Annamalaiyar Temple | History, Timings & Online Booking

Annamalaiyar Temple Thiruvannamalai, a magnificent temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva, is at the foot of the Annamalai Hills in Tamil Nadu. The Annamalaiyar temple timings are 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM. The temple ticket booking is made on the official website.

Annamalaiyar Temple Thiruvannamalai

The Annamalaiyar temple is also called Sri Arulmigu Arunachakeshwar Temple. You will notice the magnificently built structures as you approach the Grand Temple Complex. This 25-acre complex is sure to enchant you with its beauty and elegance.

annamalaiyar temple timings

The entire temple complex, considered one of India’s largest, has several intricately decorated shrines and shrines.

The magnificent East Tower (Gopuram), one of the tallest temple towers in India, stands at a height of 66 meters and is a point of view of the beautiful thousand-pillared hall that stretches serenely into the temple complex.

Who built the Annamalaiyar Temple?

The Temple was built in the 9th century CE when the Chola kings ruled the region. Evidence of this Temple can also be seen in the inscription on the structure built during the Temple’s construction.

The Pallava kings from Kanchipuram ruled Thiruvannamalai before the Chola kings. After the Pallava kings, the Chola dynasty ruled the region for four centuries, and the Chola kings were active patrons of the Temple.

annamalai hills

Military routes and various pilgrimage sites connected the town of Thiruvannamalai during the Vijayanagara Empire.

The city was an urban centre in pre-colonial times as it slowly and steadily developed around the temple complex.

The Temple was also mentioned in Thevaram, a collection of poems by Nayanar Saints, Saint Sambandar and Saint Upper.

Also, the author of the Periyapurana, Sekkijar, wrote about the Nayanar saints and their faith in the Annamalaiyar as they worshipped the deity in the Temple.

Annamalai Hills

The Nawab of Karnataka ruled the region in the 17th century CE as it came under his control. However, after 1753, after the end of the Mughal Empire, the Nawab lost control of Thiruvannamalai.

Subsequently, the Annamalaiyar Temple was overseen by Muraru Raya, Krishna Raya, Mritis Ali Khan and Burkat Ullah Khan.

The French later annexed the town in 1757 and the British in 1760. The town was captured by Tipu Sultan in 1790. However, the Temple was under the control of the British Raj in the first half of the 19th century.

annamalaiyar temple thiruvannamalai

Upon further classification of responsibilities, the Temple was handed over to the Hindu Religious Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu. This duty change occurred in 1951 as part of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act.

The Archaeological Survey of India announced the temple complex as a National Heritage Site.

It regained control in 2002, but after extensive protests and a hearing with the Supreme Court of India, the British Raj returned the Temple to the Hindu Religious and Devadaya Board.


According to a legend, Goddess Parvati closed her eyes to the fun of Lord Shiva on top of Mount Kailash. It caused darkness on Earth for years. Knowing this, Parvati meditated with some Shiva devotees.

After Lord Shiva was pleased with her devotion, he appeared as a pillar of fire on the Annamalai hills, thus returning the light to the Earth.

Hence, the Annamalai hills are sacred and are an iconic representation of Lord Shiva, the lingam. According to the Puranas, Lord Shiva’s demigod merged with Parvati, the half-male and half-female form of Lord Shiva. The Temple got its name from the Annamalaiyar Temple at the foot of the Annamalai Hills.

According to another legend, Lord Shiva appeared as a flame. He challenged Vishnu and Brahma to find the flame source, competing for supremacy.

While Vishnu searched the hill in the form of a boar (pig), Brahma disguised himself as a swan and went up the hill to find the source.

Both could not find the source. When Brahma lied that he had found the source, Vishnu accepted defeat.

Shiva knew that Brahma was lying, so he punished Brahma for not having temples in his worship on Earth.

Annamalaiyar Temple Timings

Below are the Annamalaiyar temple timings:


Sunday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Monday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Tuesday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Wednesday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Thursday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Friday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Saturday5:30 AM – 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM – 9:30 PM



At Annamalaiyar temple, the Tamil month of Karthika (between November and December). Every full moon, the devotees worship Annamalai barefoot, circling the Annamalai hill, which is 14 km away. This action believes in freeing one of their shackles and forgiving their sins.


Every year, in the middle of January, Tamil is celebrated in Thailand. Nandi, Shiva and Parvati are worshipped during this festival.

In the evening, the deities are taken out of the Temple to have a love affair (also known as udai).

The best time to visit

The best time to visit the Annamalai Temple is between November and March. The temperature is pleasant when exploring the area.

  1. Follow the traditional dress code. Do not wear shorts and exposed clothing.
  2. The Temple is crowded with important festivals and days for religious purposes.
  3. Keep your belongings safe, as there may be small thieves around.
  4. Carry enough water to stay hydrated.

How to Reach

Local transport buses, cabs or autorickshaws can reach the Annamalaiyar Temple Complex in Thiruvannamalai.

The Thiruvannamalai Bus Station and the Thiruvannamalai Railway Station walk from the temple complex.

Annamalaiyar Temple Ticket Booking

Below are the steps to follow for Annamalaiyar temple ticket booking online:

  • Go to the official website.
  • Click on the online ticket booking link
  • Select the options for the ticket
  • Make the payment
  • Ticket booking is made

Top Attractions Near the Temple

  1. Ramana Ashram
  2. Mamara Guhai
  3. Virupaksha Cave
  4. Parvathamalai Mountain
  5. View Point
  6. Skandashramam
  7. Sathanur Reservoir
  8. Sri Ramanasramam
  9. Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple
  10. Sattanur Dam
Address and Contact

Pavazhakundur, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 606601

Ph no: 04175 252 438

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