Thursday, 18 December 2014


18, December 2014.
After collecting the details of Sri Arunachala temple on 14th December 2014 During my Sri Arunachaleswra temple visit, thought of visiting a temple on the hill and take the photograph of the temple from the hill temple. Initially I do not know I am proceeding towards the Caves which are associated with  Bhagavan Sri Ramana maharishi. When I enquired the locals about the temple they guided me  to go up.  It was scary, since I trekked the hill alone. There was no body in the front or back. After climbing  half the distance near  Mamara cave found, two visitors are climbing down.
This cave is situated before Virupaksha cave. Once there was big mango tree near the cave which has fallen down and there is no mango tree now. There is a Shiva shrine called Sri Mahaeswarar and Sri Kasi Annapoorani shrine.  Inside the cave we have to kneeled down and go. Bhagavan Ramana maharishi stayed for a while in this cave.
 Sri Mahaeswarar Sanndhi at maamara cave 
 Sri Kasi Annapoorani Amman sannadhi through which we have to go in to the cave 
The I trekked   further and reached Mulaipaal Theertam, where the water from the hill is collected in the pond and well. There is sign board not to take bath and wash the clothes. But the locals did not mind. Above the  theertham there is an ashram called  Sri Annamalaisamy Sri Guru Ram Yogi Lahari with a amman temple.  One the way plastic bags were strewn on the side of the path ( Spoiling the nature ).
 Mulai Paal Theertham 
 Amman temple 
 Sri Annamalaiswamykal ashram 

The trek stretches like hanuman’s tail. Finally reached   Virupaksha cave with ASI caution board. The cave is under the control of Archeological Survey of India ( ASI ) and maintained by Sri Ramanashram.  Sri Ramana Maharishi’s disciples  visits throughout the year from foreign countries too. The cave is like “OM”.  Sri Ramana maharishi stayed in this cave from 1899 to 1916. It is believed that  Sage Virupaksha’s jeeva Samadhi is in this cave. When I went inside the cave absolutely there was no sound and very very dark. Only one oil lamp  was burning at the centre. I could not see any thing. Sat for a while and meditated. When my  eyes got accustomed to the dark, I could see lot of people sitting in two tiers and meditating. Really it was a  wonderful experience.
 Virpuaksha cave 
I  trekked further.  There was a long steep stretch. At the end of the stretch there is a falls and a pool of water. After crossing the falls the trek became easier. 
 Path leading to Skandashram
Water  Falls

    A long snake was playing the pool of water and must be at least 8 feet length.  On seeing me the snake ran in to the forest.  While climbing down also I had seen the same snake playing in the pool of water. ( The snake can be seen like a stick in the water )

The Skandashram is  also controlled by ASI and maintained by Sri Ramanashram.  The cave is not big as Virupaksha cave. There are three rooms for meditation adjoining the cave.  Meditated for a while and enjoyed the beauty of the ashram, plants, trees and hill. I could notice there are lot of foreigners visiting this cave also. They become the ardent disciples of Bhagavan Sri Ramana maharishi. Sri Ramana maharishi lived in the cave between 1916 to 1922 with his mother. After his mother attained mukthi he stayed in the base ashram itself. Here only he found out “who am I”
 Sri Kandashram
 Sri Skandashram 
 Sri Skandashram 
Water  will fall on Shiva lingam during  rain
On the way to back to Sri Arunachaleswara I found out this panoramic view of the temple.   I clicked Sri Arunachaleswara Temple view. It was completely overcast throughout the day,  I could not take clear picture.

From Skandashram there  is a path leading to Sri Ramashram also.  But I returned in the same route.  But  I missed the route half way and diverted to Sadai Swamikal Ashram and they guided me to the base of the hill. Hence it is advisable to trek with some people instead of going alone.
It was said that once the mahadeepam is placed on the 10th day it will continue to burn. If the same gets off within short period some bad things will happen. But this is not correct. These 4 people carries the gee and wick to light up the maha deepam every day evening by 18.00 Hrs for 11 days after the mahadeeppam festival

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


17, December 2014.
On 13th and 14th, I had Thiruvannamalai Sri Arunachaleswara Dharshan. It was a 1 ½ days visit to Thiruvannamalai. I want to cover the temple extensively.  Started from Chennai around 07.00 Hrs from Koyambedu and reached Thiruvannamalai around 12.30 Hrs. My plan was to have the dharshan of Sri Arnachaleswara first and then do the Girivalam. Since it was Saturday, there was a lot of rush and Melmaruvathur & Iyappa devotee also increased the crowd. So kept my back bag in the cloak room and carried only the food and water for the Girivalam. Started the Girivalam by 12.30 hrs and returned back to the temple around 17.30  Hrs.     ( Girivalam experience  and details were up loaded in the previous post ). Joined in the 20 rupees Q, It took almost 2 hours for the dharshan. When I was in the Q the drizzling started and latter it was raining heavily, but the whole day it was overcast and cloudy. Had the peaceful dharshan of Sri Arunachaleswara and Sri Unnamulai ammai. After dharshan I was very lucky to have the dharshan of Mahadeepam on the Arunachala Hill with heavy rain.

Stayed in the lodge on 13th Dec 2014, night. Around 07.00 Hrs on 14th Dec 2014, once again went in to the temple and started for the dharshan of all the other sannadhis.  It took almost 2 hours to find out Hoysala’s “ Anda Perandam“, a bird no, an animal, no it is a combination of the both.  It took another one hour to locate King Vallala’s relief on the Nandhi mandapam. But I couldn’t trace King Vallala’s wife’s relief. After collecting the details went to Virupaksha and Skandashram caves, where Sri Ramana maharishi lived and meditated. The details will be posted in the next post.   

This is the 22nd  and last Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva sthalam in Nadu Nadu. Naalvar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.

Iraivan : Sri Arunachaleswarar, Sri Mahadevar, Sri Aalwar Anna Nattudayar.     
             Sri Annamalaiyar.
Iraivi    : Sri Abeethakusambal, Sri Unnamulai Ammai, Sri Unnamalai,     
             Sri Thiru Kamakottamudaya Nam Piratiyar, Sri Ulakudaya Perumal                         Nam Piratiyar.
Some of the important features of this temple are….
  1. The temple was built in an area of 24 acres. The temple was built with 9 Gopurams and 6 prakarams. The 6th prakaram compound wall is of 700 feet on south – north, South wall is of 1479 feet and north wall is of 1590 feet. The East Rajagopuram is 217 feet with 11 tiers, the highest of all. The base of the east Rajagopuram is  135 feet x 98 feet. This Raja Gopuram was built by Krishna devarayar. The names of the other Rajagoprams are Thirumanjana gopuram on the south, Vallala maharaja Gopuram, Kili gopuram between 3rd and 4th parakaram, Ammani ammal gopuram ( She only collected the money and constructed ) on the north, Pey gopuram on the west  and three kattai gopurams of shorter than Rajagopurams.
  2. The temple has a long history. The temple was constructed by   Pallava, Chozha, Pandya, Hoysala kings in stages. Each one of them had left their stamps. The original structures were changed in some areas during construction and renovation/ thiruppani. Nattukkottai Nagarathars had done a lot of thirupani to this temple.
  3. There are more than 100 kalvettukkal available in the temple walls. They were between 849 AD to 1582 AD. These epigraphs mainly tells us the donations given to this temple. Apart from Tamil epigraphs, some  of telegu inscriptions can also  be seen on the 3rd  prakaram wall. Some of the epigraphs were lost during renovations.
  4. After East Rajagopuram in the 6th and 5th prakaram important places / sannadhis are Arunagirinathar Annadhana mandapam, Sivagangai theertham, Kambathu ilayanar sannadhi, Sarvasakthi sannadhi ( Iraivan’s various forms were painted on the ceiling ), Thirukalyana mandapam, Kalyana Sundareswarar, 16 pillar/ kal mandapam, 4 pillar mandapam, vaahana storage rooms, 1000 pillar mandapam, Paathala Lingam, Gopurathu Ilayanar sannadhi, Periya nandhi under a mandapam. On the west side kattai gopuram Sannadhi for Ammaiappar and Annamalaiyar thirupatham. Kosalai is on the south side. Guest house is on the north side of 6th corridor.
  5. After climbing few steps through Vallala maharajas gopuram we can enter in the fourth prakaram. Sannadhi/ important places are Brahma theertham, Sri Kaala bairavar ( big in size), 4 Pillar mandapam, Mandapam with shops, Brahma lingam ( with four faces – via  fire, Vayu, earth water, and top Aakayam – Chathur muka lingam or we can call as pancha muka lingam ), Vidyatheswarar, Naleswarar, Yanai thirai konda Vinayagar, Kambathu Ilayanar Sannadhi, Kalai Arangam  and 6 feet nandhi. In the right side pillar of the Nandhi mandapam a relief of King Vallalan with hand in worshipping posture and on the left pillar relief of hoysalas, Anda Peranndam ( a mixture of bird and a an animal ). Another relief of Vallala maharaja’s moortham ( Seems to be aged ) is available in the Vallala maharaja’s gopuram passage.
  6. We have to pass through 6 tires Kili ( parrot ) Gopuram  to reach 3rd prakaram. Lot of parrots are there in this gopuram. From this gopuram Arunagirinathar left his body to get Parijatham flower in the form of parrot. Since his body was cremated before his arrival, he remained as parrot. The important sannadis/ places are 16 pillar and 4 pillar mandapams, office room, Ekambareswarar, Chidambara nathar, Pidari amman ( with a stone soolam at the front ), Kaalatheeswarar, Golden chariot mandapam.  Unnamulai amman sannadhi, Pali peedam. There is sudhai sirpam on the right side passage of Kili gopuram.
  7. At the entrance of Moolavar sannadhi mandapam on the left Sri Sampantha Vinayagar and Dhandayuthapani on the right. In the front mandapam  Barani depam ( out side the mandapam ) , Palipeedam , Dwajasthambam, Adhikaranandhi .
  8. In the second prakaram, Sannadhi for Devara Thirumurai paarayana mandapam, Naalvar, 63var in stone, Sabtha mathaakkal, Lingangal, Iyappan, Kowthama maharishi, Durvasa maharishi, Shethra Kanni Ganapathy, Somaskandhar urchavar, Arthanareeswarar, Urchava moorthangal, Sri Sridevi, Boodevi sametha Venugopal, Gajalakshmi, Vallidevasena Sri Subramaniyar, 63var in cheppu moorthangal, Sorna Kala bairavar, Palliyarai,Theertha well, Saba mandapam.
  9. In Koshtam, Ganapathy, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai.
  10. Moolavar is in normal size with golden naagaabaranam. Ambal is small in size
  11. Even though festivals are celebrated throughout the year the Thirukkaarthikai deepam is being celebrated in a grand manner for 17 days. 10th day  mahadeepam is placed / burnt in a large deepam pot at the top hill. 11 days after mahadeepam every evening at 18.00 Hrs deepam is  placed on the top of the hill for which 2 cans of gee and wick bundle is being carried by the  people from the temple.
  1. Frequent bus facility is available from Chennai, Kanchipuram, Vizhuppuram, Tindivanam, Bangalore etc,.
  2. Thiruvannamalai Railway station is on the Vizhuppuram to Katpadi and the temple is 2 Km from the station.
Morning 05,00 Hrs to 12.30 Hrs
Evening 15.30 Hrs to 21.30 Hrs
5:00 Hrs Temple Opens for first session pooja 
5:30 Hrs Gomotha Pooja 
6:00 Hrs Oudshakala Pooja 
8:30 Hrs Kaalai Santhi Pooja   
11:00 Hrs Uchi kala pooja 
12:30 Hrs Temple close 
15.30 Hrs Temple open for Second session pooja  
18.00 Hrs Sayaratchai kala pooja    
19.30 Hrs 2nd Kala Pooja 
21.00 Hrs Artha jama pooja
21.30 Hrs Temple Close  
Joint Commissioner/Executive Officer
Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple 
Phone : 04175- 252438.
Temple official web site

 Front mandapam was recently built
 Chariot for Urchavam
 East side Raja Gopuram 217 feet high with 11 tiers 
Inner view of east Rajagopuram
 Gopurathilayanar sannadhi, Sri Murugan gave dharshan to Arunagirinathar
 Sarvasakthi Temple 
 1000 pillar mandapam with Nandhi mandapam 
 Nandhi mandapam in 5& 6 prakaram
 Vallala Maharaja Gopuram 
 Brahama Theertham with south side Rajagopuram and kattai Gopuram
Kili ( Parrot ) Gopuram 
 Moolavar sannadhi 
 Moolavar sannadhi with hill view 

 Nandhi in 4th prakaram with Ammani ammal Rajagopuram

 Ekapatha moorthy on the dwajasthambam base - Vishnu on the left and Brhama on the right 
 Adhikara nandhi near Dwajasthambam 
 Night view 
 Night view 
 Pathala Lingam on the left and east side Rajagopuram 
 A relief on the pillar of a mandapam 

Vallala Maharaja on the nandhi Mandapam Pillar
Vallala Maharaja on the passage wall of Vallala Mharaja Gopuram 
Anda Perandam - Combinations of bird and animal - Hoysala's symbol
 View from Pidari Amman Temple 
 Saba mandapam 
 Sri Unnamalai Amman sannadhi 
 Back side of moolavar sannadhi - a sudhai yazhi's face on the  wall  for rain water outlet
Pey gopuram on the west side 
Sarva sakthi Temple
 Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple 
 Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple
 Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple
 Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple
 Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple
 Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple
Paintings on the ceiling of sarvasakthi temple
 Barani Deepam and Palipeedam


1. East Rajagopuram

2. Sivagangai Theertham

3. Murugan sannadhi

4. 16 Pillar mandapam

5. Sarvasakthi Vinayagar Temple

6. 1000 Pillar mandapam
7. Paathala lingam
8. 4 Pillar mandapam
9. Peria Nandhi
10. Thirukkalyana Mandapam with Kalyana sundareswarar sannadhi
10. Kopurathuilayanar sannadhi
11. Vallala maharaja Gopuram
12. Sri Kaala Bairavar
13. Brahma Theertham
14. 4 Pillar mandapam
15. Shops, Temple architect sample in a mandapam
16. Kalai Arangam
17. 6 Feet Nandhi
18. Kili Gopuram
19. North Kattai Gopuram
20. Ammani Ammal Gopuram
21. South side kattai Gopuram
22. Thirumanjana Gopuram
23. Brahma lingam
24. Vidhyatheswarar
25. Naleswarar, Vinayagar Sannadhi on the back side 
26. Yanai Thirai konda Vinayagar
27. Kaarthigai Deepa mandapam 16 Pillar
28. Office Room
29. Ekambareswarar
30. Pidari Amman
31. Chidambareswarar
32. Kaalatheeswarar
33. Vahana mandapam
34. 4 Pillar Mandapam
35. Sthala Viruksham
36. 4 Pillar mandapam
37. Sri Arunachaleswarar Sannadhi
38. Sri Abeethakusambigai, Sri Unnamulai Ammai sannadhi
39. Annamalayar Thirupatham
40. Ammaiyappar
41. Kosalai
42. West side Kattai Gopuram
43. Pey (பேய்  ) Gopuram
44. Arunagirinathar Annadhana mandapam
45. Vahana mandapam
46. Guest Houses

1. Moolavar Karuvarai with Prathosha nandhi
2. Devara Paarayana mandapam
3. Naalvar
4. 63 var
5. Sabthamaathaakkal
6. Lingangal
7. Iyappan
8. Gowthamar and Durvasa Maharishi\
9. Shethra vinayagar
10. Somaskandhar
11. Arthanaareeswarar
12. Sridevi & Boodevi sametha Perumal sannadhi
13. Lingangal
14. Gajalakshmi
15. Sri Valli devasena Subramaniyar
16. Lingangal,Urchavarkal
17. 63var
18. Lingangal
19. Sorna kala Bairavar
20. Palliyarai
21. Theertha Kinaru
22. Saba mandapam
23. Urchavarkal
24. Sampantha Ganapahi
25. Dhandayuthapani
26. Adikara nandhi
27. Dwajasthambam
28. Palipeedam
29. Barani deepam