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Thiruvannamalai Lord Shiva Temple| Girivalam| Karthigai Deepam| Largest Lord Shiva Temple in India| Spiritual Tourist Place| Tamil Nadu


Tiruvannamalai (Thiruvannamalai)- a world renowned temple town situated in Tamil Nadu, where Lord Shiva (Arunachaleswar) worshipped in the form of fire. Located 180 Kms from Chennai or 80 Kms from Vellore, this temple is believed to be built on 750 A.D. Situated on the foot of Annamalai Hills, this is the biggest Temple in India that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

This Shiva Parvathy Arunachaleswar Temple, is a piece of archeological art works and is having a 66 meters high Gopuram which comprises of 13 stories. 

This is really a place for Sidha Medicines, many research centers on Sidha medicines are located here. Many saints or repted Sidha Yogis lived here to offer their services. Saint Ramana Maharshi is believed to be lived here, till his death in the year 1950. The Ashram of this Saint is located on the hill Arunachala that is located on the western side of this town.

Many meditation or Yoga centers are available here. This is a perfect place to get a break from fast moving tensed life where meditation and the presence of God can offer a calm unstressed mind. 

This Lord Arunachala Temple is having large long walking path (Pradakshina) around the hill, and is believed that devotees must walk around the hill atleast ones to get the full blessings of the God/ Lord. This walking or going around the hill is also famous and is known as Girivalam or Giripradkshina. It is believed that, going for Girivalam on full moon time of a month is a great sancity.

Also the Annual Thiruvannamalai Deepam or Karthigai Deepam Festival is also believed to be a great festival here, and on that days every devotees try to go for Girivalam. Lakhs of people will gather here on that day.

At this time every hotel rooms will be filled with devotees. The Girivalam Calender and the Annual Karthigai Festive dates will be published every year.

For this years calendar and festive days please mail us: sreerajpv@gmail.com

Important Note Xplore South Team: If anybody is planning to go to this Temple, please know more about the temple history and what to do as offerings and how to do those. It will be helpfull to avoid last minute tensions. Click Here for the whole details about offerings and history of the Temple

Stay Details:
As described above, hotels will be Pre-Booked for these days, so it will be very difficult to get rooms there on that days if it is not pre-booked by you. Xplore South team is having booking facilities there (Click Here for details), but it is also in the first come first serve mode only. 

For any enquiry contact Xplore South Team: sreerajpv@gmail.com

Courtesy: Sri Sarvesha Js Palace @ Thiruvannamalai
This hotel gives stay facilities with all assistance to go for Girivalam and they will help in doing the offerings to God. For Booking click here or contact Xplore South Team: sreerajpv@gmail.com

10 comments :

Sethu Raman said...

Excellently published.it is very informative and correct.Really it will be an added information if you could publish the monthly Girivallam calendar,every year.Devotees can plan accordingly. Anyway thanks., Sethuraman,

Sethu Raman said...

Excellent posting.Surely this will be very helpful to devotees and tourists,to have a better idea and to plan their trips.All the best and keep further postings about Tirupati and Sri Kalahasti,as they can combine with Tiruvannamalai. Sethuraman.

Sreeraj P V said...

Dear sethu Raman sir, will try to include those temple area too with this post or as new post very soon. For Girivalam Calender, devotees can contact us or go to the links given in the Post itself. If anybody contact us, we are ready to help them for planning a better trip without any fee.

Sethu Raman said...

Karthigai Deepam Festival at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India.

GODDESS Gowri requested Sage Gowthama to kindly expound to Her the greatness of the festival of light at Arunachala. Gowthama replied: Gowri! I shall describe to you the glory of that which liberates people from all sins and bestows all prosperity. In the month of Karthika, on the day of the star Krittika during pradosha (i.e. thirteenth day counting from the new moon/full moon) the fortunate ones who perform giripradakshina are not born again. All karmas are destroyed on performance of giripradakshina. It is customary to circumambulate the Hill for a mandala or forty days. One who is not able to do this may perform giripradakshina at least for eleven days. If even this is not possible, then one should go round the Hill on the day of the Deepam. This is equivalent to performing crores of yagnas. He who worships the Deepam lit atop the Hill derives countless blessings. A person residing elsewhere may light lamps in front of any shrine of Siva, atop His temple towers or on the peaks of other hills and he will be blessed. Whatever may be the attitude of the devotee, the mere lighting of the lamp on this day with any type of oil available confers great merit on him.
He who has darshan of this light on Arunachala Hill acquires the merit of having performed great charity and of having bathed in the sacred rivers. Who can express in words the benefits enjoyed by the one who has darshan of the peak of Arunachala with the beacon light glowing?
There is a story related to this festival: Long ago, King Vajresan of Panchala who was childless, was blessed with a son after having darshan of the Arunachala Deepam in the month of Kartika. The son was named Shatrujith. The prince grew up to be a lecherous man. He once eloped with the wife of a Vedic scholar and came to Tiruvannamalai and entered the temple of Arunachaleswara. It was the day of the festival of the beacon. The paramour made a wick out of her saree and lit the lamp with castor oil. At that moment the Vedic scholar came there and in a fit of rage stabbed his wife and the prince. And in turn the prince killed him. Since it was a gruesome murder committed in the sacred precincts of the temple the three were about to be taken to hell by the messengers of Yama, lord of death. At that moment the messengers of Siva intervened and claimed the prince and the woman as their own and took them to the abode of Siva. Their blasephemous acts were condoned by Arunachala Himself because the wife made a wick and the prince helped her to light the lamp for the Supreme Lord. But the Vedic scholar was puzzled, as he was held by the messengers of Yama. The prince, moved by the plight of the Vedic scholar, offered the vessel used for lighting the Kartika lamp to release the scholar. Immediately the Vedic scholar was liberated. Thus all the three, despite their misdeeds, were taken to the abode of Siva, as the merit gained by the simple act of lighting a lamp on Kartika day in His temple, out-weighed their devilish acts.
By.. Sethuraman,manager, Sri Sarvesha JS palace, Tiruvannamalai

Sethu Raman said...

Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India
The Arunachaleswarar temple at Tiruvannamalai is a very ancient temple in Tamil Nadu. It is said to be around thousand years old and patronised by the great saints and poets of Tamil Nadu. This has great reputation among all Shiva devotees since Arunachalaeswar is prayed here in the form of fire, fire being one of the five elements that composed this universe.This beautiful temple is located at the foot of the Annamalai hills.It is believed that Shiva is also in the form of a hill and hence it is called as Annamalai hill. Anna means all powerful in Tamil and malai means hills. Since this god is considered very powerful thus it is compared to the mountain that cannot be moved and strong. This god being believed to be part of the hill, hence it is also called as Annamalayar among its devotees.
Arunachaleswarar temple has six prakarams around the temple. Every full moon day of the month Girivalam is undertaken by the pilgrims. Lakhs of devotees participate every month in this healthy ritual. This word Girivalam is the origin of the tamil word giri meaning hill and valam means coming around. Hence coming around the hill is called as Girivalam in Tamil.

To come one full round (Girivalam) the road round the hill, it is around 14 kilometres. And people both young and old religiously go round on the full moon day. It is said to bring in abundant peace or calmness for the mental well being and also refreshing for the physical fitness.

At Arunachaleswarar temple there are eight lingams known as Ashtalingam. They are positioned at different locations and facing various directions. Each lingam signifying different directions of the earth. These lingams are named as Indralingam, Agnilingam, Yamalingam, Niruthilingam, Varunalingam, Vayulingam, Kuberalingam and Esanyalingam.

Each lingam addresses different aspects of man’s life and they bless the devotees with different types of benefits. It is believed to be installed by various gods. Also these lingams have a dominant navagraha and praying to each lingam brings forth various benefits that is being bestowed by that navagraha on the devotees who prays to that particular lingam to achieve the desired results.

Information by: Sri Sarvesha JS Palace, Tiruvannamalai
Web site: www.srisarveshapalace.com
Email: srisarveshajspalace@gmail.com Manager: Sethuraman 098432 98808

Sethu Raman said...

Asta Lingam Dharsan,Tiruvannamalai.

The first lingam on the Girivalam is the Indra lingam and this lingam has east as its cardinal direction. It is said to be installed by lord Indran the celestial king. The dominant navagraha of this lingam are the sun and sukiran. Worshipping this lingam blesses the devotees with long life coupled with prosperity in abundance.

The second lingam on the Girivalam is the Agni lingam. This faces the south east direction. The uniqueness of this lingam is that it is the only lingam that is placed on the right side of the path on which one goes Girivalam on the full moon night every month. Praying to this lingam helps one to keep away sickness and to maintain good health. The dominant navagraha of this lingam is Chandran. It also helps the ardent devotees to counter the problems that they come across in the life’s journey. This lingam is located near the lotus tank.

The third lingam on the Girivalam is the Yama lingam. This lingam signifies the south direction. It is said to be installed by the god of death Yama. The dominant graham of this lingam is Sevvai. It has a holy tank known as Simma theertham. Worshipping this Yama lingam relieves the devotees of their financial constraints.

The fourth lingam on the Girivalam is the Niruthi lingam. The cardinal direction is South East. The dominant graham of this lingam is the Ragu. This was installed by the king of the giants. This lingam also has a holy tank called as Sani theertha. Devotees worshipping this Niruthi lingam are freed of their problems.

The fifth lingam on the Girivalam is the Varuna lingam. This lingam signifies the west direction. This lingam is installed by the Varuna god who is the creator of rain on this earth. The dominant graham of this lingam is the Sani. There is a holy tank named as Varuna theertham. Devotees worshipping this lingam are protected from all critical illness. This Varunalingam also takes care to elevate their social development.

The sixth lingam on the Girivalam is the Vayu lingam. This lingam is placed facing the north west direction. Vayu lingam is installed by the god of air himself known as Vayu baghavan. The graham that is dominant is the Kedhu. Offering prayers to this Vayu lingam gives strength to fight all heart ailments, stomach problems, lung problems and general illness.

The seventh lingam on the Girivalam is the Kuperalingam. This faces the northern direction. The dominant graham is the Guru. And the Kuperan or the god of wealth has installed this lingam. Offering prayers to this lingam regularly helps the devotees to achieve prosperity.

The last lingam on the Girivalam is the Esanya lingam. And this lingam faces the north east direction. The god that installed this lingam is the Esanyan. The graham that dominates this lingam is the Budhan. Praying to this lingam gives peace of mind to devotees and develops a positive attitude in them to achieve success in all their pursuits.
with thanks, Sethuraman, manager, Sri Sarvesha JS palace, Tiruvannamalai..

Sethu Raman said...

‘Karthigai Deepam’ festival is world famous; this festival takes place every Nov-Dec in Karthigai (Tamil month) and celebrated for 13 days. The first three days of procession are at the Durga Temple and the remaining 10 days in the Annamalai temple.On the last day, a huge lamp is lit in a cauldron with three to four tons of ghee at the top of the Annamalai hill which is visible all over the city.
On that day, the Bharani Dheepam is lighted in five agantams inside the temple Arunachaleswarar’s Sannithi at four am to symbolise the unification of five elements. In the evening, In the evening the Pancha Murthis, Vinayagar, Murugar, Annamalayar, Unnamulayamman and Chandikeshwarar are taken out from the temple and placed on the Katchi Mantapam. in front of the golden flag mast. At exactly 6 pm, the deity of Ardhanareeshawarar comes out dancing forcefully. Simultaneously, Aganda Deepam in front of flag mast and five torches are lighted. On the hill top there is a big copper turn, a cauldron with around 3 tonnes of ghee in it, in which large quantities of camphor and cloth wicks are added and kept ready. On seeing the torches lighted inside the temple, men at the peak of the mountain light the Maha Deepam. The moment Maha Deepam is lighted, people enigmatically chant ‘Annamalayanukku Arogara’ and all the lights are switched on. People rever the deepam on the hill, which would be visible around 30 km radius. While a few thousand privileged devotees witness the rituals inside the temple, lakhs of others perform the Girivalam.
On the same night the eleven storeyed Gopuram is also lit with ‘Ahals’ (earthern oil lamps) set in rows in all the storeys. Though this festival is special to Tiruvannamalai it is common throughout Tamil Nadu. Lighting festival is celebrated in all the temples of South India including Vishnu temples. All the houses will also be illuminated with number of lamps being arranged in rows to give a beautiful appearance onKarthigai day.
Ardent pilgrims to Tiruvannamalai for this Deepam festival should take one meal on the previous (Bharani) night, worship Bharani Deepam during the early hours (4 am) on the Karthigai Deepam day, go round the hill walking the entire distance of eight miles (Girivalam), see on the way Adi Annamalai temple and fast that day till they see the Maha deepam that evening. He should take food only after this Deepam.
There is ample literary evidence to prove that this lighting festival is one of the oldest in India. Nachinarkiniar, who wrote ‘Tholkappiam’ in about 1000 BC, one of the oldest works in Tamil literature, mentions “the light lit on the Karthigai day of the Karthigai month”. ‘Jeevaka Chintamani’, a Jain work and one of the five great Tamil epics written by Thirthakka Devar mentions “lighting a lamp on the hill on Karthigai day”. Saints Appar and Sambandar who lived in the 7th century A.D. make references too. This bears eloquent testimony to the antiquity of the lighting festival on the hill.

Sethu Raman said...

GIRIVALAM:
For the last hundreds of years, the devotees of Shiva have been going around the hill on full moon nights. Now the crowd has increased to a few lakhs of pilgrims on full moon days and this is called the Girivalam or ‘circumambulating’ the ‘the mountain of fire’ barefoot. ‘Giri’ means mountain and ‘Valam’ means clockwise circumambulation in Tamil language. This covers a distance of about 14 km. On the Chitra Powrnami night (full moon in Apr-May) and Maha Sivarathri night, the pilgrims come from across the world for the Girivalam. Many people from USA, UK, Asia and Africa also walk along with you!
The Girivalam path is well tarred and is well lit with sodium lights and hence the pilgrims can walk 24 hours of a day without any fear of security. It takes about 3-5 hours depending on your walking speed on bare foot. Start before dawn or after sunset. Day time may not be suitable because of hot sun and dry humid weather. Full day fasting is recommended, which also makes walking easier; if you have to eat, eat at least 3 hours before commencing the walk. Carry water bottles, first aid medicine, glucose, banana etc. To prevent low sugar problems. Many good samaritans serve free water, milk and juices throughout the girivalam path. Eat after completing the Girivalam. Chant your preferred sloga or mantra while walking. Keep 30-50 coins, one rupee and 50 paise coins, for those who need charity.
During the Girivalam, the pilgrims visit eight shiva lingams, Indra Lingam, Agni Lingam, Yama Lingam, Niruthi Lingam, Varuna Lingam, Vayu Lingam, Kubera Lingam and Esanya Lingam, one each in every direction.
The Eight Lingams are
1. Indira Lingum (direction:East) is the first lingam in the girivalam.
2. Agni Lingum (direction:South East) is the second lingam in the girivalam is in the chengem Road near tamary kulum.This is the Only Lingum situated in the righten side of the girivalam path,other lingams are in the Southern side.
3. Ema Lingum (direction:South) This is the third lingum in the girivalam path.It is 3 k.m. from Raja Gopuram.
4. Niruthi Lingum (directon:South West) This is the fourth lingum in the girivalam path. Sani thirthum is nearer to this lingum.
5. Varuna Lingum (direction:West) It is in the Western direction and 8 k.m. from the Raja Gopuram.Varuna thirthum is next to this.
6. Vaaiu Lingum (direction:North West) is the sixth in the Row.
7. Kubera Lingum(direction:North) is the important Lingum in the Girivalam. People throw coins on this lingum.
8. Esanya Lingum (direction:North East) is the Last lingum in the girivalam.
.

Sethu Raman said...

HOLY PLACE FOR GURUs:
Many yogis and siddhars (sages) had lived here and died here which include Swami Arunagiri Nathar who wrote the Thiruppugazh andKandaralankaram in Tamil. This city is full of spiritual ashrams built by many holy men. Advaita Vedanta guru Ramana Maharshi lived in Thiruvannamalai for fifty three years until his death in 1950. His ashram, Ramanasramam, is located at the foot of the Arunachala hill, to the west of the town. Sri Seshadri Swamigal and Yogi Ram Surat Kumar from Uttar Pradesh are examples of other gurus who lived in this city in this century.
Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram: Mahan Sri Seshadri Swamigal lived in the late 20th Century. Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram is one of the holy places in this Town. People from all over the world visit his Ashram, which is situated near the Sri Ramana Ashram. The Garden in this Ashram attracts the people who visit here.
Sri Ramana Ashram:Mahan Sri Ramana maharishi lived in this tiruvannamalai town. Sri Ramana Ashram is one the holy places in this town. People from all over the world visit his Ashram. He attained mukthi in the year 1950.
Yogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram: Yogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram, also known as Visiri Samiyar Ashram, is one of the beautiful place in our Town. It is situated near the Ramana Ashram. Devotees from all over the world visit Yogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram. He attained mukthi in the year of 2000.
BAGAVAN SHRI RAMANA:
He was born on Dec 30, 1879 at Thiruchuzhi near Sivakasi, south of Madurai; he was fascinated by Arunachala from an young age; reached Thiruvannamalai temple on Sept 1, 1896 when he was 16; he realised that when one dies, only the body vanishes and not the spirit; he sat near one of the lingams (now called the Paathala Lingam situated near the huge Nandi in the temple) in bliss for three continuous years, prayed Shiva without food or water; ants and rodents bit his body all over, termites built a huge mount around him and finally he was recovered by Sri Seshadri Swamigal who put him up in Virupaksha caves on the eastern slope of the Arunachala hills; he gave mukthi to his mother Alagammal in 1922, buried her in the hills and built his Ramana Ashramam; he finally gave up his body on April 14, 1950 when he was 71 years. He has a big group of devotees including many foreigners who congregate in his Ramanashramam today.

Sethu Raman said...

Tiruvannamalai Importance
Tiruvannamalai is the capital of Saivism and saiva cult is a world apprehended. The South Indian The nature of a god Siva is the God of all countries. Annamalaiannal is the most sacred of the names of the manifestation of Lord Siva.

Pancha Bootha Sthalam (5 Nature Attributes)
The earth is formed by five basic elements namely
1.LAND
2.WATER
3.FIRE
4.AIR
5.ETHER. Our ANCESTORS
these are called as "Pancha Boothas" and associated them with five sacred places for worshipping Lord Siva. And the
center of these five elements for Fire is identified with Thiruvannamalai. ATHARA STHALAM.
Thiruvannamalai is the most sacred of these twenty two Called (Ninaithale Mukthi Tharum Thiruthalam). Place for Salvation
SivaPuranam notable four sacred places for obtaining salvation. Thiruvannamalai is one among them. The significance of this
place is that by mere remembrance of Lord Arunachaleswarar at this place gives salvation to all souls (Ninaithale Mukthi Tharum Thiruthalam).
• Thirugnana Sambandar
• Thirunavukkarasar
• Sundarar
and so on have visited Thiruvannamalai They are the famous purnic Saint poets and all of them prayed Lord and have composed divine poems:
Saint Manickavasagar had lived at Thiruvannamalai for long period and had composed:
"Thiruvempavai - 20" and "Thiruvammanai".
Even today there is a temple for Saint Manickavasagar on the Tiruvannamalai Girivalam path at a place named Adi-Annamalai. temple name called as
Thirumurai Thalam
There are 275 sacred places (Lord Siva Temples) which were praised by the hymns of Thevaram and were
called "Thirumurai Thalangal". Of these places twenty two are found in tamil Nadu (a part of Tamil Nadu ).
Mahan and Siddhars
Thiruvannamalai is the "Manipooraga Sthalam", which is one among six athara sthalams. Thiruvannamalai is
so sacred that even Gods, and celestials offered their prayers. Tradition has it that
• SUN
• MOON
• EIGHT VASUS
• BRAHMA
• VISHNU
and so on have worshipped here. Saints and Scholars Thiruvannamalai has been the abode of Siddhars. Idaikkattu Siddhar, one of the eighteen Siddhars,
belongs to this sacred soil.



Thiruvannamalai has the honour of providing an abode for saints such as:
• Arunagirinathar
• Vitpatchathevar
• Gugai Namachivayar
• Guru Namachivayar
• Deivasigamani
• Arunachala Desikar
• Mahan Seshadri Swamigal
• Bagawan Ramana Maharishi
• Sri Yogi Ram Surathkumar.

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