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4. Tiru Annamalai


Location: Tiruvannamalai
(Nadu Naadu)
Shiva: Arunachaleswarar, Annamalaiyar
Ambal: Apitakuchambal, Unnamulaiamman
Vriksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Agni Theertham
Other: Pancha Linga Stalam
Patikam: Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Tiruvannamalai
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 Please see special feature on Tiruvannamalai 

Description: Tiruvannamalai is one of the greatest Saivite shrines in India, on a sprawling 24 acre temple campus, drawing hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every full moon. The hill here is considered to be a manifestation of Shiva.  Tiruvannamalai is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram) and space (Chidambaram). Kartikai Deepam festival here is of great significance.  Manikkavacakar composed his Tiruvempavai here.The Paatala Linga shrine is connected with the spritual savant Ramana Maharishi. Arunagiri Nathar began composing his Tiruppukazh here at this temple.

Legend  here goes that Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire, whose origins Bhramma and Vishnu failed to trace.

Architecture: The 11 tiered East Rajagopuram towers to a height of 217 feet, while the fortified walls pierced with 4 gopura entrances offer a formidable look to this vast temple complex . The Pei Gopuram, Tirumanjana Gopuram and Ammanaiammal gopuram are the other three.  The 1000 pillared hall and the temple tank were built by Krishna Deva Rayarar of Vijayanagar. Each of the prakarams has a huge Nandi and several towers such as the Vallala Maharaja Gopuram and Kili Gopuram.


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