Tiruvannamalai is one of the most revered cities in the state of TamilNadu, India. The word “Annamalai” refers to an inaccessible mountain. This temple city is situated about 80 kilometers from Vellore and 180 kilometres from Chennai. The temple town is one of the hubs for the Hindu religion and is also one of the most archaic heritage sites of the country. The Tiruvannamalai district is well known for eternal peace and divine due to the possession of the holy shrine of Lord Arunachaleswara and several Ashrams. The city also has numerous meditation and siddha medication centres.
The Arunachaleswara temple also known as Annamalaiyar is an ancient Hindu temple devoted to the deity Lord Shiva. This biggest temple in South India has a hilly background and thus appears as a fort for those looking at it from distance. The sacred temple has 66M height Rajagopuram encompassing 13 tiers of sculptured stages.
The uniqueness of the temple accounts to its high rampart walls, vast gateways, broad quadrangles, huge mandapams and tanks. It is this sculptural beauty and architecture of the temple that has earned great dignity and rapport for the city. This temple has been inhabited by great poets and Saints. This magnificent temple has a total of 9 Rajagopurams and spread over 25 acres.
This temple has the biggest walking path around the hill which is of about 14 kilometers, where the devotees go around at least once in their lifetime to earn the blessings of the lord. This process is called the Giripradhakshana or Girivalam. People go to girivalam during every full moon day or during Karthigai deepam day. Every year around three million pilgrims visit Tiruvannamalai during the Karthigai Deepam festival which normally falls during December to celebrate this festival.
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