Arunachalam Temple Guide – Timings, Poojas, and History

Arunachalam Temple is an important Shaivite temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located in Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, this temple belongs to the list of Pancha Bhoota Stalam (the five Shiva temples dedicated to the five elements of nature). The presiding deity is in the form of Agni Lingam (fire element).

In this guide, you will find out about Arunachalam Temple timings, history, poojas, significance and how to travel to Tiruvannamalai.

Arunachalam Temple – Facts

DeityAgni Lingam (Lord Shiva)
LocationTiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
SignificancePancha Bhoota Stalams
Entry FeeFree
Darshan Timings6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
PoojasKiruthigai Pooja
Best Time to VisitOctober to March
FestivalsShravan, Shivratri, Karthigai Deepam
Pancha Bhoota StalamsJambukeswarar Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple,
Chidambaram Nataraja, Srikalahasti Temple
Arunachalam Temple Video

Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple and Annamalaiyar Temple are the other names of the temple.

What are the timings of Arunachalam Temple?

Here are the darshan timings of Arunachalam Temple:

RitualsFromTo
Morning Darshan5:00 AM12:30 PM
Evening Darshan3:30 PM9:30 PM
Gomatha Pooja5:30 AM6:00 AM
Afternoon Pooja11:00 AM11:30 AM
Arthajama Pooja9:00 PM9:30 PM

What are the poojas and sevas performed at Arunachalam Temple?

Poojas at Arunachalam Temple

Here’s the list of sevas and poojas at Arunachalam Temple:

Daily Poojas

TimingsFromTo
Gomatha Pooja5:30 AM6 AM
Ushakala Pooja6 AM6:30 AM
Early Sathi Pooja8:30 AM9 AM
Noon Pooja11 AM11:30 AM
Sayaratchai Pooja6 PM6:30 PM
2nd Kalam Pooja7:30 PM8:00 PM
Arthajama Pooja9 PM9:30 PM

Fortnightly Rituals

  • Pradosham

Monthly Rituals

  • Amavasya (new moon day)
  • Kiruthigai
  • Pournami (full moon day): Performing Girivalam on Pournami day is highly beneficial. Thousands of devotees perform Girivalam right from early morning to midnight.
  • Sathurthi

What is the significance of Tiruvannamalai Temple?

Arunachalam Lingam
The Lingam of the Arunachalam Temple is the Agni Lingam form of Lord Shiva.

The significance of the Arunachalam Temple is that it is the largest Shiva temple in India. Girivalam, or circumambulating the sacred hill is an important spiritual activity. The significance of this activity is that the walk relieves the devotee from his sins and the cycle of birth and rebirth.

The presiding deity is Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar and his consort is Unnamalaiyar. Important Tamil literature such as Thevaram and Thiruvempavai by the Nayanars mention the Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple.

This temple and temple town is considered to be rich in spiritual heritage. The area is concentrated with several ashrams and samadhis dedicated to saints and spiritual leaders from all over India. Devotees and followers from different nationalities have made this place their spiritual home.

The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple, sacred hill and surrounding areas are known to give off strong positive vibrations and even today some also claim to have sighted ancient Siddhas or holy men deep in meditation.

Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple
Arunachalam Temple is also known as Tiruvannamalai.

Arunachalam Temple Giri Pradakshina

Arunachalam Temple Giri Pradakshina
Arunachalam Temple Giri Pradakshina

Devotees believe that Lord Shiva established himself as Jyotirlinga in the sacred hill behind the Tiruvannamalai temple. So they do Giri Pradkshina around the hill and pray to the god. Devotees cover a distance of nearly 14 km on barefoot and worship at the numerous temples, lingams and shrines that are present along the path.

You can do the Giri Pradakshina at any time on any day. The best time is to start around midnight and complete it by morning 4 am. At 4:30 am there is a special darshan in the temple where they let sacred cow through the temple doors. A lot of devotees also prefer to do giri pradakshina on Pournami (full moon day).

Arunachalam Temple Timings
The beautiful Arunachalam Temple complex lit up.

What is the history of Arunachalam Temple?

Arunachalam Temple History
The history of the Arunachalam Temple.

According to history, Goddess Parvati once playfully closed Lord Shiva’s eyes and the universe plunged into darkness. Realizing her mistake, she performed penance and Lord Shiva manifested himself as a column of fire atop a hill. The column became Agni Lingam and the hill became popular as Tiruvannamalai.

Another legend says that Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma once competed against each other to decide who is the greatest. Then they requested Lord Shiva to be the judge. Lord Shiva set the challenge – the one who reaches his crown and feet first will be the winner. He then took the form of a long column of fire or the Agni Lingam.

Lord Vishnu immediately transformed himself into Varaha, the boar and started digging the depths of the earth to reach Lord Shiva’s feet. Meanwhile, Lord Brahma turned into a swan and flew towards the sky to reach Lord Shiva’s crown.

During the ascent, he saw a flower – the Thazhampu, fall from the crown. He then asked the flower how long he should fly to reach the crown. The flower replied that it had been falling for thousands of years and still hasn’t reached the ground.

Further, Lord Brahma conspires and manipulates the flower and takes it to Lord Shiva. Lord Brahma then claims that he has got the flower from Lord Shiva’s crown. But Lord Shiva sees through the lie and curses both Lord Brahma and the flower.

Ever since Lord Brahma has no temples dedicated to him, and people don’t use Thazhampu for worship. This story is in the Lingothbhava and Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple murals.

The Tiruvannamalai Arunachalam Temple construction dates back to several thousand years. Chola Kings built the temple in the 9th century according to the inscriptions.

Arunachalam Temple Photos
Lovely Sky in the backdrop of Arunachalam Mandir.

What are the festivals celebrated at Arunachalam Temple?

Arunachalam Temple Karthigai Deepam
Arunachalam Temple Karthigai Deepam

Since Lord Shiva is in the form of Agni here, the festival of Karthigai Deepam celebrated in the Hindu month of Karthigai is of great importance. It’s a ten-day festival that falls between November and December and culminates in the lighting of the Mahadeepam on the Tiruvannamalai hill at sunset.

Also, crores of devotees flock to the temple each year on this date and donate offerings of tonnes of ghee and oil to light the magnificent lamp.

Chitra Pournami or the first full moon day of the Tamil Calendar is also an important festival day here. The five sacred temple cars carrying the deity are brought out in a procession on that day.

How to reach Arunachalam Temple?

Here’s how to reach Arunachalam Temple:

  • By Road: Many buses operate from Chennai and all important towns and cities in Tamil Nadu. Buses also operate from Bangalore and Tirupathi.
  • By Train: Arunachalam Temple nearest railway station is Tiruvannamalai. It is around 10 km from the temple.
  • By Flight: Chennai is the nearest airport and it lies around 185 kilometres away by road

Where to stay near Arunachalam Temple?

There are several ashrams and charitable endowments that provide lodging at a very nominal tariff. You can also find modern accommodation options near Arunachalam Temple in recent years. One should book the hotels in advance if you are planning on travelling during festivals or weekends.

Where to eat near Arunachalam Temple?

Most of the hotels that provide accommodation also have restaurant options. You can also find other standalone restaurants near the main bus stand and the temple. Always eat clean and neat food and make sure you are staying healthy. Drink only clean water and wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

What are some temples near Arunachalam Temple?

How to reach Arunachalam Temple
The city is full of beautiful little temples.

Eight lingams or Ashta Lingams, denoting the eight directions surround the temple. Devotees also cover the shrines of the eight lingams during the Girivalam. The eight lingams are South – Yama, West – Varuna, North – Kubera, and East – Indra and four intercardinal points, South East – Agni, South West – Niruthi, North West – Vayu and North East – Esanya.

  • Sri Ramanashramam: The ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, an Indian sage is one of the world-famous places of spiritual importance in Tiruvannamalai. The Ashram is also on the Girivalam path and devotees would usually visit the place to offer their prayers.
  • Seshadri Swamigal Ashram: Located close the Sri Ramanashramam, the Seshadri Swamigal Ashram was home to Seshadri Swami, a saint who came to Tiruvannamalai six years before Ramana Maharishi.
  • Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram: Yogi Ramsuratkumar was from UP near Kashi who travelled widely throughout India in search of spiritual enlightenment. His final stop was in Tiruvannamalai where he continued to bless his devotees until his death. His ashram is very close to the Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Frequently Asked Questions about Arunachalam Temple

Is the Arunachalam Temple open throughout the year?

Yes, the Arunachalam Temple is open all 365 days of the year.

What is the entry fee?

The entry to the Arunachalam Temple is free of cost.

Is there any online darshan facility available?

No. There is no facility for online darshan available.

Is there any facility for specially-abled and senior citizen?

No. There is no facility for specially-abled and senior citizens.

What is the weather like during the summers?

The summers in Chittoor starts from April and continue until June. The summers here can be very hot and humid. Temperatures during the daytime often go up to 42 º C.

What are winters like in Chittoor?

In Chittoor, winters start in October and continue until March. The temperatures during this time range from around 20 º C to 30 º C. The weather during this time is warm and pleasant.

If you have any questions about Arunachalam Temple, please leave your comment below and we will get back to you within one hour.

97 thoughts on “Arunachalam Temple Guide – Timings, Poojas, and History”

  1. Ashok Kumar P.

    Temple Darshan or Girivalam which one should complete first ?
    Girivalam in day or night which is grate ?

    1. Devotees usually complete girivalam first and then go for darshan. The best time to do is start in the early morning around 2 am and complete by sunrise.

  2. Batlanki Surya Prakash Rao rajahmundry

    Are there devastansm accomdatios available near temple for bath and refresh?

  3. Hi today 15 July night we are planning to visit temple and go for girivalam kindly advice is that fine to do it and moreover till what time temple will be opened and closed on 15 & 16 July 2019 since Chandra graham on 17 July 2019

        1. Just today my family members planned to come to arunachalam. Tuesday 16.7.20q9 morning hours temple is opened or not during grahanam

  4. 1) At What time temple reopens for darsanam after chandra grahanam?

    2) May i do giripradakshanam during chandragrahanam?

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      It’s not worth doing giri pradakshina during chandra grahanam. Temple will be opened 2 hours after the grahanam.

  5. I am coming on September 14th from vizag to tiruvanmalai. Now my doubt is will I get any hotels for staying there near temple, cost and all. Also and how much is the distance from tiruvanmalai station to temple.

  6. N.M.P.Kumar Gupta

    1)Any aryavysya satrams is there in arunachalam near Temple.

    2)How to come Arunachalam From Andhra Pradesh.

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      From andhra you should travel to chennai first. From there you can take a bus to reach arunachalam.

  7. Ohm namasivaya, how many have to stay to complete pilgrimage Arunachalam. Rooms have get normal torif. Which season is better for visit. How to reach temple from Chennai Rly Station? I am from Visakhapatnam. We are aged 69 &63.please let me clear above doubts. Thank you.

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      2 nights are enough to stay here. Rooms have nominal cost. July to February is the best time to visit. From chennai you can take public buses to reach Tiruvannamalai.

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      There are no direct buses from Hyderabad. Reach Chennai and from there you will get direct buses.

  8. Praveen kumar

    Please give your contact no. I would like to contact you relating Giri pradhaskana.I am willing to go on June 17th
    Thank you

  9. Will There Be Any Crowd For Darshan On Monday 18th Of June. Are There Any Special Tickets For Skipping The Queue

    This Is In Regards For Senior Citizens

  10. I want to visit arunachalam temple July 15 night. That day is lunar eclipse (grahanam). So what time we come to temple. Pls give suggestionjuly15 or July 16

  11. Megha Sushanth Kodela

    I want to visit the temple sometime in the next two weeks. I want to do a pradakshina of the hill, then perform rudrabhishekam, and I also want to offer a rudraksha to Arunachaleshwara swamy varu in the temple.
    I have some questions regarding all this as it will be my first visit and I don’t speak Tamil. Please help me.
    1. At what time should I start my pradakshina? Can I guide myself in the correct route while I do it.
    2. Is there a time slot to perform rudrabhishekam or can it be done at anytime? What is the cost?
    3. Will the temple pujari allow me to offer a rudraksha to Lord Shiva? Is it customary?

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      1. Start the giri pradakshina around midnight. You can complete it by 4 am and then head to the temple for darshan.
      2. Rudrabhishekam is performed only in the morning. Before 11 am.
      3. We are not sure about this. You need to check with the pujari once you are there.

  12. Can I visit Arunachalam now? Will the weather be too hot and what about the accomodation? We are family of 4. Regards Shankar

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      You can certainly visit now. Weather will be hot though. Accommodation options are available near the temple

  13. We are two Telugu women and want to travel to Arunachalam temple tomorrow we stay in Padur Chennai can you arrange anything

    1. Hello sir,

      Will be visiting the place for the first time in June last week and will also do the giri pradakshina. Will be reaching arunachalam around 1 pm. Can we start giripradakshaba straight away.

  14. Namaskar, iam planning to do girivalam on 17 may pournami day. Can you please tell me how much time it takes for girivalam. And to have darshanam in arunachalam temple on full mood day, which timing will be best to start girivalamday time girivalam is possible?

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      You can start girivalam at 3am. You should be able to complete by 6am. From there directly go for darshan.

  15. A . Venkat Rao

    Can I do giri pradakshana in car since I can’t walk.

    Do I get darshan help bieng physically handicapped

    1. Sasidhar Darla

      Yes you can do it in car. I am not sure if there is any darshan help for physically handicapped.

  16. Is there wheel chair assistance for senior citizens at arunachala temple. Also do you have any idea if there are any special festivals from 3rd may to 5th may 2019, as i plan to visit along with my parents

  17. darshan..
    I am from AP WITH 90 YEARS MOTHER AND HANDICAPPED WIFE. THERE IS NO OFFICER IN THE OFFICE TO GUIDE US FOR DARSHAN. ALL SPEAK TAMIL.WE DONOT KNOW TAMIL. WHAT IS OUR FATE GOD KNOWS.I SAT IN THE OFFICE FOR SUPDT FROM 6 IN THE EVENING..NO BODY IS HERE TO GUIDE ME..MY PROBLEM CAN NOT BE EXPLAINED TO THEM IN ENGLISH! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  18. 1)Arunachalam giri pradikshanam or arunachalam temple darshanam to perform first.
    2) arunachalam giri pradikshanam can done by wearing sports shoes ( we are 64 male/60 female age group)
    Please suggest us.

  19. 🙏 Sir, I came to temple with my family on 20th March along with my 70 years old mother for darshan I felt very unhappy with the authorities that they couldn’t understand English language when I asked that is there a facility of senior citizen darshan they said no. So, my mother had to hand in Q lane for 4’hours for darshan please I humbly request u people to provide special darshan for disabled, senior citizens, pregnant ladies and also for mothers of infant kids.Plz do maintain this

  20. Babu Rao yalavarthy

    If I visit to Arunachal what kind of poojas I can attend? Please give me a reply with what is it with timings.

  21. Good Information.I am a retired employee from Hyderabad. I and my wife want to come and stay for a week.Please guide us.

  22. I heard that Tuesday is Good for Giri pradakshna said by Sri Ramana Maharshi Garu in his Books and Is there any devasthanam accommodations in Tiruvanamalai or Arunachalam

  23. If I start Girivalam from midnight … Can I enter temple in the morning without taking shower or after Girivalam I should take shower and enter the temple ?

  24. I AM TRYING TO CONTACT THE TEMPLE AUTHORITIES THROUGH THEIR NUMBER GIVEN IN THE WEBSITE 04175-252438 . BUT I AM UNABLE TO CONTACT THEM SINCE NO BODY IS TAKING THE PHONE, IT IS ONLY RINGING. I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE IN THE TEMPLE PREMISES. I HAVE SENT MAIL ALSO ENQUIRING ABOUT THIS. BUT THERE IS NO REPLY.
    PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANY ALTERNATE NUMBER WHERE WE CAN CONTACT THEM EITHER LAND LINE OR MOBILE NUMBER. YOU CAN CONTACT ME ON MY NUMBER.
    MYSELF AND MY HUSBAND ARE PLANNING TO BE THERE IN TIRUVANNAMALAI ON 9TH NOV’2018.
    LET ME KNOW ABOUT THE HILL PRADAKSHINA.
    WITH REGARDS AND EXPECTING IMMEDIATE REPLY FROM YOU.
    MALINI

  25. Dear Sir/Madam,

    We are planning to arrive Arunachalam on 22nd Nov. Is Karteekadeepotsavam on Nov 23rd ? If so what time does it begin ?. Based on your reply we will plan our return trip.

    Thank you
    Regards
    Rama

  26. Gauthamie.kumbham

    During the pradakshana can we cover all the eight lingams just like that or the lingams have the numbering system, pls let me know. Waiting for ur reply

    1. Sir first time we planned to go Arunachalam Giri pradikshana at January 20thevng.2019.but we have one confusion what can we do first giripradakshna or to go to temple darshanam.which we can do first Swamy darshan or Giri pradikshana ,pls tell me

  27. Challa Krishna murthy

    ON 3rd December 2017 Pournami Giripradarshina is there. Please inform the important pour image days for giridarshana

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