The Arankandanallur Shivastalam near Tirukkovilur is located on top of a hill
adjacent to the Pennar river. Tiruvannamalai is
visible from this hill. Tirukkovilur is also the site of Tirukkovalur
Veerattam and the Ulagalanda Perumaal Vaishnava Divya Desam. Sambandar's
Tevaram refers to this shrine as Araiyaninallur. Temple inscriptions refer to the deity as
Oppillamaneeswarar. This is the 12th of the 22 Tevara Stalams in the
Nadu Naadu region of Tamilnadu.
Legends:It is believed that the Pandavas visited
Arankandanallur, and that the temple tank close to the cave in which they stayed was
created with Bhima's mace. There is an imprint of Tirugnanasambandar's feet here.
Sambandar is said to have miraculously moved a huge rock that had been placed to block the
The Temple: The 160 feet high Gopuram in this shrine (dating back to
the 7th century) with three prakarams is visible from a distance, across the Pennar river.
Rich in inscriptions, it received Royal patronage from local chieftains, the later Cholas
and the later Pandyas; Such a historical monument bears a desolate appearance today with
hardly any visitors.
The innermost temple consists of the sanctum with two mandapams in front , surrounded
by a compound wall with a pillared raised verandah. The second prakaram houses the Utsava
Mandapam and the Ambal shrine. Inscriptions from the days of Rajaraja Chola I (early 11th
century) are seen here. This temple was renovated in the 13th century during the reign of
Kulottunga Chola III. The Navaratri Mandapam (one of the Mandapams in front of the
sanctum) dates back to the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120). The Nritta Mandapam
was built during the period of Kulottunga III. The Utsava Mandapam dates back to the 14th
century, and the eastern gopuram dates back to the 15th century.