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It is one of the important pilgrimage center of Tamil Nadu.Though Hindus seek god in the form of idol, it is also their strong belief that god can be worship in the form of light or Flame. The Karthigai Deepam festival when the big flame is lit atop the Thiruvannamalai hills draw a huge crowd and devotees. The Sculptures in the pillars and the idol lingam are very huge and enticing that tey make one wonder at the renowned. A large number of foreign as well as domestic tourists and aspirant for spiritual solace and solitude congregate here. Thiruvannamalai has become an international center of study in spiritualism.The temple town of Tiruvannamalai, 85kms south of Vellore, is an important Shaivite town.Of the 100 or more temples, the most outstanding is the Siva - Parvathi Temple of Arunachaleswar, which is said to be the largest in India. The main gopuram is 66m and 13 storeys high, and there is a 1000-pillared hall.

Historical details about Tiruvannamalai and the Aruncahalewsara temple are available to us through stone inscriptions on the prakara walls and copper plates. These inscriptions refer to a period of about thousand years starting from 750 A.D. The earliest archaeological findings from these stone inscriptions point to the fact that the greatness of Arunachala was known to the kings from the spiritual works Thevaram and Thiruvasagam. We come to know that Tiruvannamalai was historically and spiritually famous even from those ancient times. We have clues that the temple was small during the visit of Appar, Manikavasagar, Sambandar and others. Kings who read about the great glory of Aruncahaleswara from the Thevaram and Thiruvasagam began to expand the temple and beautify it. They had great faith in and devotion for Arunachaleswara.

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Additional Photos by Senthil kumar (pcp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 343 W: 115 N: 570] (3394)
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