Annamalaiyar Temple – Temple Speciality
The hill itself is Shiva Linga. This is a temple of great significance in South India. The very thought of this temple ensures total salvation to the soul. This is the place that would destroy the “I” arrogance. Mother Uma performed penance here going round the hill to claim the left part of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva granted his darshan to mother in the form of Light-Jyothi.
This is the birth place of Saint Arunagiriar. Frustrated in life, when the Saint attempted to end himself, Lord Muruga protected him from death. Lord Muruga also made him a poet whose Thirupugazh hymns stand unmatched till today in the meter forms, syllables, melody and spiritual content singing the glory of Lord Muruga.
Thiruvannamalai is the sacred place where Lingodhbava came into being first and followed in other Shiva Temples. The temple covers an area of 25 acres with 9 towers and 7 corridors-prakarams. The tower of the temple is the second tallest – 217 feet. The temple is always crowded with devotees as in Tirupathi. The temple was built in the 6th Century. The renovations of this ancient temple were done by Chera, Chola, Pandya and Hoysala kings at various periods. Thiruvannamalai was home to number of Siddhas in the past whose lineage continues even today. Their Holinesses Sri Seshadri Swamigal, Ramana Maharishi and Visiri Samiyar attained salvation on this sacred soil.
Lord Shiva gave his half to Mother Parvathi on the Kruthika star day in the month of Karthikai-November-December. Therefore, Girivalam – going round the hill – is taken up by the devotees this day. It is said that great Rishis and enlightened souls were following this as a penance on Pradosha days and on the first day each Tamil month. This is followed by devotees now-a-days. It is said that Moon absorbs all energies from Sun on Poornima days and therefore, this day is considered important for Girivalam.
Of the five Shaktis on which Earth stands – Space, Water, Air, Earth and Fire the Agni, Thiruvannamalai belongs to Agni. Tuesday is attributed to Agni. Girivalam is undertaken on this day. There will be special pujas in the temple. Worshipping the Lord on Sundays bring high positions to the devotee equal to a posting in his court, Mondays elevate the devotee to a position equal to Indira, Tuesdays ensure relief from debt burdens and poverty and continued prosperity in the births following, Wednesdays for academic excellence and final salvation, Thursdays wisdom equal to Maharshis, Fridays grace of Lord Vishnu and a place in his abode and Saturdays the benefit of worshipping all the 9 planets. Worshipping on New Moon day brings total mental peace. Observing a fasting for 48 days and performing the Girivalam blesses the couple with child boon.