Arunachaleswara temple housing Lord Shiva as fire

Posted On March 11, 2010 

The three main categories which are devoted to lord Shiva, in India are as follows:-

  • The Jyotir Lingams
  • The Bhuta Lingams
  • The Svayambhu Lingums

It is stated that Lord Shiva had marked his presence in the five south Indian temples. The places were Lord Shiva was present as any normal elements are known to be the Bhuta Lingams.

The five south Indian temples and the particular elements are given below

  • Sri Kalahasti – wind

Sri Kalahasti temple

  • Chidambaram – air and the heart.
  • Kanchipuram – earth

Kanchipuram temple

  • Tiruvanaikka/Jambunath – water and the stomach.
  • Tiruvannamalai – fire and the chest.
Legend behind the Temple:

Alan Morinis in one of the pilgrimage books that was related to the Hindu customs and tradition narrated a very appealing story. The story provides information regarding a blessed hill located in Arunachala, which came in the contact of the Shiva’s fire lingam. The story says that after the death of his wife Sati, Lord Shiva was roaming around in the woods of Daruvana in the remembrance of his loss. It is believed that Lord Shiva was naked and wives f the sages who lived in the forest same him. The wives wanted to unite with Lord Shiva as they were aroused seeing him naked. The sages became jealous of Lord Shiva and thus cursed his linga because of which it had fallen down. As soon as the linga touched the ground its size grew and it looked like an unblemished feature. The length of the linga kept increasing eventually lord Vishnu and Brahma saw it when it has crossed the level of the clouds. They wanted to know what exact happen. Atlast Lord Vishnu turned into a pig and dived into an ocean and reaches the bottom of the linga. Lord Brahma became a Swan and reached its top. On returning back Lord Vishu accepted that he couldn’t find the base but Lord Vishu lied that he had reached to the peak. At the same time Lord Shiva came and appreciated Lord Vishu’s honesty and told them that since it was his linga it couldn’t be measured. On the request of Lord Vishu, Lord Shiva left behind a fraction of the linga in its fire form on the hill in Arunachala.

Location and Structure:

The Arunachaleswar Shiva temple is located in Tiruvannamalai near the base of the Arunachala hill. It is the biggest as well as the oldest temples among all the temples of the South India. The total area covered by the temple is around 25 acres. The exact time when the temple was constructed is till date unknown. It is believed that the development in the temples building was going on for many years. It is known that the huge towers which are commonly known as gopurams were built around 10th as well as the 16th century. The height of the tallest tower is about 60 meters and it has around thirteen tales related to it.

Arunachaleswara temple

The heart of the temple has the image of Lord Shiva enshrined as Lord Annamalai and also his spouse as Unnamalai. Every year a huge celebration takes place in the temple in the month of November-December. The deepam festival is celebrated as to appreciate Shiva’s appearance as the glow of Arunachala. On the full moon day a huge fire is lighted as a memory of the fire that Lord Shiva left behind on the hill. Pilgrims from all part of the country come here during the celebrations.

Getting there:

Triruvanamalai is located at a distance of around 100 km from Kanchipuram and 185 km Madras. Madras has the nearest international airport which has direct flights to many countries. The nearest railway stations are Madurai as wel as Tirupati. You can take a bus from Madras, Kachipuram as well as Tirupati to reach Triruvanamalai or else ride a car or hire a cab.

When to visit:

The best time to visit Triruvanamalai is from November to January. The ideal time of the day to visit the temple is the morning time.

Opening timing:

The temple is open for its pilgrims from early morning to late in the evening. Avoid going on Sundays or on the public holidays as there is huge crowd on these days.

Entrance fees:

Entrance in the temple is free for everyone.

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One Response to “Arunachaleswara temple housing Lord Shiva as fire”
  1. vareeja says:

    Every full moon night, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Shiva by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot.

    Tiruvoodal is another grand festival, that usually celebrated during the first week of Tamil month Thai (From 14th till 18 January) every year, is a colourful and amazing event. On the day of maato pongal in the morning Nandhi is beautifully decorated with the garlands specialy made with variety of fruits, vegetables and sweets.

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