Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weekend Getaway: 30. Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

Date: 6th Dec 2015

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Harsh, Chamraj, Poornima and Aditi.

Timings: 5:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 3:30 to 9:30 PM

Fee: General Free, Special entrance Rs 20 and Rs 250.

Route: Bengaluru - Krishnagiri - Tirupattur - Singarapetai - Chengam - Thiruvannamalai

Route Condition: Excellent till Krishnagiri, Average till Singarapetai, very bad till Thiruvannamalai.

Arunachaleswarar temple in Thiruvannamalai is one of the largest Shiva temple. It is well known for its karthigai deepam festival and thousands of devotees gather to witness the deepam on top of the hill. Like many other temples in Tamilnadu this temple also has huge gopurams on all four sides. The Rajagopuram which is on the east is 217 feet high with 11 stories. Painting work is undertaken in the temple and all the gopurams are covered with wooden sticks for painting purpose. We reached there around 9 AM. We had a good darshan in the temple. The temple is located at the base of annamalai hills. The weather was pleasant and the rain was playing hide and seek. The clouds were covering the mountain and could not get a good view of it. There are two interesting stories about the temple which can be read in wiki. One discomforting factor about the temple was that there are many people inside the temple asking for help and keep following you. Its good to help the needy but people keep chasing you and not leaving is not so good. Its the case is most religious places but seeing this first time inside the temple. It was not the case when we visited last time here.

Some pics from the visit.

Rajagopuram, the tallest in the temple. Annamalai hill in the background.

Some carvings on the walls at the entrance.

Temple for Lord Muruga inside the temple complex.

A big Nandhi.

The main shrine. Photography not allowed beyond this point. One can find lot of foreign visitors in this temple as most people come to Thiruvannamalai to visit Ramana Maharishi Ashram. The town is well know for the temple and then for this Ashram.

Pathalalingam, where its believed Ramana Maharishi meditated.

Few pillars inside the temple.

Another view of the Rajagopuram.

Since it was raining most of the time we could not visit few other nearby places. The temple is one of the must see attractions in Tamilnadu. Another must visit place is the Ramana Maharishi ashram near the temple. We visited there too but i did not take any pictures. The meditation hall inside the ashram was very peaceful and one can meditate in silence. Good thing about it is there is no strict rule on how to meditate. You can see people sitting in various poses and just meditating. Only rule is one needs to maintain silence and nothing else.

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