Tiruvannamalai Arulmigu Annamalaiyar Temple Aani Bramorchavam 2016 Invitation

Annamalaiyar Temple is located at the foothills of the Annamalai Hil in the town of Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.Shiva is worshiped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar represented as Agni lingam, with his consort, Unnamulaiyamman (Apitakuchambaal – Parvati). The temple complex spans 10 hectares and is one of the largest temples in India.It houses 4 gopurams (gateway towers) with the tallest being the eastern tower with 11 storeys and a height of 66 metres (217 ft), making it one of the tallest gopurams in India. Legend has it that Shiva’s consort Parvati once closed the eyes of Shiva playfully in the flower garden of Kailasha (the abode of Shiva). The whole universe was darkened for a moment and the earth was darkened for years, translating to a moment of time at Kailasha. Parvati performed penance with other worshippers and Shiva appeared as a flame of fire at the top of the Annamalai hill to remove the darkness. He merged his half to Parvati’s in the form of Ardhanarishvara – the half-female, half-male form of Shiva. The Annamalai hill (meaning red mountain) lying behind the Annamalaiyar temple is always associated with the temple.The hill is considered sacred and considered to be a lingam (representation of Shiva) in itself.
The Karthigai Deepam festival celebrated during the full moon day in November–December during which a huge beacon lit on the top of the hill. It can be seen from miles around and believed to be Shiva’s lingam of fire joining the limitless skies. Once the beacon is lit, piligrim perform Girivalam – circling the hill by foot and visit then worship the deity in the temple. The event is witnessed by 3 million pilgrims.

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