The Annamalaiyar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvannamalai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the largest temples in India and is considered one of the most sacred shrines in the state. The temple complex covers an area of around 14 acres and features four gateway towers, or gopurams, that are among the tallest in South India. The temple is also an important pilgrimage site and is visited by thousands of devotees each year, particularly during the annual Karthigai Deepam festival, when a huge beacon is lit on the summit of the nearby Annamalai hill.
Annamalaiyar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. Annamalaiyar Temple is the Third-Tallest Gopuram (216.5 ft) in the world.
The Annamalaiyar Temple is an example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture, which is characterized by its grand scale, intricate carving, and the use of stone. The temple complex is surrounded by high walls and features four gateway towers, or gopurams, that rise to a height of over 60 meters. These gopurams are decorated with a variety of figures, including gods, goddesses, demons, and beasts.
The main temple structure is a massive pyramidal tower, or vimana, that rises to a height of over 40 meters. The vimana is topped with a dome-shaped structure, or stupi, that is covered in gold. The temple also features a mandapa, or hall, that is used for rituals and ceremonies, and a shrine dedicated to the goddess Parvati.
The temple is known for its intricate carvings and sculptures, which adorn the walls and pillars of the complex. The carvings depict scenes from Hindu mythology, as well as various forms of Shiva and Parvati. The sculptures are detailed and full of expression.
The temple has five-tier Rajagopuram which is the tallest gopuram in the temple and one of the tallest in South India. The temple’s gopurams are covered in sculptural detail, including an array of deities, mythical beasts and demons .
The Temple complex also has number of smaller shrines, water tank, and many mandapas for various rituals and ceremonies.
Legend / Local stories
There are several legends associated with the Annamalaiyar Temple that are deeply ingrained in the local folklore and traditions. One of the most famous legends is that the temple was built by Lord Shiva himself. According to the legend, Lord Shiva took the form of a young hill and appeared in front of the sage Agastya, who was meditating at the base of the Annamalai hills. Lord Shiva asked the sage to build a temple at the base of the hill and promised that he would reside there forever.
Another popular legend tells the story of the temple’s main deity, Lord Annamalaiyar, and his consort, Goddess Unnamulai Amman. The legend states that Lord Annamalaiyar and Goddess Unnamulai Amman were once separated and that Lord Annamalaiyar was in a deep depression without her. To cheer him up, Lord Vishnu, in the form of a hunter, suggested to Lord Annamalaiyar that he should search for a suitable place to build a temple for Goddess Unnamulai Amman. Eventually, Lord Annamalaiyar chose the base of the Annamalai hills, and he and Goddess Unnamulai Amman were reunited.
Another popular legend is that Lord Shiva appeared as a column of fire on the top of Annamalai hills during the Karthigai deepam festival, which is celebrated every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November – December). This festival is celebrated in grand manner in the temple where a huge beacon is lit on the summit of the nearby Annamalai hill, this event is also visible from miles. The festival attracts large number of devotees from across the state and country.
Many of these legends are closely tied to the religious beliefs and practices of the local people and are an important part of the temple’s history and culture.
How to Reach:
Chennai Airport is 189 kms Away From Tiruvannamalai.
Tiruvannamalai is 80 km away from Vellore Which is Well Connected with Chennai by Train
From Chennai Central Bus Stand Tiruvannamalai is Around 195 kms Away from Chennai
Pavazhakundur, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 606601
04175 252 438