04175 252 438
Pavazhakundur, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu 606601
Dedicated to

Deity Posture

Architecture Style


Chola Dynasty

Completed on

9th century

About Tiruvannamalai Arunachalesvara, Tamil Nadu

  1. The Arunāchaleshvar temple is located in Thiruvannamalai, an important religious town in
    Tamil Nadu. The temple is part of the 5 shiva temples known as Pancha-bhuta-sthalam, where
    each temple is dedicated to the 5 basic elements (fire, water, air, ether & earth).
    Thiruvannamalai is the Agni Sthalam i.e, it represents the cosmic fire. The temple and its main
    deity – Annamalaiyar, is praised in several Thevaram (Ancient Tamil devotional songs)
    composed by Nayanmars (Tamil Shaiva saints), the most famous of them being: Vaananai Madhi
    soodiya & quot; sung by Sundarar.

Once Brahma & Vishnu started quarreling among themselves on an ignorant subject – who is
superior? Brahma asserted his supremacy because he created the existence while Vishnu
declared himself superior because he sustained the existence. The fight was going on for a
long period, suddenly a pillar of fire appeared near them. The pillar was huge, with neither
beginning nor end. It was none other than Shiva himself who manifested as the cosmic pillar of
fire. A voice came forward and challenged Brahma and Vishnu to find the endpoints of this
pillar. Whoever found the end, would be declared superior. Instantly, Brahma assumed the form
of a divine swan & Vishnu did his Varāha Avatāra. The swan flew up while the boar dug deep.
Neither could find the endpoints and be humbled. They returned and apologized in front of
the endless pillar. Then, Shiva came forward from the fire & told them that none of them are
superior. After this incident, both Brahma & Vishnu worshipped Shiva in his cosmic form. The
pillar of fire then cooled down into a mountain – that is the Arunāchala hill at Thiruvannamalai
today. The hill itself is a huge lingam. At the foot of the mountain, Shiva is worshipped in his cosmic
form, just like Brahma and Vishnu worshipped Him.


Architecture of Tiruvannamalai Arunachalesvara, Tamil Nadu

The temple is mentioned in ancient Thevaram poems, the most famous of them sung by Appar Sambandar. It also finds a significant place in the Periyapurānam aka Thirurhondar purānam composed by Sekkizhar.  The temple was constructed by the Chola dynasty with continuous additions and patronage from various later kingdoms such as the Hoysala, Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva & Vijayanagara. The temple stands at the center of the city, urbanized hundreds of years before the advent of western influence and rule in India.

How to reach Tiruvannamalai Arunachalesvara, Tamil Nadu?

By Train: Nearest railway stations – Villupuram (76 km) and Katpadi (65 km)
By Air: Nearest airport – Chennai
By Bus: Buses and taxis available from prominent cities in South India

Tiruvannamalai Arunachalesvara, Tamil Nadu Timings

5:30 AM to 12:30 PM

3:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Puja timings:
05:30 A.M Ukshakala
08:00 A.M Kala santhi
11:30 A.M Uchikala
05:30 P.M Sayaratchai
07:30 P.M Irandam Kala
09:00 P.M Arthajama

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