18 February 2009

Arunagirinatha Temple and Ayyankulam Tank

Arunagirinatha Temple is the third oldest Shiva Temple at Tiruvannamalai. Some say of it; Adi Annamalai Temple is the Head, Arunachaleswarar Temple is the body and Arunagirinatha Temple is the feet.

In front of this ancient, fascinating Temple is the Ayyankulam Tank which is famous for being favoured during Deepam as the Tank upon which the murtis of the Gods enjoy a leisurely rest on their float.

In more recent times the Ayyankulam Tank is famous for its association with Sri Ramana Maharshi as it is the place at which he became a sannyasin.

“Venkataraman detrained at Villuparam (near Pondicherry) for food and thereafter decided to walk. By sunset he arrived at Araiyaninallur Temple where he remained for meditation and later went to the nearby village of Kilur. The next day after pledging his earrings for four rupees he entrained for Tiruvannamalai arriving before noon on September 1, 1896. Immediately he went towards the Arunachaleswarar Temple and it was nearby at the Ayyankulam tank that Venkataraman tore his dress to make a kaupinam, threw everything else away including his remaining money and his Brahman sacred thread, and allowed a barber to give him a tonsure.” To read more click here.

Nowadays the Temple is surrounded by a cluster of new housing which sadly partly obstructs the view of Arunachala.

But perhaps one of the most curious tales associated with this ancient Temple is of the floor of this store room in the below photograph. It is believed that under this very floor is a tunnel (now sealed) which leads into the Arunachaleswarar Temple compound.

More information about this fascinating, ancient Temple to come.

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