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Jambukeswarar Temple

Jambukeswarar Temple Thiruvanaikaval

Jambukeswarar Temple Thiruvanaikaval

The Jambukeswarar temple is a famous temple where we worship Lord Shiva in Tiruchirapalli or Trichy in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is also known by the names Thiruvanaikaval and Thiruvanaikal. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is located in the Srirangam Island, which has the famous Ranganathaswamy temple. Hundreds and thousands of devotees gather here every year to watch the Lord and get his blessings.

History of Jambukeswarar Temple

Intriguing stories surround the formation of the temple. It is told that once Devi Parvati mocked Lord Shiva’s penance for the improvement of the world. Shiva wanted to condemn her act and asked her to go to the earth from Kailash (Shiva’s abode) to do penance. Parvati in the form of Akilandeswari as per Shiva’s wish found Jambu forest (Thiruvanaikoil) to conduct her penance. She made a lingam out of water of river Cauvery under the Venn Naaval tree (the Venn Naaval tree on top of the saint Jambu) and commenced her worship. The lingam is known as Appu Lingam (Water Lingam). Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. Akilandeswari took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Shiva, who stood facing west.

Malyavan and Pushpadanta were two Shiva Ganas or disciples. They always were on conflict over something or other and once Malyavan cursed Pushpadanta to become an elephant on Earth and the latter cursed the other to become a spider. The elephant and the spider came to Jambukeswaram and continued their Siva worship. The elephant collected water from river Cauvery and conducted ablution to the lingam under the Jambu tree every day. Shiva, in the form of Jambukeswara, moved by the deep devotion of the two, relieved them from the curse. As an elephant worshipped Siva here, this place came to be known as Thiru Aanai Kaa (thiru means holy, aanai is elephant, kaa (kaadu) means forest). Later the name ‘Thiruaanaikaa’ becomes ‘Thiruvanaikaval’ and ‘Thiruvanaikoil’.

For committing the sin killing the elephant, the spider was born as the King Kochengot Chola meaning red-eyed king and built 70 temples and this temple is the one among them. Remembering his enmity with the elephant in his previous birth, he built the Shiva Sannathi (sanctorum) such that not even a small elephant can enter.

Significance of Jambukeswarar Temple

  • The sanctum of Jambukeswarar has an underground water stream and in spite of pumping water out, it is always filled with water.
  • It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where all the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung glories of the deity in this temple.
  • There are five enclosures inside the temple. The massive outer wall covering the fifth precinct, known as the Vibudi Prakara, stretches over a mile and is two feet thick and over 25 feet high. Legend maintains that the wall was built by Shiva working with the laborers. The fourth precinct contains a hall with 796 pillars. It also has a small tank fed by perpetual springs.
  • The main deity of the temple is Jambukeswara, representing the element water. Jambukeswara is depicted sitting under a jambu tree, which grows over a small stream that engulfs the deity during the rainy season.
  • The temple is also considered the abode of goddess Akilandeswari, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati.
  • The sannathy of the goddess Akilandeshwari and the sannathy of Prasanna Vinayaka are in the shape of the pranava manthra called “Om”.
  • The temples idols are installed opposite to each other – Such temples are known as Upadesa Sthalams. As the Devi was like a student and Jambukeswara like a Guru (teacher) in this temple, there is no Thiru Kalyanam (marriage) conducted in this temple for Shiva and Parvathi, unlike the other Shiva temples.

Timings of Rituals and Poojas at Jambukeswarar temple

  • Darshan time is from 6:00 am to 12 pm in the afternoon and 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the night.
  • The Ushakkala pooja takes place from 6:30 am to 7:30 am.
  • The Kaalashandhi pooja takes place from 8 am to 8:45 am.
  • The Uchikkala pooja take place from 11 am to 12 pm.
  • The Saayaraksha pooja takes place from 5 pm to 5:45 pm in the evening.
  • The Ardhajama pooja happens at 9 pm in the night. That is the last pooja of the day.

Festivals celebrated at Jambukeswarar Temple

  • Panguni Brahmmotsavam in March-April and Aadi Pooram in July-August are the festivals elaborately celebrated in the temple.
  • Purattasi is the Navarathiri festival taking place elaborately over 10 days.
  • Thai – Thai Poosam, Thai theppam (Float) festival. Special poojas are performed during Fridays of Thai month.
  • Vaikasi also known as Vasantha Urchavam is another significant festival that is celebrated for 10 days.

How to reach Jambukeswarar Temple

  • By air: the nearest airport is Trichy at a distance of 15km. One can avail flights on a regular basis.
  • By rail: the Trichy junction is at a distance of 8km and frequent trains are available on a daily basis.
  • By road: Thiruvanaikaval is situated in the middle of Trichy and Thiruvarangam is about 320 km on Chennai & Kanyakumari national highway. The temple is located 8 km from central bus stand and 3 km from Chathiram bus stand at Trichy. Government and private bus service is available to reach Thiruvanaikaval.

Hotels nearby Jambukeswarar Temple

  • Sri Maruti Pilgrims House offers accommodation in Tiruchchirappalli. The temple is 2.1 km away. It has a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Mayas Kem Pride at 75-I, Salai Road , Thillai Nagar is a renowned hotel that is liked by many.
  • Hotel Mayas at Hotel Mayas 46, Karur Bye Pass Road, Chatram Bus Stand features resplendent accommodations that are welcomed by many.

Places nearby Jambukeswarar Temple

  • Arulmigu saptharisheeswara Temple – The temple here has won a unique place among the temples of Tamil Nadu. It was here only the seven rishis, atri, brihu, pulsithar, vasistar, gauthamar, angeerasar and marichi, prayed to the presiding deity, saptharisheeswarar, to ward off the bad period they were passing through. The temple was taken up for being extended by the parantaka kings.This is an ancient temple about 500-1000 years old
  • Arulmigu Vekkalaimman Temple- It is dedicated to Lord Mother Vekkali Amman graces majestically sitting on a Yoga Peeta facing north. She is holding trident, Udukkai, the rope-pasam and Akshaya Patra (a vessel from which food would be constantly flowing to feed all beings) in Her four hands.
Ekambareswarar Temple

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ekambareswarar Temple is a famous place located in the town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.  The temple is associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically to the element of earth, or Prithvi.  Lord Shiva is worshiped here as Ekambareswarar or Ekambaranathar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Prithvi lingam. Devi Parvati is depicted as Gowridevi Amman.  The other four temples in this category are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (ether), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). All of the four revered Saivite Saints have sung the glories of this temple.

History of Ekambareswarar Temple

A part of the main temple was built by the Pallava Kings while the rest of the temple complex was erected in the 17 th century. This temple is one of the most ancient in India existing since at least 600 AD. Second century AD Tamil poetry speaks of Kama kottam, and the Kumara kottam .Initially temple was built by Pallavas. The Vedantist Kachiyapper served as a priest at the temple. The existing structure then was pulled down and rebuilt by the later Chola Kings. Adi Sankara, the 10th-century saint got Kanchipuram remodelled along with expansion of this temple.

The Vijayanagar kings, during the 15th century, also made lot of contributions to the temple and later developed by Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar used to go regularly from Chennai to Kanchipuram to worship in this temple, he spent significant money he amazed during British rule on the temple renovation, Pachiyappa Mudaliar seated at horseback can be seen in the temple pillar. At the later stage a similar temple with same name Ekambareswarar was constructed in Chennai by Pachiappa Mudaliar.

There is a legend around the temple. Some say that once while Lord Shiva was meditating Parvati mischievously covered his eyes with her fingers which resulted in complete darkness on earth for many years. Shiva being angered by her act cursed Parvati to go to earth for penance. Parvati went to earth and created the earth linga and worshiped it under a mango tree in Kanchipuram giving birth to the temple.

Significance of Ekambareswarar Temple

  • This is the 1st of the 32 Tevara Stalam built in the Tondai region of Southern India. Reckoned as one of the revered temple, it is the largest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram.
  • A towering 60 meter high Gopuram was built by Krishna Deva Raja of the Vijayanagara kingdom in the year 1509.
  • The temple premise has a 540 pillar hall all intricately designed and beautifully carved. The pillared hall was constructed by the Vijayanagara Monarch.
  • A 3500 years old mango tree adores the sanctum having four branches each dedicated to the four Vedas. The Deity derives its name from the Mango tree from the words Eka-Amra-Natha, meaning the Lord of the Mango tree. The path to the tree has a Shiva Lingam made of around 1008 small lingas.
  • A Somaskanda panel featuring Shiva, Parvati and Skanda together adorn the back end of the main shrine, which has been worship for centuries together.
  • The temple is revered by all four Saiva Kuravars.
  • The presiding deity is also revered in the verses of famous folk singer Kanchi Kotayappa Nayak.

Timings of Rituals and Poojas at Ekambareswarar Temple

  • The temple opens at 6 am in the morning then closes at 11 am. Again it reopens at 5 pm in the evening and closes finally at 8 pm.
  • The Ushakkala pooja takes place at sunrise at 6 am.
  • Kaalasandhi pooja takes place at 7 am.
  • Uchikkala pooja takes place at 12 in the afternoon.
  • Saayaraksha pooja happens at 6 pm in the evening.
  • Ardhajama pooja takes place at 8 pm.

Festivals held at Ekambareswarar Temple

  • Ani Tirumanjanam is a significant festival held in the month of July.
  • Adi Kritikai and Avani Moolam are held in the month of August.
  • The Chitra Purnima and Vaisakhi In the months of May and June marks the temples annual calender. The Panguni festival is celebrated for13days and during this period the wedding of the presiding deity is observed.

How to reach Ekambareswarar Temple

  • By Air: Chennai is the nearest airport which is 75km away from Kanchipuram. The airport has public and private transport facilities available on a regular basis.
  • By Rail: connected on the southern part of railways Kanchipuram has few trains running through the town. However suburban trains are available on particular intervals running between Kanchipuram and Chennai beach.
  • By road: the city is only a few kms away from the Quadrilateral National Highway. Frequent bus services are available throughout the day making the journey easier for travellers.

Hotels nearby Ekambareswarar Temple

  • Sri Hari Residency at 99, West Raja Street, Near Sri Kumara Kottam Temple offers grand cosy accomodations. It has been reviewed to be an excellent place to stay.
  • M.Hotel, Kanchipuram of No. 65-66, Nellukara Street, Bus Stand is another great place to check in. It has well suited amenities and a blissful environment.

Places to visit near Ekambareswarar Temple

  • Kailasnatha Temple- Lord Shiva, the supreme ascetic and god of the Hindu pantheon, is worshipped all across India. His temples can be located in every part of the country but nowhere more than Tamil Nadu we can see them in such huge numbers.
  • Kamakshi Amman Temple- This temple is devoted to Goddess Kamakshi Amman. This huge temple is constructed in around 5 acres of land. The temple houses a gallery, which presents the life history of Adisankaracharya.
  • Kanchi Kudil represents the life of the people of the city with a view to attract tourists and let them feel the essence of life as lived here. Kudil means house. The house is over 90 year old and its architecture resembles the olden style.
  • Devarajaswami Temple- The temple is famous for its richness of exquisite sculptures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it was constructed by Vijayanagar Kings.
Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple is a sacred Hindu temple where we worship Lord Shiva. It is located in the town of Chidambaram, Cuddalore District, East-Central, Tamil Nadu, South India. This temple is significant to the saivites and is famous for its grand architecture and structural splendor. The Sangam classics refer to Viduvelvidugu Perumtaccan, respected clan of traditional Vishwakarmas, as being the chief architect of the temple complex. There have been several renovations in its history, particularly during the days of Pallava or Chola emperors in ancient and pre-medieval periods.The word “Koyil” or temple in the Tamil Saivite tradition refers to none other than the Thillai Natarajar Temple.

History of Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

A mystical and intriguing story surrounds its history. The formation of this temple is steeped with local stories that are highly significant. It all starts with the legend of Lord Shiva strolling into the Thillai Vanam. Vanam meaning forest and Thillai trees that are a species of mangrove trees – they currently grows in the Pichavaram wetlands near Chidambaram. The temple sculptures depicting the Thillai trees date back to the 2nd century CE.

In the Thillai forests lived a group of sages who believed in the supremacy of magic and that God can be controlled by rituals and mantras. Lord Shiva strolled in the forest with great beauty and brilliance, assuming the form of Bhikshatana, a simple mendicant seeking alms. He was followed by His consort, Vishnu as Mohini. The sages and their wives were enchanted by the brilliance and the beauty of the handsome mendicant and His consort. On seeing their womenfolk enchanted, the rishis got angry and invoked scores of nagas by performing magical rituals. Lord Shiva lifted the serpents and donned them as ornaments on His locks, neck and waist. Further enraged, the sages invoked a fierce tiger, whose skins and dons were used by Lord Shiva as a shawl around His waist and then followed by a fierce elephant, which was devoured and ripped to death by Lord Shiva.

The rishis gathered all their spiritual strength and invoked a powerful demon Muyalakan – a symbol of complete arrogance and ignorance. Lord Shiva wore a gentle smile, stepped on the demon’s back, immobilized him and performed the Ánanda Tandava (the dance of eternal bliss) and disclosed his true form. The sages surrendered, realizing that Lord Shiva is the truth and He is beyond all powerful magical strengths no matter what.

Adhisesha, the serpent who serves as a bed for the Lord, hears about the Ananda Tandava and yearns to see and enjoy it. The Lord blesses him, beckoning him to assume the saintly form of ‘Patanjali’. He then sends him to the Thillai forest, informing him that he will display the dance in due course. Patanjali. The story of sage Patanjali as well as his great student sage Upamanyu is narrated in both Vishnu Puranam as well as Siva Puranam. In the Thillai forest Lord Shiva is worshipped then in the form of Shivalinga. The deity is worshipped today as Thirumoolataneswarar (Thiru – sri, Moolatanam – primordial or in the nature of a foundation, Eswarar- the Lord).

The early structure of the temple was constructed and maintained by Perumtaccan of the respected clan of Vishwakarmas. The golden roof of the Chitambalam was laid by the Chola king, Parantaka I. In those flourishing times, kings Rajaraja Chola I and Kulothunga Chola I made significant donations to the temple.

Significance of Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

  • Lord Shiva is in three forms in Chidambaram, as visible idol form, formless as Akasha or space and form and formless as a Spatika Linga.
  • It is here that the hymns of three great Saivite Saints were discovered.
  • Chidambaram is one of the Panchabootha Sthalas, where the Lord is worshiped in his manifestation as sky or Aagayam.
  • The temple is supposed to be located at the Lotus heart of the Universe”: Virat hridaya padma sthalam.
  • The spot where the Lord displayed his dance of bliss, the Ananada Tandava, today is the Ponnambalam/ Porsabai (Pon meaning gold, Ambalam/Sabai meaning stage) housing the Lord Shiva in his dancing form. The Lord is also hence referred to as the Sabhanayakar, meaning the Lord of the Stage.
  • The sanctum sanctorum is a gold-roofed stage of the temple and houses the Lord in three forms: the “form” – the anthromorphological form as an appearance of Lord Nataraja, called the Sakala thirumeni; the “semi-form” – the semi-anthropo-morphological form as the Crystal linga of Chandramouleswarar;
    the “formless” – as the Space in Chidambara Rahasyam, an empty space within the sanctum sanctorum, the Nishkala thirumeni.
  • The 9 gateways of the temple signify the 9 orifices in the human body.

Timings of Poojas and Rituals at Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

  • The Darshan time is from 6:00 am to 12pm in the morning and 5 pm to 10 pm in the night.
  • At 6:30 am takes place the Pal Nivedhyam where the Lord’s footwear is brought in a palanquin.
  • At 7 am takes place the Maha-arati.
  • At 7:45 am takes place the first pooja of the day that is Kalashandhi pooja. This continues till 9:45 am.
  • From 10.00a.m.to 11.00am takes place the Irandam Kalaam that is the second pooja of the day.
  • From 11:30 to 12 in the afternoon takes place the Uchhikalam that is the third pooja of the day.
  • In the evening from 5 pm to 6 pm takes place the Saayarakhshai.
  • From 7 pm to 8 pm again the Irandam Kalaam takes place.
  • From 9 pm to 10 pm takes place the sixth and the last pooja of the day which is known as Ardhajanam.

Festivals celebrated at Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

  • The 10 day Margazhi festival in December-January is one of the most important festivals that begin on the day prior to Tiruvadhirai star day with flag hoisting. The importance of the festival is that it is dedicated to Saivite Saint Manickavasagar.
  • The Vidayathi festival is celebrated both for the Lord and the saint.
  • The 10 day Aani Tirumanjanam festival begins with flag hoisting. It takes place 10 days earlier of Uthira star day. From day one to the eighth day of the festival, procession of deities like Somaskanda, Shivananda Nayaki, Vinayaka, Subramania and Chandeswararm (panchamurthis) are taken in procession in silver and gold vahans.

How to reach Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

  • By air: The nearest airport is Trichy that is 195km away and Chennai that is 235 km away. The Chidambaram area is well connected by bus and taxis from these places.
  • By rail: Chidambaram is well connected to Trichy and other major cities of Tamil Nadu via local trains.
  • By road: if you are taking the road then you can get frequent buses that travel from Andhra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu to Chidambaram. Locally auto rickshaw is the best mode of transport.

Hotels nearby Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

  • Hotel Akhshaya at Gandhi Nagar, Chidambaram has comfortable accommodations for tourists visiting Chidambaram. It is 1.8km away from the Chidambaram railway station. It has a wide range of comfort delicacies.
  • Hotel Lakshmi Vilas Heritage at T Neduncheri, Chidambaram is well known for its grand sprawling complex. The hotel is designed to give the tourists a chance to enjoy living in pollution free atmosphere. It is only 12 km away from the Chidambaram railway station.

Places to visit nearby the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

  • If you are a nature lover then you should definitely visit the Pichavaram Mangrove forest. It offers boat rides in the midst of tranquil forest environment.
  • The Thillai Kali Amman Temple is famous for its presiding deity who is Goddess Parvathi in the form of Kali. The idol is truly lively and magnificent to look at.
  • The Tiruvetkalam temple is situated adjoining the Anamalai university complex. It is a great place to visit for its peaceful and resplendent structure.

Srikalahasti

Srikalahasti Temple in Andhra Pradesh

India, as we know, is a land of temples and people of every caste and creed are its inhabitants. For tourists and pilgrims visiting the southern part of India, Srikalahasti Temple in Andhra Pradesh signifies great importance. It is one of the most famous Shiva temples that have been ever built and it dates back to many centuries. Srikalahasti Temple is surrounded by three hills- Durgambika in the north, Kannappar in the south and Kumaraswamy in the east. This famous destination is located in the Chitor district of Andhra Pradesh and is close to the Lord Balaji temple at Tirupati.

This famous pilgrimage destination is also called as ‘Dakshina Kailasam’ and is located along the banks of the Swarnamukhi River.  It is counted among one of the ‘Pancha Bhoota Stalams’ that celebrate Lord Shiva as the personification of the primary elements. The element of air is signified by this temple while the other four are associated with Tiruvannamalai (fire), Chidambaram (space), Tiruvanaikkaval (water) and Kanchipuram (earth).

Srikalahasti Temple

Srikalahasti History

  • Pallava dynasty started Srikalahasti Temple’s construction during the 5th century. The Chola and Vijayanagara kings have also provided great assistance to the development of this temple. It was around the 10th century that the Chola kings renovated the main shrine and constructed the main temple formation.
  • There are several legends associated with this temple. The most prominent being the strong devotion portrayed by the spider Sri, the snake Kala and the elephant Hasti. The elephant used to clean the deity by pouring river water from his trunks and praying with Bilva leaves. The spider protected the Shiva lingam by weaving his web and the snake placed a precious gem on the linga to decorate the God. One day there a fight occurred among the three as the elephant cleaned the linga where the snake and the spider placed gem and built the cob. While the snake died by entering the elephant’s trunk, the elephant died by hitting its trunk and head against the linga. The spider is also squashed. Pleased with their selfless devotion, Lord Shiva gave them a blessing that their names will be associated with the Vayulinga and the place will be called as Srikalahasteeswara.
  • It is also a belief that Rahu and Ketu, two of the nine planets in Indian Astrology offered their prayers at this famous temple.
  • Another legend that speaks about the glory of Srikalahasti Temple refers to the Goddess Parvati’s curse. Lord Shiva cursed Parvati to discard her heavenly body to take a human form. Parvati did a long penance here to get rid away from the curse and eventually Lord Shiva recreated her body using various mantras like the Panchakshari. Parvati then came to be known as Gnana Prasunamba or Gnana Prasunambika Devi.
  • A ghost named Ghanakala also prayed here for 15 years following a curse. After he recited Bhairava Mantra many times, Lord Shiva regained her original form.
  • Lord Shiva tested the devotion of Thinnadu before the sages accumulated at Srikalahasti. By using his power, Shiva created a tremor that caused the top of the roof to fall. The unshakable Thinnadu came to be known as Kannappa protected the linga with his body to prevent any damage.
  • It is said that Lord Shiva appeared in this place to Bhakta Markandeya to teach him that a Guru alone has the power to preach impenetrable understandings and is hence known as Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara.

Significance of Srikalahasti Temple

  • Srikalahasti Temple is one of the most remarkable Shiva temples in India. It consists of a huge and ancient entrance tower (gopuram) over the main entrance. This tower is 120ft high and is carved out from a huge stone hill. The Vijayanagara king, Krishnadevaraya in 1516 constructed the 100 pillar mandapam and the gopuram.
  • A lamp is presented inside the inner sanctum which flickers constantly without any air movement. It can be observed in a better way when the priest closes the entrance of the main deity room that has no windows.
  • The linga is white in color and remains untouched even by the priest.
  • Srikalahasti Temple is the only temple which remains open irrespective of the Solar or Lunar eclipses.
  • Srikalahasti Temple has two major shrines that are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati. A small shrine also called as Dakshinamurthy is dedicated to the Guru of Lord Shiva.
  • Additionally, there are many other deities that are dedicated to Venkateswara, Vinayaka, Nataraja, Surya and replica of Lingas of famous Shiva temples from all over India.
  • This ancient temple is also considered as the Kailash of the South or Dakshin Kailash.
  • The Temple Trust consists of fifteen members and Sri Guravaiah Naidu is the Trust Board Chairman of this temple.
  • Srikalahasti Temple offers free bus service from the temple premises to the railway station and the bus stand as well. All the pilgrims can avail this facility without bearing any cost.

Srikalahasti Temple Timings

  • The temple opens its gates at 6 AM daily. It closes at 9 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and at 9:30 AM on the rest of the days.

Srikalahasti Temple Food Timings

The Prasad can be obtained by paying Rs 10 for Laddu, Pulihora, and Vada. While each Jalebi costs Rs 15, the Mahanivedanaladdu laddu is available for Rs 50. A pilgrim can take his pick of these options and cherish the unique taste as well.

Festivals celebrated at Srikalahasti Temple

  • The Mahasivaratri Brahmotsava is the most important and auspicious festival celebrated in the temple. There are innumerable devotees who gather in the temple during this time. This 12 days festival is celebrated during the Kartik month on an annual basis. Mahasivaratri, Nandi Seva, Lingodbhavam, Rathotsavam, Teppotsavam, Sri Swami-Ammavarla Kalyanotsavam, Palki Seva are some of the most vital aspects of this festival. The Karthika Deepostavam is done by following the Telegu and the Tamil calendars respectively.
  • The Aadi Krithika festival is observed to worship Lord Kumaraswamy as it’s his power day. The Krithika star day of the Aadi month marks for a rejuvenating occasion to rebuild one’s positive energy. Pilgrims gather at the Vignana Giri to worship during this festival.
  • Kedaari Gowri Vratham is celebrated on Diwali at the temple premises. Thousands of women gather in this temple every year to worship Ammavaru. People wear new clothes, lit lamps and seek blessings during this event.
  • On occasions such as Brahmosavams, Vijayadasami, New Year, Ugadi, Ekadashi and Mukkoti, pilgrims from surrounding places pay a visit to this temple.

Poojas and Rituals at Srikalahasti Temple

  • The Rahu Kethu Sarpa Dosha Nivarana Puja is performed in this temple from 6 AM to 7 PM on all days except for Maha Shivaratri. A large number of pilgrims belief that the most auspicious days to observe this puja is on an Amavasya day in a calendar month or Sunday Amavasya. People who suffer from various long-term problems, have no children or are unmarried get all the doshas removed by performing this puja. The price range for this puja starts from Rs 300, Rs 750 which is done in the outer courtyard of the temple. However, the offering of Rs 1500 can be done within the temple premises.
  • The Nitya Annadana Scheme was set up to provide free food to the devotees who visit this temple. An average of 200 pilgrims is fed on a daily basis under this plan. It is arranged in the name of the donor who can contribute any amount over Rs 1116. Every year on the day of the donor’s choice, annadanam is provided by using the interest derived from the endowment. People who donate Rs 1000 are said to be Poshakas, Rs 25000 are honored as Raja Poshakas and those who donate Rs 50000 are said to be Maharaja Poshakas. The donations can be sent to the Executive Officer of the temple by way of a demand draft that can be drawn from any bank.
  • The Unjal Seva is a special service offered to the Lord and the Goddess on every full moon day. In this puja, the deities adorned with precious ornaments for seven weeks. The pilgrims make an endowment of Rs 5000 and in this Seva, the devotees offer service to the God and the Goddess with their own hands.
  • Nandi Seva is another service which the visitors offer by paying Rs 6500. It can be performed on any day and Abhishekam is done in their name besides giving tirtha and annaprasadas. The heavenly couple is taken out on beautifully decorated Silver Nandi and Simha Vahanam for procession at night.
  • Abhishekam refers to ‘Bathing the Lingam’. It is the most important ritual followed in the temple along with the daily prayers. Abhishekams are performed four times in a day and signifies the act of cleansing and singing melodious hymns praising the Lord. During this process, flowers along with sandal paste and sacred threads are offered to the God.
  • Abhishekam is a paid Seva and devotees can take part and seek blessings of the Lord. Panchakarpur that refers to paste comprising camphor mixed with water, honey, milk and is known to be the most important Abhishekam. Rudra Abhishekam refers to bathing the Lord with milk and camphor and chanting mantras and prayers. Pala Abhishekam signifies bathing the Lord with milk and Panchamrutha Abhishekam is offered to both the Lord and Gnana Pransunambika.

How to Reach: Road, Rail, and Air

  • By Air– The easiest way to reach this temple by air is the Tirupati Airport. For foreign visitors, the Chennai International airport is the major airport locates at a distance of 99 km from the Srikalahasteeswara temple.
  • By Train– Sri Kalahasti railway station is the nearest to the temple and it is located on the Tirupati-Vijayawada broad gauge rail route. It is well connected with other major cities of India. The closest railway junction is Renigunta which is only 25 km from the temple.
  • By Road– A traveler can reach the temple through road as well. Both KSRTC and APSRTC operate buses during the day and night. APSRTC has frequent buses at every 1 and half hour from Tirupati. It also offers special tourist packages like Yathra darsini and Divyadarsini.

Hotels in Andhra Pradesh: Where to stay

  • There are many guest houses where one can reside that are located near the Srikalahasteeswara Temple. From affordable single to double and dormitory, there are a variety of options for accommodation. One can also book air conditioned rooms as per their requirement.
  • And if you want to unwind, there are multiple luxury hotels that are equipped with world class amenities to meet the needs of a contemporary visitor.

Where to eat

There are many restaurants and small eatery joints in the surrounding area of the Srikalahasteeswara Temple. One can taste authentic Indian food at a decent price. For people looking out for international cuisines, Andhra Pradesh offers exotic restaurants that provide an array of delicacies to suit one’s taste buds.

Nearby Temples

  • Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple– Being located on the north eastern side; this is one of the important destinations for people who visit the Srikalahasteeswara shrine.
  • Bhakta Kannappa Temple– This shrine is dedicated to Bhakta Kannappa and is located on Kailasagiri. It can be traced on the eastern side of the Srikalahasteeswara temple.
  • Durgamma Temple– This is situated on the hillock northern direction of the temple.
  • Sri Prasanna Varadaraja Swami Temple– This temple stands near to the Srikalahasteeswara Swamy temple as an epitome of religious harmony.
  • Panchamukheswaram– This auspicious shrine is both significant and rare in its own right. This temple being dedicated to Lord Siva is unique and of great importance next to that of Nepal.

Arunachalam Temple Tiruvannamalai

Arunachalam Temple Tiruvannamalai

Arunachalam Temple Video 

Arunachalam Temple Tiruvannamalai  also known as Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple is an important Shaivite temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located in Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, this temple belongs to the list of Pancha Bhoota Stalas (the five Shiva temples, each dedicated to the five elements). The presiding deity is in the form of Agni Lingam – the fire element.

Arunachalam Temple History

The Hindu Mythology points to two important legends of the Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple.

  • Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma once competed against each other to decide who is the greatest. Together they requested Lord Shiva to be the judge. Lord Shiva set the challenge – the one who reaches his crown and feet first will be the winner. He then took the form of a long column of fire or the Agni Lingam.
  • Lord Vishnu immediately transformed himself into Varaha, the boar and started digging the depths of the earth to reach Lord Shiva’s feet.
  • Meanwhile, Lord Brahma turned into a swan and flew towards the sky to reach Lord Shiva’s crown.
  • During the ascent, he saw a flower – the Thazhampu, fall from the crown. He asked the flower how long he should fly to reach the crown. The flower replied that it had been falling for thousands of years and still hasn’t reached the ground.
  • Lord Brahma conspires and manipulates the flower and takes it to Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma then claims that he has got the flower from Lord Shiva’s crown. But Lord Shiva sees through the lie and curses both Lord Brahma and the flower.
  • Ever since, Lord Brahma has no temples dedicated to him, and people don’t use Thazhampu for worship. This story is depicted in the Lingothbhava and can be seen in the Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple murals.
  • Another legend says that Goddess Parvati playfully closed Lord Shiva’s eyes and the entire universe plunged into darkness. Realising her mistake, she performed penance and as an answer to her prayers, Lord Shiva manifested himself as a magnificent column of fire atop a hill. The column became the Agni Lingam and the hill came to be known as Tiruvannamalai.

Significance of Arunachalam Temple

  • The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple construction dates back to several thousand years and according to the inscriptions, it was built by Chola Kings in 9th century AD
  • The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple is considered to be the largest Shiva temple in India
  • The residing deity is Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar and his consort is Unnamalaiyar
  • The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple and deity have been revered in important Tamil literature such as Thevaram and Thiruvempavai by the Nayanars
  • This temple and temple town is considered to be rich in spiritual heritage. The area is concentrated with several ashrams and samadhis dedicated to saints and spiritual leaders from all over India. Devotees and followers from different nationalities have made this place their spiritual home
  • The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple, sacred hill and surrounding areas are known to give off strong positive vibrations and even today some claim to have sighted ancient Siddhas or holy men deep in meditation
  • Girivalam, or circumambulating the sacred hill is an important spiritual activity. The significance of this activity is that the walk relieves the devotee from his sins and the cycle of birth and rebirth. Devotees cover a distance of nearly 14 km on barefoot and worship at the numerous temples, lingams and shrines that are present along the path.

Arunachalam Temple Timings

  • Arunachalam Temple opens at 5 am and closes at 9:30 pm.
  • There is a break in the afternoon from 12:30pm to 3:30pm.

Arunachalam Temple Poojas and Rituals

Daily Poojas:

  • Morning
    • 5:00 am -Temple Opening Time
    • 5:30 am – Gomatha Pooja
    • 6:00 am – Oudshakala Pooja
    • 8:30 am – Early Sathi Pooja
  • Noon
    • 11:00 am – Mid-noon Pooja
    • 12:30 pm – Temple Closing Time
    • 3:30 pm – Temple Opening Time
  • Night
    • 6:00 pm – Sayarakchai Pooja
    • 7:30 pm – 2nd Kalam Pooja
    • 9:00 pm – Arthajama Pooja
    • 9:30 pm – Temple Closing Time

Weekly Poojas:

  • Somavaram on Mondays
  • Sukravaram on Tuesdays

Fortnightly Rituals:

  • Pradosham

Monthly Rituals:

  • Amavasai (new moon day)
  • Kiruthigai
  • Pournami (full moon day): Performing Girivalam on Pournami day is considered to be highly beneficial. Thousands of devotees perform Girivalam right from early morning to midnight.
  • Sathurthi

Festivals celebrate in Arunachalam Temple

  • Since Lord Shiva is in the form of Agni here, the festival of Karthigai Deepam celebrated in the Hindu month of Karthigai is of great importance in this temple town.
  • It is a ten-day festival that usually falls between the months of November and December and culminates in the lighting of the Mahadeepam on the Tiruvannamalai hill at sunset.
  • Crores of devotees flock to the temple each year on this date and donate offerings of tonnes of ghee and oil to light the magnificent lamp.
  • Chitra Pournami or the first full moon day of the Tamil Calendar is another important festival day here. The five sacred temple cars carrying the deity are brought out in a procession on that day.

How to Reach Arunachalam Temple

  • Road: The town is well connected by several buses operating from Chennai and all important towns and cities in Tamil Nadu. Buses also operate from Bangalore and Tirupathi.
  • Rail: All trains that cover the Katpadi to Villupuram route also touch Tiruvannamalai
  • Air: Chennai is the nearest airport and it lies around 185 kilometres away by road

Where to Stay in Arunachalam

  • There are several ashrams and charitable endowments that provide lodging at a very nominal tariff. You can also find modern accommodation options that have mushroomed in the recent years.

Where to Eat in Arunachalam

  • Most of the hotels that provide accommodation also have restaurant options. You can also find other standalone restaurants near the main bus stand and the temple. Several eateries also function near the Girivalam path.

Nearby Temples

  • The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple is surrounded by eight lingams or Ashta Lingams, denoting the eight directions. Devotees also cover the shrines of the eight lingams during the Girivalam. The eight lingams are South – Yama, West – Varuna, North – Kubera, and East – Indra and four intercardinal points, South East – Agni, South West – Niruthi, North West – Vayu and North East – Esanya.
  • Sri Ramanashramam: The ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, an Indian sage is one of the world-renowned places of spiritual importance in Tiruvannamalai. The Ashram is on the Girivalam path and devotees would usually visit the place to offer their prayers.
  • Seshadri Swamigal Ashram: Located close the Sri Ramanashramam, the Seshadri Swamigal Ashram was home to Seshadri Swami, a saint who came to Tiruvannamalai six years before Ramana Maharishi. He was deeply devoted to Lord Shiva and often glorified Lord Arunachalewarar.
  • Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram: Yogi Ramsuratkumar was from UP near Kashi who travelled widely throughout India in search of spiritual enlightenment. His final stop was in Tiruvannamalai where he continued to bless his devotees until his death. His ashram is located very close to the Arunachaleswarar Temple.