Nowadays an increasing number of pilgrims visit Adiannamalai Temple during their Arunachala Girivalam. However considering the significance and power of this Temple, one wonders why significantly more pilgrims don’t break their girivalam to spend time at what is believed to be the oldest Shiva Temple at Arunachala. Its history predates even Arunachaleswarar Temple on the southeast side of the Hill and the only other Shiva Temple of major historical emminence is the very beautiful, and again, relatively unvisited Arunagirinathar Temple on the side of the Ayyankulam Thirtham.
To read more about a visit to Arunagirinathar Temple go to this link here, and its significance in connection with Ramana Maharshi, to this link here.
|Entrance to Adiannamalai Temple|
It was after the establishment of the Temple at Adi Annamalai that Lord Siva then manifested himself as Swayambhu Linga (Self Created) on the southeast side of the Hill. The Temple housing this sacred Linga is known as Arunachaleswarar Temple.
|Lord Shiva and his Goddess|
According to legend Brahma got enamoured of Tillottama, his own daughter (i.e. one of his own creations) and in his mood of infatuation went after her in the form of a dove. When she took refuge in Siva, the Lord confronted Brahma in the form of a Hunter and dispelled his delusion. There is even today on the slopes of Arunachala, a Temple to the Lord as Hunter, known as Vediyappan Koil, being called wrongly nowadays as Kannapar Koil. To get himself absolved of the sin committed, Brahma installed and worshipped a Linga of Lord Arunachaleswarar. This is also called Adi Annamalai.
|Wonderful Arunachala darshan from Temple Compound|
In the Arunachala Puranam (Tamil), Brahma says to his son Sanaka, “To remove the unabating Karmas I installed and worshipped a Linga of Lord Arunachala, who is called Ani Annamalai (Ani = Beautiful)”.
|Beautiful statue of Nandi|
It is reported that the vision of Arunachala from this Temple is known as Siva Yoga Muka Darshan and the great Siddha Thirumoolar saw this aspect. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi who used to camp at Adi Annamalai for up to 2-3 nights while performing Giri Valam was reported to have said that while at the Temple he heard the celestial recital of 'Sama Veda'.
|Lord Subramanya and his two wives|
The month of Maargazhi (December-January) is considered the pre-dawn hour of the gods (Brahma Muhurtha). Saint Manickavachakar sang his immortal ‘Thiruvembavai’ at Adi Annamalai. This song of bridal mysticism is sung all over Tamil Nadu every morning of Maargazhi month. There is a Temple and pond dedicated to this saint at Adi Annamalai.
|Pradakshina of Temple compound|
For more detail and photographs of this beautiful Temple please visit my website Arunachala Samudra at this link here.