My Travelogue

Thiru Annamalai- The paradise of Lord Shiva

I love traveling,I am quite a travel person and most of the places I visit is by road, thanks to the fact that I have quite roady friends and family. the one visit which I immensely recall is the visit to the holy town of Thiru Annmalai. We had to make a family trip to this holy town which houses one of the Pancha Lingas of Tamil nadu signifying one of the five elements of nature namely fire, water, earth sky and the wind. This is called as the Agni kunda or the fire bowel, the place is supposed to signify Lord Shiva in his Agni Swaroopa.Its is about 6 hours drive from Bangalore, the place is called Arunachala in sanskrit, is where the legendary Pillar of Fire signifying the Lord came into being.

Come to think of it the roads are truly a masterpiece that lead to this place, they are well maintained and stretch for miles without a single pothole, considering the state of Indian roads thats quite an achievement!! The drive plays through quite pleasant surroundings and the greenery makes one want to stay at the place forever

The holy Hill can be seen from quite a distance away and all the way the trees though fairly barren dot the road through. The highways are immaculately maintained and very well laid, I must admit that it was quite an experience driving through these laned highway. Its a smooth drive till about 20 Km from the main town after which the road begs to be spared. The potholes are quite reminiscent of Bangalore and the epithet of national highway seems to crumble away. The place annamalai is a small citadel situated right next to the Arunachala mountain and is a scenic beauty. The mountain makes a superb backdrop to temple with the dome really coming up over the peak of the mountain.

The temple is typically a shiva temple, where the Lord is in the form of a lingam or the sacred phallus. The architecture of this temple is some thing that takes one back the times of teh cholas and their opulence. The absolute mastery over structurization is seen not only in the well ventilated sanctum of the temple but in the importance given to the lighting of the temple. well its is no the wick lamps that I am talking of but is rather the natural sunlight that streams through every nook and corner built for the purpose.

The sanctum Sanctorum itself is a thing of a beauty with the Lingam of Arunchaleswara bedecked with ornaments and sweet scented flowers. The vibhuti makes the Lingam replete to show the majesty of the God of Destruction. The most amazing part of the set up is the absolute warmth that is felt in the Sanctum sanctorum itself, despite being part of a well ventilated structure. The presence of the Lingam radiates an intense warmth very suggestive of the temples purpose. It is also quite a relief to actually see the refreshing architecture, the curves are moulded to infinite perfection. the capability of which is scarcely seen even in very well laid out modern architectures.

The rest of the temple is described less in words and more with actually sight, so I suggest you people who want to really know this wonderful place to go and see it yourself and appreciate the cultural marvel that is our country. The other interesting part of our sojourn is the girivalam a round about of the entire hill. Thought to deliver mankind from the ocean of miseries, this round about is one of the major events happening even today in this wonderful place. The natural beauty abounding in the vicinity of this is truly seen to be believed. The rock formations on the hill themselves yield a mystic quality to the hill.


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