Temples of Tamilnad

The temple at the foot of the hill, a famous shrine, covers 25 acres and contains one of the six sacred lingams. There is also the hill itself, a hill which Tamils consider older and more sacred than the Himalayas for its setting as a testing ground between Brahma and Vishnu. Lord Siva was called in to supervise the contest and apparently assumed the form of Arunachala, a mountain in the form of fire.

During the yearly festival in November, a huge urn filled with ghee is lighted on the summit, and its flame is echoed down the hillside and up the gopurams, which are tufted with wick fires and flicker under a full moon. I had often heard of the Hill of the Holy Beacon "somewhere in South India" but only recently had I been able to identify it with the great mound which anchors the temple of Tiruvannamalai-Arunachala, the abode of one of the Maharishis, Sri Ramana, who attained enlightenment on its slopes. The ashram where we spent the night honors his memory.

© Copyright 2013 www.templesoftamilnad.com. All Rights Reserved. Design by netzeitgeist.com