to seek its upper and lower limits and he who found either of these is the superior one. Both gods stopped fighting and decided to explore the ends. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew up to reach the top of the column of light, whereas Vishnu became a boar and started burrowing into the earth to find its base.
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.
The Annamalai Hill was Agni (fire) during Krithayugam, was Manikkam (Emerald) during Threthayugam was pon (Gold) during Dwaprayugam and rock during Kaliyugam as per the ancient legends. On the request of Thirumal and Bramha by their devout prayer, Siva who was in the form of a fire column took the form of a Sivalingam at the foot of the hill hwere the Arulmigu Annamalaiyar Temple is located.
The earth is formed by five basic elements namely land, water, fire, air and ether. Our ancestors called them "Pancha Boothas" and associated them with five sacred places for worshipping Lord Siva. The center of these five elements fire is identified with Thiruvannamalai.
In most of the holy places the Deity is found atop the hill. But here the Holy hill itself is the Deity (Lord Annamalaiyar) and is worshipped. "Arunam" means sun and denotes the red colour of fire. "Asalam" means "Giri" or "malai" (mountain). Thus "Arunachalam" means the HOly hill which is rd in colour. The Holy hill is 2668 fi. high.
The Annamalai Hill was Agni (fire) during Kirthayugam, was Manikkam (Emerad) during Threthayugam, was Pon (Gold) during Dwaparayugam and rock during Kaliyugam. There are eight lingams located at the eight directions and provides an octagonal structure to Thiruvannamalai Town. The eight lingams are: Indra Lingam, Agni Lingam, Yama Lingam, Niruthi Lingam, Varuna Lingam, Vayu Lingam, Kubera Lingam and Esanya Lingam. The Adi Annamalai Temple glorified in Dhevaram is located on this path.
The circumambulation path is 14 kilometres. History has it that even today a number of siddhars are living on the hill. It is auspicious to perform "Girilvalam" during every Full moon day which would do immense good. It is because during Full Moon Day siddhars movement would be there and the whole atmosphere would be filled with perfumes of herbal plants. This will provide peace of mind and good health to body. It is a proven fact that on every Full moon day lakhs of devotees circumambulate the Hill and get all benefits by praying to Lord Annamalaiyar.
The circumambulation path has been provided with sodium lamps at the expense of 12 lakhs donated by cine artist Thiru Rajinikanth. This benefits pilgrims who perform circumambulation during night times. On behalf of Town administration bore well pumps are erected to supply drinking water to pilgrims. Moreover for the benefit of the devotees during special occasions annadhanam is performed by Sri Agasthiar Ashram,and so many donors. Milk is distributed by certain well wishers.
Many Tamilnadu cities are connected with Tiruvannamalai City by road and rail routes. Tiruvannamalai railway Station is just 2 Km from the temple and the Bus station is 1.1 Km to reach the temple. Many buses are playing from Chennai, Pondicherry, Kanchipuram etc.,
Puducherry is the nearest airport in 106 Km distance. Chennai Airport is 173 Km from the temple.
- Temples opens with the Ukshakala Pooja in the Morning at 05:30AM and Closes with Arthajama Pooja at 09:30PM
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(+91) 04175- 252438