Arunachalam temple is in Tiruvannamalai of Tamilnadu, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Amongst five panchabhoota stalam, one is Arunachalam temple, Agni is the panchabhoota present here. Karthigai deepam is a majorly celebrating here, the entire temple is decorating with lightings on that day.
Karthikai Deepam or Karthikai Vilakkidu is a festival of lights that is observe by Hindus of Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Kerala. It falls in the month of Kārttikai as per Tamil calendar.
Legend of the Arunachalam Temple :
According to the legend, once goddess Parvati was in a playful mood and closed the eyes of Lord Shiva. As soon as she closes the eyes, the entire universe fells into darkness. Goddess Parvati asks for his forgiveness and expiates. As per the orders of Lord Shiva, she goes to Kanchipuram and works on her amendment. From there she goes to Iruvannamalai hills nearby Tiruvannamalai. Over there, she kills the demon Mahishasura and organizes a grand festival on Karthigai. Lord Shiva get impress with her act and appears as a cosmic flame on the hill. Shiva wants to prove his supremacy, so he appears as a huge blazing cosmic pillar. He also challenges Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma to find out the start and end of the fire.
Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma:
The Lord Vishnu takes the boar avatar and goes on digging deep into the earth to find the origin of the flames and fails. Lord Brahma takes the avatar of the swan and tries to reach the top. On his way, meets mogili and a cow and asks them to support him in his lies. He then lies to Lord Shiva that he had reached the top. Shiva gets displeasing with this act of Brahma and curses him that there will be no idols for him. Lord Shiva also curses Mogili that it is unfit to be used in prayers and seeing a cow in the early morning should be considered as bad. Upon the request of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma takes the forms as Arunachala hill to benefit mankind.
History of Arunachalam Temple:
Sri Krishna Devaraya, the King of Vijayanagara dynasty, built a 41 meters tall and 30 meters wide temple tower during 1509 A.D – 1529 A.D. The Eastern gateway gopuram known as Vallala gopuram that was name after King Ballala of Hoysala. King Ballala made Thiruvannamalai as his capital city. The temple consists of 5 prakarams that were built at different periods. The information of first and second prakarams is not available. The third one was built in the 12th century and in the 16th century, the fourth and fifth were the construct. Hoysala and Vijayanagara culture resembles in the temples architecture, paintings, and carvings. The kings of Nayak also contributed in temple’s renovation contributed by the Kings of Nayak.
Arunachalam Temple Timings:
- Morning Hours: 5 am – 12 pm
- Evening hours: 5 pm – 9:30 pm
How to reach Arunachalam Temple:
- You can go from Chennai and Villupuram to Thiruvannamalai. Villupuram is just 61 km away from Thiruvannamalai.
- Daily trains will be available, special trains are also available on some occasions from Chennai to Thiruvannamalai. It is well connecting to all parts of Tamilnadu.
- You can also go by your vehicle, it is 207 km away from Chennai, it takes 3 hours and 45 mins to reach Tiruvannamalai and by minibus, it takes 4 hours 30 mins.