|10th day festival after Maha Deepam, Rishaba (bull) vahana -siver plated.in inset.www.thiruvannamalai.in|
|10th day.Karthigai Mahadeepam on the hill.www.thiruvannamalai.in|
|10th day, Bharani Deepam.Thirivannamalai temple.www.thiruvannamalai.in|
|7th day Karthigai Deepam festival .Maharatham(Ther), Thiruvannamalai,|
|Karthigaideepam festival,4th day www.thiruvannamalai.in/|
|4ty day procession.www.thiruvannamalai.in/|
5th day http://www.thiruvannamalai.in/
Among the 275 sacred places (Lord Shiva Temples) which were praised by the hymns of Thevaram known as "Thirumurai Thalangal." twenty two are in Tamil Nadu Nadu. Thiruvannamalai is the most sacred of these twenty two.
Shiva Puranam identifies four sacred places for getting salvation - free from the cycles of birth and death. Thiruvannamalai is one among them. The significance of this place is that by mere remembrance of Lord Arunachaleswarar at this place gives salvation to all souls (Ninaithale Mukthi Tharum Thiruthalam).
Thiruvannamalai has been the abode of Siddhars. Idaikkattu Siddhar, one of the eighteen Siddhars, belongs to this sacred soil. Thiruvannamalai has the honour of providing an abode for numerous saints. Among them Arunagirinathar, Guru Namachivayar, Deivasigamani, Arunachala Desikar, Mahan Seshadri Swamigal, Bagawan Ramana Maharishi, Sri Yogi Ram Surathkumar, et al are well known.
01. The Arunachaleswarer (also Annamalaiyar) temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the all-pervading mystic cosmic dancer is one of the important Shiva temples in India. People from all parts of India visit this huge temple complex set in the back drop of holy hill 'Arunachala.'
02. One of the Pancha Bootha Sthalas, representing Agni, the temple was built by several kings, belonging to various dynasties.
03. In the whole of India, the Hindu festival of Karthgai Deepam is celebrated on a grand scale here where it is a 10 day colorful festival celebrated with devotion and commitment. During the festival period about 20 million people visit this temple town.
04. Karthigai Deepam festival commences at around four o' clock in the early hours in the temple. An important event, the Bharani Deepam , a ritual that preludes Maha Deepam in the evening is lit at the temple by the temple priests amidst chanting of Sanskrit mantras.
Around 4 pm, deities of Panchamoorthy (Vinayagar, Murugar with Valli and Deivanai, Unnamulai Amman, Parasakthi and Sandeeswarar) are taken in palanquins and placed opposite to the sanctum sanctorum. The deity Ardhanareeswarar is taken out at 6 pm when the Mahadeepam in the 2200 feet high hill was lit. At night the presiding lord is taken out on Rishaba Vahana (bull) that is fully gold plated.
05. The Mahadeepam is several feet high and the cauldron is filled with 300 plus kg ghee instead of oil and is topped with a giant wick made of several hundred meters of cotton cloth specifically made for this purpose. The Mahadeepam atop the Arunalchala hill can be viewed by people living around the near by villages. The villagers light the oil lamps at home after this event
06. Devotees never light the earthern lamps at home before the lighting of Maha Deepam and a bath is a must for them. Women, during their three day period, are not allowed to light the lamps.
07. During the 10 day festival, each day the bejeweled gods and goddesses are taken out in a procession on the Vahana or chariot mostly after evening; some of them are silver plated or gold plated.
08. 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th day temple processions are quite interesting. 4th day: The auspicious Karpaviruksha - the celestial tree that grants the reasonable wishes of devotees is taken out along Lord Panchamurthigal. Here the tree that is compared with humans is adored and worshiped. 5h day: Lord Panchamurthigal, Who is on the Rishabha (Bull) vahana ( 25 feet high) made of silver is preceded by giant umbrella with about 17 feet in diameter. 7th day: The lord , this time, is taken out on a giant raatham (chariot) made of wood. The Chariot, with intricately designed base and giant wheels has a width as wide as the street.
8th day festival: The night procession witnesses the lord on a horse Vahaha (mount), whose legs do not touch the ground and are in the air.
The festival concludes after lighting of Mahadeepam on the Arunachala hill behind the temple in the evening followed by procession of gods at night.