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ArunachalamTemplePanchaBoothaSthalam
Arunachalam temple locally referred as Annamalai temple is located InThiruvannamalaiofTamilNadu.
The temple is situated on the piedmont of Annamalai hill, located in the green lush everywhere. This
temple isregardedasoneofthetemplesthatisdedicatedtolordShivarepresen nghimasthesupreme
authority of Pancha Bootham (Fire, water, Air, Earth, Space). Therefore all of these temples were
collec velyknownas"PanchaBoothaSthalams".

PanchaBoothaSthalamsSouthIndia
1) KanchipuramEkambeshwaraTemplePrithviLingam(Earth)
2) ThiruvanaikavalJambukeswaraTempleAppuLingam(Water)
3) ThiruvannamalaiArunachaleswartempleAgniLingam(Fire)
4) KalahasthiShriKalahastheeshwaraTempleVayuLingam(Air)
5) ChidambaramThillaiNatarajarTempleAgayaLingam(Space)

Lord Shiva is worshipped here with the local name Arunachaleswarandissaidtobetheresemblanceof


Agni.

LegendsofArunachalamTemple
There are many great stories exis ng on the history of Arunachalam temple. According to one of the
sources, a tussle took place between Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, regarding theirstrengths.Inorderto
solve this, Lord Shiva took the form of a gigan c glaring ame with no edges in near vicinity. Shiva
challengedBrahmaandVishnu"Whoevertraversesthelengthofthisamewillbedeclaredasthemight
power ". VishnuandBrahmaforge ngtheen reuniverserestsinShiva,theyacceptedthechallenge.At
rst, Vishnu took the form of a Boar and started travelling towards the interior of the Earth. All of his
energy drained out and he gave up the challenge. On the other hand, Brahma, who is in the form of
Swan, began to travel towardstheupperpor onoftheEarth.Onhisway,hefoundKetakiower.Hetoo
failed in exploring the en re length of ame. So, he requested Ketaki ower to lie to Shiva, that he

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reached the upper por on of the Earth. A er returning Brahma lamented about his strengths and
success. At this instance, Lord Shiva appeared in his full glory. Therefore on this occasion, Shivaratri is
celebrated. Lord Shiva told them that,"BothofyouaswellasRudraandMaheswarawereoutofme,we
are inseparable and represents 5 divine life aspects".AndthenShivacursedBrahma,thathewillnotbe
worshipped by humans on this earth, this is considered to be the reason for amerenumberofBrahma
temples in India. Shiva also cursed Ketaki ower for lying to him, that it won't be used to worship god
anymore.

According to another legend, Lord Parvathi beloved wife of Shiva closed his eyes when they were in a
happymood.Thisledtothewholecrea ontogointhedark.ThereforeParvathiobservedstrictpenance
at Thirumunvallai hills. On ge ng pleased Shiva appeared there as a ame, Parvathi accompanied him
andeventually,theybecameidolsonthetopofthehill.

TheArunachalamTempleandFes vals
This temple was constructed by King Vijayala Chozan who belongs to Chola kingdom. Besides
Mahabaleswaram Temple, Arunachalam temple resembles the ar s c excellence of Cholas. Massive
gopurams of this temple are so impressive. Fourgopuramscanbeseenonfoursidesofthetemple.This
templewaslaterreconstructedandrejuvenatedbyVijayanagararulersaswellasHoysalakings.

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with pomp and glory here. Inside and the premises of temple will be

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echoed with the chan ng of " Om Nama Shivaya ". Unlike rest of the temples inIndia,herethisfes val
was celebrated during night me. The fes vals of Lights, Kar gai Deepam will also be celebrated here.
Par cularlyforthisfes valpeoplefromallpartsofthestatevisitthistemple.

ArunachalamTempleTheJnanaKshetra
This shrine is considered to be the eternal place of knowledge. One, who wishes to nd the ul mate
truth of his life, will lead his way toward this temple. It is said that many great saints like Appar,
Sambandar, and Virupaksha Deva gotenlightenedhere.ThegreatsageRamanaMaharshialsolivedhere
from 18991916. One can even nd the pictures of Ramana Maharshi in this temple. He translated
Arunachala Mahatyam' from Sanskrit to Tamil. The following verse reveals the greatness of this
sanctum

" On visi ng Chidambaram, leaving the world at Kasi, by being born atThiruvarur,orbymerelyu ering
Arunachalaonecanachievelibera on"

ThousandPillarMandapamatArunachalamTemple
Thousand pillar Mandapam stands as a tes mony to the outstanding work of those ar sans and
sculptors, who constructed this temple. It was constructed by Bhallala king of Hoyasala. It is believed
thatArunagiranadhremainedwithinthismandapamintheformofaParrot.

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GiriPradakshanaatArunachalamTemple
Giri Pradakshana orcircumferencingtheAnnamalaiisconsideredtobethemostpiousthing.Bydoingso
one can be freed from all kinds of sins, his/herwisheswillbefullled,onewillberelievedofKarmaand
nally a ain jnana. While circumambula ng the hill one should pray to the Ashta Lingamsrepresen ng
thedierentphasesofMoon

IndraLingam
AgniLingam
YamaLingam
NiruthiLingam
VarunaLingam
VayuLingam
KuberaLingam
EasanyaLingam

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