Tiruvannamalai, popularly known as temple city is located 190 kilometers from Chennai. The city is famous for celebrating major festivals listed below. Devotees all over the world visit this holy city to celebrate various festivals including Karthigai Deepam and Shivaratri.
Tiruvannamalai is popularly known for the grand ten-day celebration of the Karthigai Deepam festival. On the tenth day of the festival, a group of men carry fire to the summit of the mountain and light a large copper earthen container filled with a huge wick and ghee. The devotees idolize the giant lamp lit as Lord Shiva himself. Every year thousands of devotees around the world visit the town to participate in this festival.
People in Tiruvannamalai celebrate the Shivaratri festival in great devotion. The word Shivaratri means “The night of Shiva”. The Giant, Holy Mountain called Arunachalam, Annamalai or Arunachala Hill is believed by the devotees as Shiva incarnate on Earth. Thus the day is considered sacred by the devotees, who observe fasting and stay awake throughout the auspicious day. It is also believed that it was on this day Lord Shiva performed the Tandava also known as Ananda Tandava.
Vinayaka Chaturthi also called as Ganesh Chaturthi in Tamilnadu, is commemorated as a celebration for Ganesh’s birthday. The festival is observed for several days, on which the devotees make Ganesh’s idols and destroy upon the end of the festival. Lokmanya Tilak, a social reformer, freedom fighter started the celebration of this festival over 100 years ago.
Yet another festival celebrated in Tiruvannamalai is ThiruVoodal, celebrated on the day following Pongal or Mahara Shankaranthi. Usually, the festival falls on 15th or 16th of the month of January. On this day, the pandits are carried by a group of 40 men on their shoulders to the mandapam.
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