Annamalayar Temple is a temple dedicated to the deity Lord Shiva, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvanamalai. This Temple is one among 275 Shiva Sthalams
Shiva is worshiped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswara, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam. The heart of the temple has the image of Lord Shiva enshrined as Lord Annamalai and also his spouse as Unnamalai.
This is the place that would destroy the "I" arrogance.Mother Uma performed penance here going round the hill to claim the left part of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva granted his darshan to mother in the form of Light-Jyothi.
Describing the graceful appearance of the Lord with Mother on the Annamalai Hills with its water falls pleasing the souls, the Saint says that all adverse effects following a soul from past births would disappear once the devotee worships Lord Annamalaiar. This is the birth place of Saint Arunagiriar.
Annamalaiyar Temple is one of the earliest stone temples built by the Pallava kings. Later, the Cholas, Vijayanagar Kings, Thanjavur Nayaks and others built many sanctorums, mandapams and towers. The kings of the Tulu dynasty also made some edifices.
It is significant to the Hindu section of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the five elements,the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically the element of fire,or Agni. The 9th century Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar composed the Tiruvempaavai here.
Every full moon, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Annamalaiyar by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot. The circumambulation covers a distance of 14 kilometres (8.7 mi), and is referred as Girivalam.
The temple celebrates dozens of festivals throughout the year.Four prime festivals, the Brahmotsavam, are celebrated yearly. The most important of these lasts ten days during the Tamil month of Karthikai, between November and December, concluding with the celebration of Karthikai Deepam.